You have the right to investigate training alternatives. Be aware that tuition charged by institutions offering similar training programs can vary greatly. You are urged to check VA GI Bill Comparison Tool which provides key information about college affordability and value to help you choose the best education program for your needs. http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/school_decision.asp. You may also seek payment of GI Bill benefits for other types of training or career objectives, including apprenticeship/OJT and Entrepreneurships.
You have the right to fully explore the success of a program, prior to enrolling. You may wish to check out the school facilities and equipment, inquire about instructor qualifications and class sizes, observe a class, or talk to current students. You may also consider contacting recent graduates to learn about their experience with the school.
You have the right to check with the Better Business Bureau, or other consumer protection agencies, to find out if complaints have been filed against the school. You also have the right to verify the school's standing with any accrediting association and/or licensing agency.
You have the right to clear information about the value of the training. Are the credits transferable to other institutions you may attend in the future? Will the training satisfy requirements for employment, or is it necessary for the position you are seeking?
You are entitled, by State Law, to receive a Performance Fact Sheet (PFS) containing information about the programs offered, which includes completion and placement rates, licensure exam passage rates, and salary/wage information BEFORE signing an enrollment agreement.
You are entitled to a clear statement of the total cost for completion of the program, including tuition, equipment, and fees.
You are entitled to a clear explanation, without coercion, of all financial aid options, before you contract for any student loans. You are responsible for paying off a loan whether or not you complete the program. Failure to pay off a loan can lead to financial problems, including inability to get a future loan or grant for another training program, inability to get credit to buy a car or home, or garnishment of wages by an employer. You must begin repayment of the loan in accordance with the terms detailed within the financial aid documents.
You have the right to read and understand the contract, and all other materials, before signing the enrollment agreement, contract or document.
You are entitled to a clear explanation of the school cancellation/withdrawal policy and procedures, to understand how to withdraw or cancel, and be informed of any financial obligations you will incur.
You are entitled to a clear explanation of the school refund policy, which can vary greatly. If you withdraw from a course after the first day of class, an overpayment of VA benefits can result. It is not uncommon for a school to charge the entire tuition cost at the point when you have completed just 60 percent of the program. If an overpayment is assessed, the VA will send you a debt letter for the cost of the training you did not receive. For example, you may drop at the 60 percent point, and be asked by the VA to repay 40 percent of the cost of the tuition. A debt related to payment of the housing allowance may also be assessed. Ensure that you review the school refund policy to understand the consequences of withdrawing before the end of the term.
If you enroll in a clock-hour program, your VA benefits can be terminated as follows:
Once you have completed the scheduled program hours specified on your signed Enrollment Agreement, VA will be notified. If you take an approved Leave of Absence (LOA), the new contracted end date will be reflected on the LOA approval form and reported to the VA. Your contract end date cannot be changed or adjusted due to absences (excused or unexcused) within your enrollment.
If you fail an evaluation period you will be terminated for VA benefits, if warranted by the school academic progress standards. You may be re-certified for a failed period of instruction, provided you meet the academic progress standards. You are allowed to be re-certified for a failed period of instruction and have your enrollment extended past the approved length of the program.
You have the right to submit a complaint on the GI Bill Feedback System if you are unable to resolve a complaint with the school by visiting the following link at the GI Bill website: http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Feedback.asp
You have the right to file a complaint with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by contacting the following:
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 980818 West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818
Physical Address: 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400 Sacramento California, 95833
Phone: (916) 431-6959 Toll Free: (888) 370-7589 Main Fax: (916) 263-1897
Web site: www.bppe.ca.gov