For Immediate Release: February 16, 2022
Contact: Carrie Wofford, President of Veterans Education Success: [email protected]
(202) 422-6338

Statement by Veterans Education Success President Carrie Wofford
Huge News – Department of Education Decision Today:
“Good News for 16,000 Students, Including Veterans, Whose For Profit Schools Cheated Them; Yet Many More Veterans Still Waiting” 

Washington, D.C. – In response to today’s news that the Education Department is granting “Borrower Defense” relief to thousands of students at several for-profit schools, Veterans Education Success releases the following statement and student veteran statements: 

Carrie Wofford, President, Veterans Education Success

  • “Thousands of veterans were cheated out of their GI Bill benefits and saddled with student loans by fraudulent for-profit schools. Today’s action by the Biden Administration to forgive loans at several schools is a major step to righting these wrongs – and it’s a huge testament to the veterans who spoke out on Capitol Hill and at the Education Department’s public hearings,” said Carrie Wofford, President of non-profit Veterans Education Success.
  • “But countless veterans we’ve helped are still waiting for relief, including many from the same schools the Department acted on today, and we call on the Department to make them all whole,” Wofford continued. 
  • “Today’s news from the Education Department should ensure that veterans like Ryan McKenzie won’t have to keep paying for the useless degrees they got from institutions like DeVry.”

Ryan McKenzie, Army Veteran who attended DeVry: (see below for quotes from other veterans)

  • Just yesterday, Ryan McKenzie, an Army veteran who attended DeVry University online, testified before the Education Department asking the Department to stop schools, like DeVry “from lying to students and saddling them with debt for worthless degrees.”
  • He explained, “When the recruiters found out I was a veteran in a hard spot, they took advantage of me. They convinced me that a degree in computer game programming would make all my hopes and dreams come true. They told me the program had a 95% job placement rate and that their contacts at big-name companies like Activision would get me a job paying over $200K.’
  • “Every single one of those claims was a lie. I got no help at all . . . I eventually withdrew and started over at a legitimate school where I finally got a good education. But I still have over $50,000 of student debt from DeVry. I don’t have a problem with paying for a quality education at a good school, but DeVry lied and I never received what I paid for.”


Background on veterans at DeVry:

  • Summary of legal actions against DeVry and other Concerns 
  • Summary of veteran and servicemember complaints about DeVry (2016)
  • Congressional testimony from DeVry student veteran Eric Luongo to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Oversight (2019)
  • Education Department Testimony from DeVry student veteran Jarrod Thoma (June 2021)
  • Education Department Testimony from DeVry student veteran Antonio Luna (June 2021)
  • Education Department Testimony from DeVry student veteran Patricia Chang (June 2021)
  • Education Department Testimony of DeVry student veteran Ryan Clark (2017)
  • Testimony from former DeVry military recruiter/whistleblower to Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (2013)

Background on veterans at ITT Tech: 

  • Summary of veteran and servicemember complaints about ITT Tech (2020)
  • Veterans Education Success’ press release from June 2021 when the Education Department granted 18,000 ITT Borrower Defense claims
  • Former ITT Tech executive and whistleblower Thomas Corbett’s Op-Ed from Inside Higher Ed
  • Education Department testimony from ITT Tech student veteran Kevin Thompson (2017)

Background on veterans at Westwood: 

  • Education Department Testimony from Westwood student veteran Joshua Queen (November 2021)


Today, the Education Department announced that nearly 16,000 student borrowers will receive $415 million in borrower defense to repayment discharges following the approval of new findings and the continued review of student claims. This includes approximately 1,800 former DeVry University students who will receive approximately $71.7 million in full borrower defense discharges after the Education Department determined that the institution made widespread misrepresentations about its job placement rates.

Furthermore, the Department will also provide an additional approximately $343.7 million in borrower defense discharges to almost 14,000 borrowers, including borrowers from Westwood College, the nursing program at ITT Technical Institute, and the criminal justice programs at Minnesota School of Business/Globe University. Additionally, the Education Department will provide another $284.5 million in discharges to over 11,900 students who attended institutions such as Corinthian Colleges and Marinello Schools of Beauty.


Veterans Education Success (VES) Statement on the Education Department’s Approval of $415 Million in Borrower Defense Claims