Veterans are often sought out by schools with low graduation and job-placement rates because of their access to federal aid.
Eric Dean made a career of calling military veterans to urge them to enroll at Ashford University, a for-profit school based in San Diego that offers online degrees. Dean, who was instructed in sales techniques at Ashford, said he tried to befriend hundreds of current and former sailors and soldiers — many from the nation’s poorest communities — to convince them to attend.
“I’ve seen the inside,” Dean told NBC News in an interview, saying he had been “pressured into essentially selling my soul to throw fellow veterans under the bus” by misleading them about the educational outcomes about the school’s graduation and job-placement rates.
Dean, who’d served in the Navy, quit Ashford in December 2017 because he said he objected to the school’s practices and now says veterans with PTSD were among his recruits.