Military Connection: California School Suspended from GI Bill

ITT-Tech

By Debbie Gregory.

All fifteen campuses of one popular vocational school in California have been suspended from enrolling new Veteran students.

The California State Approving Agency for Veteran Education (CSAAVE) has suspended ITT Educational Services, including its ITT Technical Institute. CSAAVE falls under the authority of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), which answers to the federal department, the Veterans Affairs (VA).

One of the most generous and commonly used Veteran benefits is the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The benefit is administered by the VA, and can be used at colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools that have been approved by the VA and its approving agencies in each state.

Under the suspension, CSAAVE will no longer approve new benefits claims for Veteran and dependent students who apply to use their benefit at ITT Educational Services programs in California. The reason for the suspension is that the school was reported to have failed to provide required financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“CalVet takes very seriously our duty to ensure our California Veterans receive the education and training they are paying for with their earned GI Bill benefits,” said CalVet Deputy Secretary of Veteran Services, Keith Boylan. “CSAAVE suspended ITT because ITT does not meet the required accreditation standards for approval.”

According to CalVet, ITT Educational Services’ failure to provide the SEC with audited financial statements was sufficient reason to support the suspension of fund eligibility.

ITT Educational Services has until July 13th to produce the required financial documents. If it fails to do so, CalVet has the authority to withdraw the company’s VA provider status in California. At that point, all students currently enrolled at the campuses would no longer be able to use GI Bill benefits to pay for their education at ITT schools in the state.

There are approximately 1,400 students enrolled in programs with ITT Educational Services through utilization of VA education benefits. If the school can produce the documents by the July deadline, the suspension should not interfere with the continued education of these Veterans and dependents, as long as they do not stop their program for a semester or more and try to restart at a later time. If the school fails to do so, these Veteran and dependent GI Bill students will have to find other schools to finish their degrees or certificate programs. Unfortunately for these Veterans, while vocational/tech schools often lead directly to employment in specific fields, they are also notorious for not providing transferable credits for students to use at other institutions.

For the sake of the 1,400 Veteran students enrolled at ITT Educational Services, let us hope that the school can resolve its issues with the SEC and CalVet, and better serve their GI Bill students in the future.

Veterans currently enrolled at ITT Educational Services institutions who have questions about the future of their benefits can contact the VA at 1 (800) 827-1000, or send their questions online using the VA’s Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS).

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Military Connection: California School Suspended from GI Bill: By Debbie Gregory