The military offers financing opportunities for active and veteran military personnel to further their education. In many cases, service personnel may be required to advance their education for promotional opportunities and to advance their rank. Due to the ever changing environment military personnel encounter, on-line and for-profit educational institutions may offer added convenience and ease of obtaining an education. However, not all opportunities are the same.
Service members should be aware that a number of these for-profit academic institutions are seeking to leverage the guaranteed tuition reimbursements through the GI Bill and other federal financing options. Some of these institutions offer low-quality programs with extraordinary high costs and may provide deceptive information and/or data in an effort to entice service personnel and to garner the guaranteed federal funds. Examples of misleading information may occur in the following areas: high graduation rates, inflated job placement statistics, promises of regional accreditation, transferability of credits, and low costs.
What to do:
- Always be skeptical of unsolicited offers. If you didn’t request the information, disregard it.
- Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics, guarantees of job placement, or a guaranteed refund if you do not become employed in your field of study within a certain amount time after graduation.
- Before submitting an application, verify if the college is state licensed and if any disciplinary action exists from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.
- Ask the school for graduation and drop-out rates for the program you are seeking and get specific documentation to verify the claims—keeping in mind this data may be skewed.
- Do your own research—Search for the school’s overall ranking within the program you are seeking, get the opinions of current/former students, and ensure you are fully informed prior to making any financial commitment for enrollment.
If you believe you have been victimized by an education scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.