PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL: University of Phoenix parent under FTC investigation, stock drops

Career College Central Summary:

  • Just when things were starting to look up for University of Phoenix parent Apollo Education Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), the Phoenix-based company is being investigated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
  • Yesterday, the FTC issued Apollo a “Civil Investigative Demand” regarding potential deceptive advertising, sale or marketing of its services to students, according to an 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • The demand requires that the Phoenix-based education company produce documents and information of UOP's business practices from Jan. 1, 2011, to the present. That information relates to marketing, recruiting, enrollment, financial aid, tuition and fees, academic programs, academic advising, student retention, billing and debt collection, complaints, accreditation, training, military recruitment and other compliance matters, according to the SEC document dated July 29.
  • This FTC investigation comes after the Higher Learning Commission removed the “Notice” status from UOP and its sister Western International University.
  • This time two years ago, the HLC reaffirmed the accreditation of UOP through the 2022-23 academic year, but at the time placed it on a two-year Notice status because of concerns regarding governance, student assessment and faculty scholarship research for doctoral progress.
  • The company has been struggling to improve its image and recruitment tactics, going so far as laying off 1,500 people – most of them enrollment counselors – so far this year.

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