Mr. Kennedy is the first attorney to file suit against the United States to force the government to honor its obligation to pay scholarships that it awarded to college students in the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Sometimes the government decides to terminate a scholarship because a student is no longer being considered for officer candidacy, but the decision not to commission a student does not always justify terminating a scholarship. Sometimes the government orders student to reimburse the scholarship benefits he already received, but reimburse obligations are limited to certain contexts.
The government's decision to terminate a scholarship or, worse, to seek reimbursement of a scholarship can have disastrous financial implications. For example, a reimbursement obligation probably cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, although the law is not yet clear on this point, and the government has at its disposal administrative self-help measures to collect the debt.
Although the law governing ROTC scholarships is just beginning to evolve and although the government has broad discretion over officer candidates, the good news is that the government can only terminate an awarded scholarship in accord with proper legal authority. Mr. Kennedy would be honored to advocate on behalf of those who lives have been put into financial hardship by the government's arbitrary decision to terminate or obtain reimbursement of an ROTC scholarship.
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