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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

VA Seeks to Recover $67,000 Overpaid to Veterans Because of College’s Errors

09/04/2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education.  September 3, 2013.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid out at least $67,000 too much in education benefits to student veterans at Pima Community College, in Arizona, because the college failed to promptly tell the federal agency when students quit attending, the Arizona Daily Star reported. The department is now trying to recover the money from veterans who kept receiving student aid after cutting ties with the college.

During a routine check last year on how the college was complying with regulations regarding federal education benefits for military veterans, a team from the VA reviewed the records of 50 student veterans at Pima and found 29 errors. College officials then conducted their own review and found mistakes in the files of some 767 student veterans, about a quarter of all students who received VA benefits at Pima between the fall of 2010 and the fall of 2012. The problems are described in a letter that the department sent to the college in November and in the college’s response several months later. Those documents were recently obtained by the Daily Star through a public-records request.

College officials told the newspaper that Pima has corrected most of the problems and is taking further steps, such as adding workers to the area responsible for VA record-keeping.