Updated on March 9 at 3:55 p.m
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs notified Temple University, along with four other universities, it would suspend enrollment of new students through the GI Bill due to the institutions’ “erroneous, deceptive or misleading advertising,” according to the agency’s announcement released today.
The release alleges Temple’s sales or enrollment practices violated U.S. Code 3696, which limits the enrollment of an eligible veteran or person in courses offered by an institution which utilizes advertising, sales, or enrollment practices of any type which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimation, according to Cornell Law School.
The move is directly related to the Fox School of Business’ misreporting of false information to a rankings organization, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“Temple University and the Fox School of Business provide an excellent academic experience for all of its students, including veterans,” wrote Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News. “We have just received this notice from the Department of Veterans Affairs and will respond as requested to demonstrate the substantial corrective actions that have been undertaken.”
Fox’s years of misreporting was revealed when the university announced in July 2018 that Fox “knowingly provided false information” regarding their Online MBA program to U.S. News and World Report. The scandal prompted investigations from Pennsylvania’s Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Education, The Temple News reported.
The VA intends to suspend enrollment of new students in 60 days unless Temple and the other institutions take corrective action, according to the release. The department will allow current students to continue their studies as long as they have maintained continuous enrollment.
The VA also suspended enrollments for the University of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University, American InterContinental University and Bellevue University, according to the release.
“Our aim in taking this action is to protect Veterans and their dependents’ GI Bill benefits and comply with the law,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in the announcement. “The department is committed to helping beneficiaries avoid any negative consequences that may result.”
Temple currently has 986 GI Bill students, according to the VA. A spokesperson for the university was not immediately available for comment.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows veterans who served on active duty after 9/11 to receive educational assistance at both public and private universities, according to the VA’s website.
The VA notified all affected GI Bill students of their options moving forward, according to the release. Any GI Bill students affected by the suspensions may contact VA’s Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 or visit its website to submit any questions they may have.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would suspend enrollment of new GI Bill students at Temple for 60 days. The agency will suspend enrollment in 60 days if Temple does not take corrective action.