Veterans Among Hardest Hit by ITT Tech Closure

RANCHO CORDOVA -- When ITT Tech shut its doors Tuesday morning, one group of students was especially hard hit. While students who took out loans for tuition will have a chance to get those loans forgiven, veterans say that's not the case for them.

Veterans who had been studying at ITT Tech on the GI Bill are given 37 months of support for schooling. But according to a letter they received from the Federal Government's Office of Veterans Affairs, no matter what happens with their ITT Tech credits, they won't have that clock reset.

"Unfortunately, VA does not have the legal authority to restore GI Bill entitlement you have used to attend ITT Tech," reads the letter from Curtis L. Coy, deputy undersecretary for Economic Opportunity at the VA.

"It feels like crap, you know what I mean," said Daniel Roberts.

At a school that marketed itself to veterans aggressively, those feelings are echoed by many other students.

"Anxious. Lot of anxiety," said Ryan Wills.

Roberts and Wills are both ITT Tech students and both veterans.

They came to study at ITT Tech, in part, because the school told them it catered to military veterans.

"Walk in, they said they support veterans, they support military. They even said most of their income came from us guys using the GI Bill," Roberts said.

But in the last week, the VA informed ITT Tech, and its students they wouldn't pay for an education here anymore. That as federal prosecutors pursue cases claiming the school's promises of employment prospects with an ITT Tech degree fall far short of the employment realities.

At that point, veteran students who had studied at ITT Tech for years were faced with a choice between the lesser of two evils.

"My options were to pay out-of-pocket to continue or find another school that will accept these credits. And that puts me in a pretty bad spot," Wills said.

But now, after the school shut its doors over the loss of GI Bill and federal loan money, neither student even has the option paying out-of-pocket to continue at ITT Tech.

"No warning. Gone. It's messed up. Not just because I'm a veteran. It's messed up too, to all the other guys who were using student aid and everything else," Roberts said.