National Commander Charles Schmidt issued the following statement following the news Westech College in Victorville, Calif., closed earlier this week.
“On April 6, 2017, The American Legion learned of the failure of yet another for-profit school that is directly and adversely impacting the lives and career potential of America’s veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs informed us that Westech College in Southern California had abruptly closed on April 2 and abandoned 37 student veterans who are now faced with limited academic credit transferability challenges. Due to this sudden and irresponsible closure, these student veterans will not receive their GI Bill Basic Allowance for housing – directly impacting their economic well-being and stability. The American Legion shares the frustration of all Westech College students and faculty. I’m appalled that Westech College did not provide the students or faculty sufficient advanced warning so that they could prepare for this major disruption in their lives. When for-profit schools fail, America’s veterans suffer. The American Legion stands with those veterans affected by this closure and we have service officers standing by to assist. It continues to be a shame that there are no federal regulations that allow these student veterans to restore their lost benefits or seek remedy for their financial hardship. This is exactly why The American Legion has asked the U.S. Congress to pass HR 1216 – The Protecting Veterans From School Closures Act of 2017. We urge all veterans affected to contact American Legion service officers now.”