California regulators bar university from admitting veterans

San Diego’s University of Phoenix (UoP) campus has been banned by California regulators from admitting veterans to seven university programs after auditors found the college guilty of improperly targeting veterans.

According to a state order uncovered by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), the University of Phoenix was told “not to enroll any additional students in the programs that violate the 85/15 ratio.”’

The 85/15 ratio is a federal regulation that stipulates that no college shall approve enrollment for a course in which 85 percent of students “[have] all or part of their tuition, fees or other charges paid for them by the educational institution or [the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs].”

A July 9th letter from Education Specialist Dan Yonovitz confirmed the ban on veteran enrollment.

“UoP shall not enroll any veterans/eligible persons in the aforementioned programs unless it is approved by Mr. Hawley,” the letter read. Ray Hawley is San Diego's Education Liaison Representative.

However, according to the University of Phoenix, only one of the seven programs listed exceeded the 85 percent threshold—and it has agreed to voluntarily close enrollments to VA students for that program.

According to UoP, the veteran enrollment figures for the programs in question are as follows:

-B.S. organizational security and management – 89.62%

-B.S. human services – 25.98%

-B.S. information technology - 71.43%

-B.S. management – 57.14%

-M.A. education– 69.23%

-M.S. administration of justice and security (criminal justice) – 66.67%

-MBA - 62.57%

"The one program in San Diego that is over the ratio is enormously popular with veterans,” Ryan Rauzon a spokesman for University of Phoenix told Campus Reform. “That is something we are enormously proud of."

"The entire program [organizational security and management] has 106 students in it, 95 of them are veterans. If six non-veterans enroll in that program, it would be in compliance.”

The University of Phoenix has reportedly provided auditors with the updated figures and are awaiting the “official acknowledgement in the form of a final closing letter to the audit.”

The University of Phoenix has received over $95 million in GI BIll funding since 2009, “more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined,” according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a report from a Senate committee headed by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) found that eight of the top ten largest recipients of money from the post 9/11 GI Bill were for-profit colleges.

UPDATE: UT San Diego reports that the Federal Veterans Affairs have corrected the 85/15 enrollment compliance issue at the University of Phoenix San Diego. "[V]eterans can continue signing up for classes uninterrupted."

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @CalebBonham