• Report: #418929

Complaint Review: Capella University

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  • Submitted: Sun, February 01, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, February 01, 2009

  • Reported By:Minneapolis Minnesota
Capella University
Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Capella University, Online University, Michael Offernan, Military Consumers Gi Bill update, no housing stipend for online military learners consumers Minneapolis Minnesota

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In June, 2008 President Bush signed the new GI Bill into law. Eligible veterans will receive more funds for tuition and fees and a housing stipend only if they are going to a brick and mortar school in their local area. Online schools were cut out of the housing stipend benefit for their students. There is a yellow ribbon program to bridge the effects of the old GI Bill to the new one, but the VA is splitting the bill with universities, which means the universities will receive less money in their pocket for the yellow ribbon program and the universities are expected to waiver program fees, not discount them. This will not make many universities very happy, but will help some veterans get through the existing programs that they are in using the old GI bill.

Some of the waived charges may be extra charges not included in tuition, such as weekend workshops, travelling, food, lab fees, and health insurance fees. Also the financial aid funds are going directly to the college rather than in the veteran's hands, so the veteran cannot get the money and drop out of class and keep the money any more. This is fine if the college is going to give the money back directly to the lending institution, but some of the colleges keep the money for a semester and make interest off the funds, which is illegal to do so.

Also, the VA is monitoring what they call the rate of pursuit of education. In other words, the graduation rate and whether the veteran is part time or full time and how long it takes him to graduate, and does he graduate? A university may lose federal funding if most of the military students are taking part-time classes and not graduating within a strict period of time enforced by the VA and DOE.

M. O., Vice Chairman of Capella University says they do not like this change at all. 16% of Capella's student body comes from the military and it will effect them a lot when veterans find out they will not be getting their housing stipend, up to $3,000 per month. At least in the last HEA authorization, August, 2008, online universitiy credits were made equal to other brick and mortar colleges and the credits will transfer to another school of the veteran's choosing to finish his education career. Financial incentives, M.O. says, will force the veterans into brick and mortar schools close to where they live to get the housing stipend. Money talks and moves people to action.

People interviewed by the author of these articles, Elizabeth Redden, in Inside Higher Education, Jan. 2009, said this philosophy goes back to "romantic" times when soldiers coming back from war in the times of WWII and the Vietnam War moved into dormitories or apartments close by and attended university full time at the nation's most elite and expensive colleges. The VA again is offering very generous benefits to our current veterans of foreign wars and this could increase access and open new opportunities for them.

The CEO and President of the Career College Association says the online universities are not fighting this new change and will not lobby Congress for the extension of housing for online learners/consumers. Rather than advocating for their own benefit, they will be there advocating for the students rights and needs. It will be a lot of work just to help keep the veterans in school so the universities don't lose financial aid status because their graduation, retention, and full time status rates go below the expected quota the VA and DOE are enforcing on all schools using the financial aid system. Online schools are being monitored closely through the Secretary of Education's office for the next five years. They must graduate most of their students or risk losing financial aid benefits or closure from the federal government.

Concerned citizen
Minneapolis, Minnesota

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/01/2009 07:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Capella-University/Minneapolis-Minnesota/Capella-University-Online-University-Michael-Offernan-Military-Consumers-Gi-Bill-update-418929. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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