Thursday, October 22, 2015

SENATORS McCAIN, FLAKE & ALEXANDER QUESTION DOD’S PROBATION DECISION REGARDING THE UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX’S PARTICIPATION IN THE MILITARY TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter today urging him to examine and reconsider the Department of Defense’s (DOD) decision to put the University of Phoenix on probation regarding its participation in the DOD Tuition Assistance (TA) Program for active-duty military personnel.

In the letter, the Senators express concern that DOD’s decision is based on vague, technical violations that the University of Phoenix has already corrected or pledged to fix. More seriously, the Senators raise concerns about whether DOD’s decision is based on unsubstantiated allegations by partisan Members of Congress who oppose for-profit institutions.
“The TA program is an important benefit that enables active duty military personnel to choose a postsecondary education program that best fits their needs to enhance both career and personal goals,” the Senators write. “The program also serves as an important tool for the DoD to further the recruitment and retention efforts of our nation’s volunteer armed forces. We strongly believe that these earned benefits and educational opportunities for our servicemembers should not be jeopardized because of political or ideological opinions of some Members of Congress regarding the types of institutions that provide postsecondary education to our troops.”
As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator McCain is committed to thoroughly investigating DOD’s decision. Senators McCain and Flake have also sent letters to the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs today regarding this matter.
The letter is below and here.

October 22, 2015
The Honorable Ashton Carter
Secretary
Department of Defense        
1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301

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