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Documents Reveal U. of Phoenix Paid for Special Access to a Military Base

u of p

By Debbie Gregory.

Newly released documents have revealed the unsavory military recruiting practices used by the University of Phoenix that led to a recruiting ban in 2015.

Military regulations adopted as a result of President Obama’s executive order were supposed to “ban inducements, including any gratuity, favor, discount, (or) entertainment” for the “purpose of securing enrollments of Service members.” Recruiting activities are supposed to be limited to education fairs and other narrowly approved activities where every school would have equal access.

But the regulations say nothing about sponsoring events.

The University of Phoenix paid the military $25,000 to sponsor a concert by country rapper Big Smo on the parade ground at Fort Campbell.

The for-profit college, which had become the largest recipient of taxpayer subsidies under the post-9/11 GI Bill, was also allowed to erect advertising banners and place promotional materials in high-traffic areas and in welcome packets for newly arrived soldiers at Fort Campbell, in exchange for financial payments.

For-profit colleges have been criticized for preying on veterans and low-income students. Two of them, Corinthian and ITT Tech, filed for bankruptcy and closed their doors.

Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa said the University of Phoenix is now in compliance with federal regulations and may resume sponsoring events on bases, as long as the sponsorship payments follow the protocols designed to prevent predatory practices.

Student Veterans of America’s vice president Will Hubbard said the contract between Fort Campbell and the University of Phoenix was crafted to make service members believe the military was endorsing the for-profit college.

“The University of Phoenix is spending substantially above and beyond what any public or nonprofit private school can afford,” he said. “Frankly, that’s because (other schools are) spending their money on education.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Better Protection from Student Loan Fraud Needed By Veterans and the Rest of Us

Student-Loan-Fraud

By Debbie Gregory.

Veterans, with their attractive and generous GI Bill education benefits have been targeted by predatory, for-profit colleges. Often times, they leave with a partial education, or if they do graduate, the diploma comes with a mountain of debt. And for some, they find out too late that their credits won’t transfer or they don’t qualify for the licenses they need.

Until it filed for bankruptcy in 2015, the Corinthian College group was a leader in student loan fraud. Federal authorities, as well as the California attorney general’s office have gone after Corinthian. California’s AG successfully obtained a judgment for more than a billion dollars due to deceptive advertising and unlawful lending practices, and the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau obtained a 40 percent reduction in the private loans owed for tuition at Corinthian Colleges.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education discharged student loan debt for over 27,000 students who enrolled in one of Corinthian’s programs, and it has promised debt relief to 23,000 more former students seeking debt relief based on allegations of fraud.

ITT Tech was another for-profit that filed for bankruptcy, leaving more than 35,000 students in limbo when it closed.

Corinthian, like many other for-profit schools, used fine-print forced arbitration clauses in its student enrollment contracts to have any litigation against the school dismissed.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has not been able to secure loan relief to students.

Relief may be on the way in the form of a rule that requires schools taking federal aid to drop forced arbitration, allowing students to pursue fraud claims in court. But DeVos has delayed the rule and is considering reversing it.

Not all for-profit colleges are in favor of arbitration. The University of Phoenix has eliminated mandatory arbitration clauses in student-enrollment agreements. Greg Cappelli, CEO of University of Phoenix’s parent company said that the decision “is the right choice for all of our students.”

DeVry University has also eliminated mandatory arbitration clauses.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a new rule that restores the ability of students, service members and other consumers to band together in court when banks, student lenders and other financial companies act illegally.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

U of Phoenix Under Investigation: Military Connection

Military Connection: University of Phoenix

By Debbie Gregory.

The Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs are addressing widespread concern about the quality of education at for-profit colleges and unaccredited institutions. These schools have siphoned off billions of dollars in taxpayer-supported benefits for veterans and military personnel.

The University of Phoenix, the country’s largest benefactor of GI Bill funds, is under federal investigation for possible deceptive or unfair business practices, its parent company, Apollo Education Group, announced last month.

The investigation seeks to determine if “certain unnamed persons, partnerships, corporations, or others have engaged or are engaging in deceptive or unfair acts or practices in or affecting commerce in the advertising, marketing, or sale of secondary or postsecondary educational products or services or educational accreditation products or services.”

There are allegations that the University of Phoenix has paid the military for exclusive access to bases, held recruitment events disguised as résumé workshops, and included military insignias without the required permission on custom-engraved “challenge coins” handed out by recruiters.

Apollo group is the latest in a string of for-profit colleges being investigated by federal authorities for alleged impropriety. On May 12, the SEC announced fraud charges against ITT Tech and two of its top executives for allegedly lying to investors in an alleged scheme to cover up losses from student loans. Last April, the Department of Education levied $30 million in fines against Corinthian Colleges for inflating job placement numbers at its subsidiary colleges after an investigation for allegations of fraud. Corinthian shut down all 28 of its locations including Heald College, Everest College and WyoTech, leaving hundreds of veterans in the lurch after the parent company declared bankruptcy.

Since 2009, the school has reaped more than $1.2 billion in GI Bill money. Last year alone, it received $345 million to educate Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, along with $20 million in tuition assistance from the Pentagon.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

U of Phoenix Under Investigation: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory