If you were one of the 15,000+ student veterans enrolled in ITT Tech, the email you received earlier this week notifying you of the school’s immediate closure may have come as a shock. But what’s even more shocking are the very few resources and options you’re being left with as a result.
Only once before has a school of higher education closed resulting in total loss for veteran students. But even that was on a much smaller scale, leaving no real precedent for a situation of this magnitude. While everyone from the VA to the SVA is scrambling to make sense of the situation, we’ve gathered as much information as they’ve released thus far so that you can get started on your next plan of action.
What happens to the credits you’ve already accumulated at ITT Tech?
The good news is the credits you’ve earned are yours to keep. But as for the bad news, there have been numerous reports by veterans already that very few other schools are interested in accepting ITT transfer credits. It is up to each individual school to decide whether or not to allow students to transfer in from ITT Tech, so be sure to do your research.
What happens to the months of GI Bill eligibility you already used at ITT Tech?
This has to be the most disappointing answer thus far. As of right now, each month of GI Bill benefits used at ITT Tech is essentially gone. You will not receive those months of eligibility back. However, there are reports that the Washington, D.C.-based Student Veterans of America has already begun the lobbying process with Congress to change this. We recommend staying vigilant on their progress as it could mean a reinstatement of your benefits.
What if you used federal loans in addition to your GI Bill benefits?
The Department of Education has already released a statement saying all students (non-veteran and veteran) who took out school loans for their education at ITT Tech can file to have them 100 percent forgiven. Please be aware: There is some contradicting verbiage in their announcement regarding having your loans discharged OR being able to transfer your credits. They provide an 800 number you can call for clarity as to your particular situation here.
What should you do now?
While no one can say for sure what options are right for you, we can do our best to provide you a few resources that may help make your decision process easier. Read through all of the options available so you’re able to make a well-informed decision on your future. If we have faith in anything, it’s that you’ll be able to adapt and overcome.
– All funding for your school was immediately shut off upon announcement of ITT Tech’s closure. This includes book stipends, monthly housing allowances and any refund checks you used to receive. If this is money you were depending on for your livelihood, a new plan will be needed ASAP. If you’d like to look into a new school to transfer to, check out our Military Friendly Schools list. If you feel you’re ready to make your way into the workforce, have a look through our Job Board.
– The Federal Student Aid office of the Department of Education has started a live webinar series with dates scheduled out until the end of the month. By visiting their website you can register for a webinar where you can directly ask your questions to their officials or view a previously recorded version.
– That same office has also set up an FAQ page for ITT Tech students. They have answers to more specific questions like deadlines to apply for loan forgiveness or how you can obtain a copy of your transcript. (Please note, these FAQs are for all students and are in no way veteran-specific. Be sure to ask questions and get clarification as to which guidelines pertain to you.)
– Be sure to keep an eye on the VA’s Breaking News Page. This is where they will continue to update you on information specific to the use and/or recoupment of your GI Bill benefits.
– As mentioned above, the Student Veterans of America is a great organization that routinely rallies on student veterans’ behalves. Follow along on their website to see the progress they hope to make in regaining your lost benefits.