Aug 12 2014

How the University of Phoenix Exploits the GI Bill

The gushing tones of ads for the University of Phoenix belie the fact that the for-profit institution has graduation rates that are among the lowest in the nation. In fact, the University of Phoenix was red-flagged last year by USA Today, which conducted a study of institutions like it whose loan default rates were higher than its graduation rates.

At some campuses like the University of Phoenix at San Diego, only 10% of students actually graduate. What is remarkable is that the vast majority of its students are veterans, whose higher education is paid for by tax payers through the GI Bill.

The Center for Investigative Reporting just released a report citing that the university appeared to be in violation of a federal rule called the 85/15 rule in several undergraduate and graduate programs. The rule, intended to prevent schools from exploiting the GI Bill, prohibits more than 85% of all students from being veterans.

Congressional attempts to close loopholes allowing companies like University of Phoenix from relying so heavily on GI bill money, have been instantly quashed, in the face of their massive and unprecedented lobbying. In a recent example, Republican Congressman Joe Kline of Minnesota, who has received nearly $50,000 in campaign contributions from University of Phoenix’s parent company, scuttled a bill that would have prevented it from double dipping into federal funds.

GUEST: Aaron Glantz, reporter at The Center for Investigative Reporting covering veterans and domestic military issues.

Click here to read Glantz’s writings.

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