Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Buyer Beware: Servicemembers, Veterans, and Families Need to Be On Guard with College and Career Choices

GI Bill Complaints (downloaded February 8, 2021)

Has anyone noticed that Harvard has the fourth highest number of GI Bill complaints? Harvard? Is this a typo?

While several of the schools on the current list of worst actors have bad reputations (e.g. University of Phoenix, Ashford University (aka University of Arizona Global), Colorado Tech, New Horizons, Keller (aka Devry, and Keiser University), Harvard seems to be one of those schools that's not like the other. At first I thought this might be an input error. But on closer look, it appears the complaints may be about Harvard extension and their certificate programs. Haven't been able to verify what these numbers mean. In any case though it illustrates a point: Just because a school has a good label doesn't mean you are getting a quality education or a fair deal.

This also goes to show that servicemembers, veterans, and their families--and all other consumers--must apply the maxim "buyer beware" to every school they consider. Be patient and do your homework. Ask questions and demand credible answers. Use your critical thinking skills. Don't merely rely on word of mouth, advertisements, and rankings

If you decide to go to school and use your DOD Tuition Assistance, MyCAA, or GI Bill benefits,  choose a good school and a major that results in gainful employment--in a meaningful career.  Make sure you also learn skills that are transferable when the economy changes and when things get tough. 

And if you get ripped off, make a formal complaint to the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, or Department of Education. Veterans should also contact Veterans Education Success for help. 

I have more ideas about college and career choices posted at Military Times, called 8 tips to help vets pick the right college.