U.S. Education Department
Good morning/afternoon. My name is Antonio Luna and I’m from Phoenix, Arizona. After completing my active duty in the Marine Corps in 2014, I enrolled in DeVry University to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Web Game Development. I graduated in February 2018 but still haven’t found a job in my chosen field. That’s just one of the reasons why I’m testifying today.
I was persuaded to enroll in DeVry when I attended my military base’s mandatory transition into civilian life classes. The school’s representatives told me a degree from DeVry would guarantee a job in my field within six months and that I’d be earning a salary over $60,000 — much higher than a bachelor’s degree from other colleges or universities could yield. They bragged about how they take care of veterans and how my GI Bill would pretty much take care of all costs. They said their hands-on career advisors and their connections would help me guide me to the perfect career. Why wouldn’t I enroll? This all sounded great. Unfortunately none of it was true.
There were in fact, plenty of out-of-pocket expenses, including all of my books. Also some of my required classes weren’t covered, which led to DeVry issuing me an ultimatum: Pay for the classes or you don’t get that course that semester. So much for the GI Bill covering every cost. Worse, the quality of the education was so substandard that I pretty much had to teach myself. Even so, I was determined to finish and I did.
I worked with DeVry’s career advisors for two years, but they weren’t helpful at all. To this day, I still don’t have a job in my chosen field. I applied to many computer related fields only to be met with rejections and ghosting from potential employers. I felt lost, depressed, and hopeless that I couldn’t find a job with my degree. I worked a couple months as a Pizza Cook and then close to two years as an Warehouse Associate.
I’ve had the privilege of working as a Voter Registration Project Specialist for Maricopa County for a year now. If it wasn’t for this job I don’t know what I would have done.
I’d really like to go back to school at a community college for something STEM-related, something I can actually use. However, since my degree is not transferable, I’d have to start all over again as a freshman. And since my GI Bill is now gone, I’d have to pay my own way, which I can’t afford right now.
Even though DeVry has been hit with lawsuits for their deceptive recruiting practices, I’ve been told I have no recourse. The VA told me they can’t do anything to reinstate my GI Bill because I got a degree. A meaningless degree. I even spoke to the Dean at DeVry but he couldn’t help me. Nobody is helping. Nobody is taking it seriously.
I know my story isn’t unique, which, as a former Marine, infuriates me. I hope you will scrutinize for-profit schools like DeVry going forward and not let them get away with defrauding veterans or any other students.
Thank you for your time.
Download Antonio’s testimony here:Copy of Antonio Luna Testimony Education Department