VA audit grounds Oregon vets hoping to use G.I. Bill to become pilots

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Veterans in Oregon and across the country trying to use their G.I. Bill benefits for training are stuck on hold because of a scandal involving expensive schooling paid for by taxpayers.

Some schools in the U.S. are accused of overcharging taxpayers for expensive classes under the G.I. Bill.

One of the schools impacted by the subsequent audit is Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus. There’s no indication that any wrongdoing took place at PCC Rock Creek, according to the Veteran’s Administration, and the other Oregon colleges where veterans hoping to train to become commercial pilots are also on hold.

Two years ago the VA started auditing programs like PCC’s Aviation Sciences Program after reports that some flight training schools were charging the government up to $250,000 for flight training for veterans.

While PCC officials believe they may be close to resolving this issue for students in the Beaverton area, no one can really say exactly how much longer that might take.

U.S. Army veteran Jacob Kuhn has tried to get into PCC’s flight training program twice since April of 2017 using his benefits, and has been denied both times.

“For the VA to be doing this right now to people who have served their country and want to be pilots when there’s a global shortage, as well as pretty massive in the United States, it’s just kind of shocking to have to go through it,” said Kuhn.

In addition to classroom work, PCC offers actual flight training for students through Hillsboro Aero Aviation in Troutdale and Hillsboro.

PCC said it hasn't been able to allow veterans using the G.I. Bill into the program since April of last year because of the ongoing United States Department of Veterans Affairs audit.

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