The University of Phoenix, an online college, is under investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for potential deceptive or unfair business practices, its parent company, Apollo Education Group, said Wednesday.
According to CNNMoney, Apollo must release sensitive documents regarding marketing, tuition, billing, accreditation, financial aid, fees, student retention and military recruitment practices, among other things, that go as far back as Jan. 2011.
The University of Phoenix has reportedly collected more than $488 million in tuition and fees for veterans, “a figure that dwarfs nearly every other institution identified as a GI recipient by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
The federal government began tracking for-profit universities that recruit low-income students that qualify for large amounts of financial aid, leave them with debt that aggregates well after graduation and then makes repayment difficult.
CNNMoney reports that new federal rules were implemented on July 1 to hold universityies with career-training programs responsible for students’ returns on investment of their degree programs. This regulation has the potential to shut down roughly 1,400 schools.
According to the new rules, graduates annual loan repayments can’t exceed 20% of their discretionary income.
“The clock is ticking for bad actors in the career college industry to do right by students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told CBS News. “We know many have taken steps to improve or to close programs that underperform, but we believe there is more work to be done across the board so students get what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job.”
Industry officials, however, are claiming the allegations against them are unfair because “for-profit schools have expanded education opportunities to communities that wouldn’t otherwise have access.”
Apollo is reportedly evaluating the demand and intends to cooperate fully with the FTC.
Amidst the FTC claims, stock at Apollo has fallen 18%, student enrollment has been declining over the past five years and it has closed more than 100 campuses in recent years.
In the midst of this investigation, many students from the University of Phoenix are qualifying for loan forgiveness. Call us at (844) 692-6684 or fill out the form below to see if you qualify.
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