Hi, my name is Amanda Sacoto-Dunbar. Following my time in the Army, I decided to go to school. I completed a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in criminal justice, without any issues. I knew what a good education looked like. In 2020, at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to go back to school to become a nurse. I enrolled at Herzing University. I planned to attend through the VA’s VRRAP program, which paid for veterans like me to go back to school. However, I ended up leaving after a short time, because the school was clearly subpar compared to my past experiences in higher education.

From the start, there were red flags. Herzing misled me about which campus I could use my VRRAP benefits at, so I was not able to use my benefits and actually ended up $4,000 in debt to them. I applied to the Tampa campus, as that was near where I lived. The school told me that I could only use VRRAP at the Orlando campus, but they said if I enrolled in the Orlando campus, I could then transfer to the Tampa campus and keep using my VRRAP benefits. I followed the school’s guidance, but they were wrong, and I was not able to use my VRRAP benefits at the Tampa campus. The school told me that I would need to pay out of pocket.

Things went from bad to worse when I started my next semester. One of my teachers was a complete disaster. Her classes often ended after only thirty minutes, even though classes were supposed to take an hour or more. Once, after I missed an important cardio-vascular lab because of a health emergency, I asked the teacher for the prep materials before conducting the make-up lab. She refused to meet with me or give me the readings, videos, or other resources. During the semester, many students left, and eventually only ten remained in the class.

Several other students and I filed complaints with the administration. But the deans and advisors that we complained to either ignored us or sent us to dead ends. This experience was the last straw for me, and I decided to withdraw.

I am now in $4000 of debt to Herzing, and I am here today to make sure that what I experienced does not happen to another student or veteran.

Thank you for your time.

Amanda Sacoto-Dunbar Comments