July 2, 2020

Trump Administration Slams Student Veterans Once Again

Trump Administration Slams Student Veterans Once Again

In 2016, candidate Donald Trump repeatedly promised to aid America’s veterans, but for the second time in about a month, the Trump administration has taken a step that will severely harm veterans seeking to improve their lives through higher education.

Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs reversed its suspensions from eligibility for G.I. Bill funding of five universities, including predatory for-profits the University of Phoenix and two schools operated by Perdoceo Education, American Intercontinental University and Colorado Technical University. All three schools got in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission and other law enforcement agencies for deceptive advertising and recruiting. The VA today concluded that each of those schools had sufficiently cleaned up its act.

As to the two Perdoceo schools, the VA wrote in the a letter today to the company’s CEO Todd Nelson, that they had “ceased engaging” in the bad behavior that led to their suspension.

I’m not sure how the VA could believe this, if they had made the most minimal effort to review available evidence, including a report we published two weeks ago, in which four current or recent employees of the two Perdoceo schools offered detailed accounts of ongoing deceptive and coercive recruiting at the schools.  Since I published that article, more employees have contacted me with additional allegations. 

Banishing the two Perdoceo schools from the GI Bill might have spelled the end of the company, because it has needed those veteran education benefits in order to comply with a federal rule barring for-profit colleges from getting more than 90 percent of their revenue from Department of Education grants. 

Even the least cynical observers out there may be troubled to know that the top two higher education aides to Trump Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Diane Auer Jones and Robert Eitel, both were previously senior executives at Perdoceo (before it changed its named from Career Education Corp.) 

The Trump VA’s decision comes in the wake of Trump’s veto of a bipartisan bill that would have given student veterans, and other students, a fair chance to have their federal loan debts cancelled if they could show they were deceived by their schools.  The veto restored a regulation issued by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a rule that the National Commander of the American Legion, James W. “Bill” Oxford, called “fundamentally rigged against defrauded borrowers of student loans.”

Trump’s promises to veterans have turned to be as phony as his own scam Trump University.

UPDATE 07-02-20:

Perdoceo was quick to inform Wall Street of the VA decision.

Here’s some of what AIU and CTU employees are writing to me about the VA decision:

— What a joke. They just keep getting away with it….We’re calling non stop, over and over, most folks are just looking for jobs. We’re at the point in the enrollment cycle where it doesn’t matter if I call 10 times a day… To get straight to the point, that [VA] letter is bs.

— Oh Dear God Noo!! Well considering the source I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s disgusting. This is a disgrace.