Senator calls for passage of legislation that would protect student veterans enrolled in collapsed for-profit colleges against further disruption and harm to their education
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement today following an announcement from ITT Educational Services, Inc. that the for-profit chain will discontinue academic operations. Two weeks ago, the Department of Education announced it would place additional restrictions on ITT Tech and increase oversight to protect students and taxpayers. The company is under investigation by at least 18 state Attorneys General and is being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Securities and Exchange Commission.
“ITT Tech has cheated students, taxpayers, and veterans for far too long. Now that this bad actor has collapsed under the weight of its own wrongdoing, we must do everything we can to ensure that its former students aren’t left holding the bag. Students left in the lurch – buried under mountains of debt with little to show for it – should be given relief,” Blumenthal said. “And today’s news should put the entire for-profit college industry on notice: predatory practices, the exploitation of taxpayers, and the deception of students have no place in our higher education system.”
Blumenthal, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has authored bipartisan legislation that would provide relief for veterans’ whose education benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill are affected by the permanent closure of certain educational institutions. The legislation was originally introduced after the abrupt closing of for-profit institution Corinthian Colleges, Inc. left more than 400 veterans who were attending a Corinthian school stranded without a degree or any benefits for school, housing, and other basic necessities. A provision based on this legislation is included in the Veterans First Act, which was passed out of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs earlier this year.
“The pernicious, predatory exploitation of our veterans by for-profit schools is a truly egregious problem that must be stopped,” said Blumenthal. “ITT’s closure is only the most recent example of bad actors in the for-profit college industry failing to serve our nation’s student veterans. The thousands of student veterans whose Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are impacted by ITT Tech’s demise shouldn’t lose their opportunity to pursue higher education. This legislation’s protections are needed now more than ever.”