When U.S. Marine Anselm Caddell completed his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, all he wanted to do was pursue a degree in criminal justice. It was a path he believed would provide him with the skills and credentials for a career in the security industry. A recruiter from the for-profit Brown Mackie College in Caddell’s native Ohio promised him that a degree from this “veteran-friendly” college would enhance his impressive military résumé and guarantee the career in security to which he aspired.
Instead of working toward a brighter future, however, Caddell found himself idling in high school-level courses and sparring with a financial services department that seemed determined to drive him into debt. Worst of all, when he’d had enough and tried to transfer to a California community college to finish his degree, he found that contrary to what Brown Mackie had told him, he was unable to transfer any of the credits and would need to start over from scratch. Caddell’s Brown Mackie education had also exhausted his eligibility for student loans.