University of Phoenix Cleared in Financial Aid Investigation

The University of Phoenix has received a clean bill of health from a federal investigation of its financial-aid policies.

On Tuesday, parent Apollo Group released a letter issued Feb. 8 by the U.S. Department of Education in which the agency concluded that the school had initiated or completed acceptable remedies on three financial-aid issues.

"There were no significant adverse findings in the program review," Apollo wrote in a statement signed by Brian L. Swartz, its chief financial officer and senior vice president, and filed along with the letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In December, five members of the department’s San Francisco office randomly sampled 30 student files on the three aid issues. The first centered on whether the University of Phoenix provided adequate counseling about student loans, including repayment options and debt-management strategies.

The second focused on whether the school properly accounted for tuition and fee waivers in aid packages so that the total amount of assistance didn’t exceed federal limits. Such discounts are given to military personnel and university employees, for example.

The third issue dealt with proper financial-aid treatment when a student withdraws or is terminated from the university.

On all three points, the school embraced acceptable actions that rendered the investigations closed, the department said.

Apollo spokesman Manny Rivera said that the department had no other investigations centered on the university and that the company welcomed the findings.

"We are committed to maintaining rigorous internal controls to help ensure compliance with our obligations to the department," he said in a statement.


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