More than 5,300 student vets at Ashford U. could lose GI Bill benefits
SAN ANTONIO — More than 5,300 student veterans and their beneficiaries enrolled in online courses at Ashford University could be cut off from their GI Bill benefits next month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The potential interruption of education benefits — including tuition, books and a living stipend — will go into effect for students entering any term after June 30 if the school’s parent company, Bridgepoint Education, is denied or delayed approval from the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education by that date.
VA looks to state agencies to approve higher education programs to receive access to GI Bill tuition payments. Iowa’s Department of Education pulled their certification for Ashford after the university announced it would shutter its brick and mortar university in Clinton, Iowa, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ashford recently shifted their headquarters to San Diego, where Bridgepoint is based.
The vast majority of Ashford’s students using the GI Bill attend online classes, according to VA’s school comparison website. Another group of about 5,000 student veterans and beneficiaries are not currently enrolled but took classes on or after Aug. 1, 2015, according to a VA spokesman. Those students could also be affected if they choose to enroll in future classes.
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