Rep. Mark Takano and Six Colleagues Send Letter to Department of Defense Urging Continued Protection of Servicemembers Using Military Education Benefits

Washington DC – Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) and six colleagues sent a letter to the Department of Defense yesterday urging it to continue protecting servicemembers and taxpayers by enforcing its memorandum of understanding with the University of Phoenix.

On October 7th, the Department of Defense placed the University of Phoenix on probationary status, barring the for-profit school from recruiting on military bases and from enrolling new servicemembers using Military Tuition Assistance and MyCAA benefits. The letter asks the Secretary of Defense to remain steadfast in enforcing the terms of its memorandum of understanding.

“The University of Phoenix… faces investigations by at least three state Attorneys General, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Education Inspector General. Meanwhile, [the University of Phoenix] continues to benefit from federal education assistance. In fact, it is the largest recipient of Post 9/11 GI Bill funds and the fourth largest recipient of Tuition Assistance [from the Department of Defense]. At the same time, its students hold more cumulative debt than any other school in the country and only 1 in 5 of its online students actually graduate,” the letter states.

“We believe that cumulatively, these MOU violations, various investigations, and concerning statistics certainly warrant continued enforcement by DOD.” 

In addition to Congressman Takano, the letter was signed by six U.S. Representatives, including Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Janice Hahn (D-CA), and Michael Honda (D-CA).