Indiana Delegation Files Legislation to Assist Veterans Harmed by ITT Tech Closure

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Indiana Delegation Files Legislation to Assist Veterans Harmed by ITT Tech Closure

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Luke Messer (IN-06), Todd Young (IN-09), and other members of the Indiana congressional delegation filed legislation today to assist veterans harmed by the recent closure of  ITT Technical Institute.

ITT Tech ceased operations last week, closing 130 campuses nationwide and impacting an estimated 40,000 students, including nearly 7,000 veterans.

While current federal law allows students to have their federal student loans discharged if they are unable to complete a degree program due to the closure of an institution, there is no similar provision for veterans who used GI Bill educational benefits to pursue a degree.

H.R. 6003 would allow veterans to recover their GI Bill educational benefits if they were using their benefits at a college or university that closes, preventing them from completing their degree. The bill would apply to all veterans who were enrolled at ITT Tech at the time it closed.

“Our veterans fought to defend the American Dream for all of us – we can’t let them lose their own shot at the American Dream,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “We have a responsibility to help veterans who, because of circumstances beyond their control, have been left without the degree they were working toward. This bill ensures they can make full use of the benefits they earned.”

“Thousands of veterans invested their time and educational benefits to attend ITT Tech, and now they are left without a degree or path forward,” Messer said. “As part of our enduring commitment to America’s veterans, we must be ready to assist the servicemen and women who use their benefits to pursue a degree at an institution that has failed.”

“The veterans impacted by ITT Tech’s closure deserve an immediate resolution,” Young said. “The first item on our Congressional checklist must be to make these veterans whole, with no justification for delay. It is my hope to see our legislation move swiftly to passage, as it guarantees every single veteran receives, in full, the education they earned.”

Indiana Reps. Susan Brooks (IN-05), Larry Bucshon (IN-08), and Todd Rokita (IN-04) are also sponsoring the bill.

“GI bill education benefits are a promise that we make to the brave men and women who serve our country, and it’s one that our nation must keep,” said Brooks, in whose district ITT Tech was formerly based. “The opportunity to further your education and develop the skills and expertise for a career after the military is an opportunity that our veterans earn through service. This bill makes sure that every veteran has this opportunity, and protects our veterans when an institution of higher education closes. We owe it to our servicemen and women.”

Messer also sent a letter to the Department of Education last week demanding more information about the potential sale of ITT Tech’s campuses, other proposals offered by ITT Tech to reimburse students, and what actions are being taken by the Education Department to protect taxpayers.

The Department of Education created a webpage to provide information and assistance to ITT Tech students here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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