Testimony of Veteran Daniel Dresen
U.S. Education Department’s Negotiated Regulatory Rulemaking Panel
Good afternoon, my name is Daniel Dresen and I’m a US Army National Guard veteran from North Highland, California. After serving overseas in Iraq, I wanted to pursue a career in social work. Recruiters from the University of Phoenix sold me on their degree path and assured me I’d incur no out-of-pocket tuition costs because of my GI Bill benefits and the school’s active duty discount.
After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I was about to start working toward my master’s degree in Social Work at Phoenix when I learned the program was shut down due to being not accredited. I also found myself $11,000 in loan debt, and when I wanted to transfer to Sacramento State to pursue a different master’s program, I was told only 3/4 of my credits would transfer. In the meantime, I was passed over for job after job, because employers didn’t take a bachelor’s degree from Phoenix seriously.
My whole plan for what I wanted to do had been thrown out. Back then, I had no experience and no recognized training so finding employment was difficult. I enrolled at a junior college to earn a certificate in early childhood education just to get my foot back in the door after wasting three years of my life.
I started going back to school with USC to complete the program UoP baited me with and didn’t have. It took me 7 years, 2 additional DANTES CLEP exams, and 3 additional electives from a community college but I’m now in an MSW program.
I wanted to share my story about Phoenix with you today because I am one of many student veterans who was lied to, scammed and had my life upended. I hope this committee will regulate and/or penalize for-profits like Phoenix so they can no longer get away with pretending to be fully accredited and “military friendly.”
Thank you for your time.Daniel Dresen Education Hearing Testimony Feb 2022