Ashford Resolves 4-Year Dispute Over GI Bill Benefits

February 18, 2020

Ashford University has received approval from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to preserve its eligibility to receive Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The Friday decision comes after a four-year dispute involving the for-profit, mostly online university and state approving agencies in California and Iowa.

Disagreement over Ashford's GI Bill eligibility in California contributed to the VA's move last year to suspend its contract with the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education. The federal VA and the California agency also were at odds over the state agency's attempts to crack down on online programs offered by out-of-state providers.

The VA, acting in the California agency's stead, last week decided to approve most of Ashford's programs for GI Bill eligibility, said Vickie Schray, executive vice president and chief external affairs officer for Zovio, the former Bridgepoint Education, which owns Ashford. The university is working with the VA to finalize various logistical steps around its GI Bill eligibility.

"We are very pleased that this four-year ordeal has come to an end," Schray said. "This approval eliminates any uncertainty for our veteran students to continue to use their hard-earned benefits at Ashford University."

Ashford has been seeking to convert to a nonprofit institution since 2018.

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