IF YOU WERE DECEIVED BY A SCHOOL, WE CAN HELP:
- Please report any deceptions or unfair treatment to the Department of Veterans Affairs' new complaint system and to the Defense Department's new system if you used Tuition Assistance or MyCAA. Protect your buddies by letting VA & DOD know who the bad actors are. You can also call the VA Office of the Inspector General hotline at 1-800-488-8244.
- Please also report any suspicious activity, deceptions, or unfair treatment to the Department of Education. Also tell them if you are having problems with financial aid, student loans, student loan companies, or debt collectors.
- If you faced fraud or deception regarding a private loan, such as from a bank or from your school, you should alert the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Please alert your state Attorney General, who may help you on an individual basis. Many state Attorneys General are suing schools and recovering funds for the students; it's worth asking your state AG for help! Look on the internet for your state's "attorney general consumer complaint" form.
- 21 states have student tuition recovery funds or guaranty funds, which are pots of money available to reimburse students in certain situations. Some states even cover the $ value of your lost GI Bill! It's worth applying to your state fund. Click here for more info.
- If your college closed, you can get free financial aid counseling at www.NextStepsEd.Org (a partnership between US Education Department, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and Lumina Foundation). You are also eligible to get your Pell Grants reinstated under a rule the U.S. Education Department announced on October 28, 2016. To make sure, call the U.S. Ed Dept (days, nights, wknds) at 1-800-4FED-AID. That helps a lot because Pell Grants are free, not loans.
Remember: Help is available. You are not alone!
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
- VA's Education Call Center: 1-888-442-4551
- Free help available at Veterans Education Success or email us at: email@example.com.
Got Loans? Help is available!
You can apply to get your federal student loans forgiven (and even get reimbursed for loans you already paid) if your school:
- Took out loans in your name without your permission or signed your name without your knowledge (application form is here);
- Defrauded or deceived you (online application form is here);
- Closed (and you were enrolled within 120 days of its closure) (application form is here); or
- Wrongly enrolled you in a program you couldn’t benefit from (such as if you lacked a GED) (application form is here).
You can also get your loans forgiven or reduced if you are:
- Totally disabled;
- Working in a Public Interest job (including military, government, and non-profit);
- Working as a Teacher; or
- Not making enough money to pay your loans. The Education Department has 4 terrific programs to lower your monthly payments! Most students don't know about it! Apply here.
Please beware of scams. Apply only through the U.S. Education Department.
Please know loan forgiveness should not count against you on your taxes. If you have trouble, let us know.
Active duty? You have rights!
- No loan - private or federal - can charge you more than 6% interest rate while you're on active duty, and 0% interest rate if you're serving in a hostile area. Learn more here and here.
- You're entitled to postpone your loan payments while you're on active duty. Learn more here and here.
- You're entitled to be excused from having to file routine paperwork with the Education Department while on active duty. Learn more here.
- The Defense Department will repay some loans in some situations. Ask your designated Military Personnel Officer for help finding out.
Want help? Free lawyers at: Help@VeteransEducationSuccess.Org
"I am so thankful for Veterans Education Success. They have done more for me in 4 months than anyone has done for me in 4 years. People telling me there is nothing that could be done and I will just have to pay off the student loan. I am blessed to know I have a wonderful organization that will stand by my side and fight until the end." - Jonathan Ngowaki, Marine Veteran
"Every time I called, VES answered. They stayed on top of my case and helped me get the VA to stop garnishing my wages and go after my school. They always updated me and made sure I had the tools to get what I needed." - Ernesto Cruz, Army Veteran
College Search Tools
- "College Scorecard" by the U.S. Education Department (allows comparison of colleges and searches by the program you want or region of the country; includes earnings after graduation and average debt load)
- "GI Bill College Comparison Tool" by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (great tool for veterans with data on every college eligible for the GI Bill).
- "TA DECIDE" by the U.S. Department of Defense (great tool to pick a college to use active duty Tuition Assistance)
- Community College Finder
- Is your school financially unstable? Check the Education Department's list of troubled schools (click here).
Scholarships for Student Veterans
Free college tuition money exists through many scholarships for student veterans, such as:
- Pat Tillman Foundation Scholars (click here)
- Wells Fargo's Veterans Scholarship (click here)
- Sentinels of Freedom Scholarships for severely wounded (click here)
- Thanks USA Scholarship (click here)
- List of scholarships at Student Veterans of America (click here)
- List of scholarships at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (click here)
- List of scholarships at U.S. Department of Education (click here).
- Scholarships for military children (click here and also here)
- Scholarships for military spouses (click here and also here).
But be careful: Some "scholarships" offered by a college are only tricks to lure you into a "bad actor" college, with hidden fees. We can help you figure out which scholarships are for real.
“I specifically asked ITT Tech before signing up whether their degree was the same as any other public 4-year university and was told YES. I found out while applying at NYPD, LAPD, Seattle PD and 23 other police departments that NONE of them accepted ITT Tech credits. Once I found out that my time and money spent at ITT Tech was worthless, I tried to transfer my credits to a community college. I was told I have to start completely over as a freshman.”