American Legion Veterans Employment and Education Division Director Joe Sharpe and Assistant Director John Kamin were interviewed by Vets Voice Radio on April 13 to discuss how student veterans can protect themselves from predatory colleges. Listen to the podcast here.
One situation that involved predatory lending was in 2014 when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Corinthian Colleges Inc., for luring tens of thousands of students to apply for and receive expensive private loans to cover tuition.
The most recent iteration of this unsavory phenomena has been the many scandals surrounding for-profit colleges and universities, veterans and the GI Bill. Last year, more than 6,000 student veterans were unpleasantly surprised when ITT Technical Institute closed more than 130 campuses, leaving them stranded with limited transferability options for their earned credits.
And the abrupt recent closure of Westech College in Southern California left roughly 500 students scrambling to get tuition refunds or to transfer their credits to other schools. The shutdown came as a result of financial troubles in which the U.S. Department of Education not only reported serious findings of noncompliance, but also changed how Westech could access money for students’ financial aid by requiring the school to give out its money and then apply for reimbursement from the government, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
In the same manner that staff noncommissioned officers warn their troops about the used car dealers outside the gate of the base charging 28 percent interest on loans, veterans should be cautious and take steps to protect themselves when deciding how to use their GI Bill.
Veterans impacted by school closures are advised to contact an American Legion service officer in their area by visiting www.legion.org/serviceofficer.