WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), acting within its required approval authority under the law limiting certain advertising, sales, and enrollment practices, notified the University of Phoenix, Career Education Corporation (Colorado Technical University, American InterContinental University), Bellevue University and Temple University, March 9, of the agency’s intent to disapprove the enrollment of new GI Bill students at these institutions.
After careful review and consideration of findings provided by the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General Offices, VA has concluded there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that these schools have utilized advertising, sales, or enrollment practices that are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimation against GI Bill beneficiaries, in violation of the law.
VA intends to suspend enrollment of new students for all programs in 60 days unless the schools take corrective action.
This decision only applies to new GI Bill students, and to the extent allowable under current law, the department will afford current students at these institutions the opportunity to continue their programs of study, provided they have maintained continuous enrollment. Schools may also be prohibited from submitting enrollment certifications for new students or students returning from a break in attendance during the suspension.
Additionally, while VA’s action will not impact current students that maintain continuous enrollment, the state approving agencies responsible for approving courses at these schools may also take independent actions based on VA’s decision. If such action occurs, a decision by the relevant state approving agency to withdraw program approval would remove VA’s authority to issue benefit payments to currently enrolled students as well as new students. However, VA will take appropriate actions to keep beneficiaries informed of any developments that would impact them.
VA is working closely with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, State Approving Agencies, VA-approved Institutions of Higher Learning, other federal agencies and school associations to ensure GI Bill students are provided the best options to continue their educational pursuits.
“Our aim in taking this action is to protect Veterans and their dependents’ GI Bill benefits and comply with the law,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The department is committed to helping beneficiaries avoid any negative consequences that may result.”
VA has notified all affected GI Bill students of their options moving forward. Any GI Bill students impacted by these suspensions may contact VA’s Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday or go to https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/ to submit any questions they may have.