While I was enlisted in the US Army, I tried to continue my higher education in my off-duty hours by using the military tuition assistance program (TA) to attend college classes. During a part of my enlistment, regular class attendance was virtually impossible due to long and irregular work hours, so I enrolled in DeVry University’s online courses. This decision turned out to be a horrible mistake on my part. DeVry was nothing but a disruption to my education, financial health, and career. Working with the DeVry staff was a 9-month nightmare that I would not care to repeat.
I used the military tuition assistance program to pay for a portion of my tuition for DeVry. I processed the tuition assistance paperwork as required by the military education center, they paid the army’s portion of the tuition as promised, and I paid the rest out of pocket. However, DeVry repeatedly billed me for the ENTIRE tuition bill – including the portion ALREADY PAID by the US Army. Attempts to contact DeVry’s finance staff were exceedingly frustrating. They were rarely responsive, and when they replied they simply stonewalled the problem while late fees were piled on to my balance.
During this time I suspected that the military TA program had made some administrative errors which prevented payment, so I contacted my military education center’s finance specialist – the person in charge of handling TA payments to various colleges. That finance specialist showed me
clear proof that the electronic fund transfers from the military to DeVry had taken place in a timely and accurate manner. She also contacted DeVry’s finance staff herself in order to straighten out the matter. She called DeVry and left multiple messages, but DeVry was even less responsive to her than they were to me; the matter remained unresolved and the bills and late fees continued.
In the summer of 2004, I finally got fed up with DeVry. I stopped taking classes; I warned DeVry that unless they resolve my billing issue, I was going to take legal action against them for defrauding me and for defrauding the US Army. This finally got their attention. By some “miraculous
coincidence”, they almost immediately “found” the electronic trace numbers for the aforementioned TA fund transfers and settled the payment issue with me.
Regardless of whether this turn of events was the result of deliberate deception or gross incompetence on the part of DeVry, it turned out to be an incredibly disruptive influence on my education, military career, and personal finances. I made a wasteful mistake by attending uninspiring and mediocre online classes from an overpriced "college" such as DeVry. I should have wised up when I noticed their over-the-top sales pitches (i.e. exaggerated job placement & salary claims, & even a self-comparison to Harvard & Yale). Luckily, their attempt to cheat me (and cheat the US military) forced me to recognize DeVry for the money-grubbing degree mill they are. I completed my undergraduate studies at a real college following the end of my military enlistment. I hope other military service members and veterans will not make the same mistake I did by attending DeVry or other institutions like it. There is good reason that for-profit colleges carry with them the stigma of being greedy degree mills, so stay away from them and enroll in a REAL school!