Photo by Dwight Burdette

Legion supports efforts to assist veterans impacted by ITT closures

The American Legion is supporting federal efforts to assist student veterans impacted by the closure of ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) by providing educational counseling through its service officer network.

ITT Tech announced it was permanently closing all its campuses nationwide Sept. 6, citing actions by the U.S. Department of Education to ban the for-profit institution from enrolling new students using federal financial aid over concerns of financial mismanagement. This announcement directly affects more than 6,000 military veterans expected to attend fall 2016 classes using GI Bill funds.

Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to provide expert assistance, which is free to all veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability benefits, these professionals also provide information, referrals and resources on education. Recently, service officers have received information to specifically counsel veterans affected by the ITT Tech closings.

“We are deeply troubled by ITT Tech’s abrupt closing and the blockade it has placed in front of veterans seeking higher education,” said American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt. “Since its inception, The American Legion has honored its commitment to veterans and their families in readjusting to civilian life. Today, our service officers assist veterans with understanding their benefits, solving VA’s health-care maze and finding educational opportunities that match their interests. We are honored to serve as the nation’s vanguard for veterans’ education benefits by counseling these veterans through our service officer network.”

To contact your nearest American Legion department service officer for ITT Tech information or questions on VA benefits, visit www.legion.org/serviceofficers.