One of the perks of serving in the military is being able to go to college on the Defense Department’s dime.
But the number of service members taking advantage of this education benefit — often hailed as a key military recruitment and retention tool — has been declining in recent years, with all branches seeing drops in fiscal 2017, federal data show.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has decided not to pull GI Bill payments from Ashford University students as it awaits a court decision on the school’s appeal against the VA and California’s decision on whether the state will certify the school. The school has been in danger of losing its eligibility to accept GI Bill funds since last year.
California’s attorney general sued Ashford University Wednesday, alleging officials made false promises to entice students and illegally tried to collect their overdue debt. The online for-profit school educates thousands of active-duty and veteran students each year.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a notice to Ashford University, a top enroller of military students, that it has 60 days to comply with the law or lose its ability to receive VA funds. Such a result would prevent students from using their Post-9/11 GI Bill, as well as other VA education benefits, at the school.