Educating Sergeant Pantzke

Westwood College's Letter to FRONTLINE

Editor's Note: Jason Longmore used federal loans and grants to pay for most of his tuition at Westwood College. He used his GI Bill benefits to pay for living expenses while attending. Westwood argues that this makes Longmore an unfair example of a veteran using GI Bill money to attend school. But what Longmore did is not uncommon. Many veterans acquire loans quickly, while waiting for their GI benefits to start. As a result, GI Bill money is often used to pay living expenses as well as tuition costs.

Westwood raised similar questions about Longmore to the Senate's Health, Education, Welfare and Labor (HELP) Committee. The committee reviewed the same material sent to us by Westwood, and came to the same conclusion: Longmore would not have received GI Bill benefits had he not been enrolled at Westwood, so taxpayers helped cover the costs of his Westwood education, whether for tuition, housing or other living expenses while enrolled.

Westwood maintains that FRONTLINE did not offer the company the opportunity to respond to our reporting. FRONTLINE requested an interview with Westwood officials, but the company declined. They chose instead to engage with us on background through a public relations firm.

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Posted June 28, 2011; updated June 29, 2011; updated June 30, 2011

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