Department of Veterans Affairs plans to stop the enrollment of veterans under the GI Bill at a number of universities due to “erroneous, deceptive, or misleading” practices involving enrollment, advertising and sales. The Federal Trade Commission and various state attorneys general took a close look over the past five years and determined that the schools’ actions were in violation of U.S. laws. The enrollment suspensions begin on May 9, 2020.
Those schools with suspended GI Bill certifications include: Bellevue University, Temple University, University of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University and American InterContinental University.
Current students can stay in their programs if they have been continuously enrolled, but the schools won’t be allowed to give enrollment certifications to new students or any student who is coming back after a break. The schools have 60 days to take corrective action and provide proof of that to the VA, should they want to fight the suspensions.
The VA isn’t the only entity that could take steps. Individual state departments that approve the courses might take actions of their own. If a state steps forward and withdraws approval for courses, the VA would no longer pay benefits to enrolled students who choose to continue.
At the end of a five-year investigation, in August 2019, Career Education Corp. (parent company of Colorado Technical University and American InterContinental University) paid $30 million to settle charges levied by the FTC that it claimed to be affiliated with or recommended by the U.S. military or could help with job searches. In December 2019, the FTC went after Phoenix University to the tune of $191 million for deceptive advertising aimed at military and Hispanic students, and false impressions of jobs at major companies such as Microsoft and Twitter.
Current GI Bill recipients have been notified by the VA.
For more information, contact the VA’s Education Call Center at 888-442-4551.