Testimony of Veteran Daniel Dresen
U.S. Education Department’s Negotiated Regulatory Rulemaking Panel
February 2022

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