VA unable to reinstate GI Bill benefits for ITT students

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to reinstate GI Benefits for students who enrolled in ITT Technical Institute, but that may not be legally possible.

Carmel-based ITT Educational Services Inc. shut down all of its ITT Technical campuses on Sept. 6 in the wake of the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to ban the school from enrolling students who rely on federal financial aid.

“Because of the closure of ITT Technical Institute and through no fault of their own, nearly 300 Hoosier servicemen and servicewomen, along with approximately 700 other students, are now prevented from completing their chosen pathway to a career,” Pence said in a written statement.

The VA, however, doesn’t have the legal authority to restore any benefits used at ITT, according to information on its website.

“VA does not have the legal authority to restore any GI Bill benefits you have used to attend ITT, even if you are not finished with the classes this term,” the post reads.

When asked to answer some questions, a media representative only confirmed that the VA had received the letter.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides veterans with 36 months of tuition, plus expenses.

Since many colleges do not accept ITT credits, Pence’s administration said the governor is working with state agencies to make funding available for students to take Prior Learning Assessments. Those assessments are designed to evaluate a student’s education or training and then grant college credit based on the results.

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