New Protections for Students of Private Occupational Schools Who Cannot Complete Courses Due to Military Service

On April 3, 2014, Governor Patrick signed into law An Act Relative to Veteran's Allowances, Labor, Outreach, and Recognition, also known as "VALOR Act II."  Included within this new law is a provision that protects students enrolled in private occupational schools, or post-secondary academic courses at a public or private institution of higher education, from incurring academic or financial penalties as a result of performing military service.  Specifically, where a student is unable to complete an academic course because that student is called to, or enlists in, active duty, schools must allow that student the option of:

  • Completing the course at a later date without penalty; or
  • Withdrawing from the course with a full refund of fees and tuition paid. 

If a student chooses to complete the course at a later date and the course is no longer available upon the student's return, the student must be allowed to complete a replacement course for equivalent credit without penalty.  If a student chooses to withdraw from the course, the student's record must reflect that his or her withdrawal is due to active duty military service.

This provision of VALOR Act II is now in effect, and can be found in the General Laws at M.G.L. c. 15A § 43(a). Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

A copy of this notice may also be found on DPL's website for Occupational Schools: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/government/oca-agencies/dpl-lp/schools/