Most people go to college to earn a degree and get a good job. In a competitive job market, it helps to have connections. So when a college or university claims it has relationships with well-known employers, that may convince you to attend. But beware: Claims like this may be a ploy to attract new students — and your tuition dollars. In fact, the FTC says that’s just what one for-profit university did as part of an extensive advertising campaign.
In a proposed settlement announced today, the FTC says that for-profit University of Phoenix, and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, Inc., falsely claimed that their relationships with top companies created job opportunities specifically for Phoenix students and deceptively claimed they worked with these companies to develop courses.
The FTC says that University of Phoenix used a multi-media ad campaign to attract students, including ads specifically targeted to military and Hispanic consumers. The companies’ “Let’s Get to Work” campaign featured several high-profile employers, including Microsoft, Twitter, Adobe, and Yahoo!, giving the false impression that UOP worked with those companies to create job opportunities for its students.
As part of the $191 million settlement, the companies will return $50 million in cash to former students and cancel $141 million in student debt owed directly to the school. The proposed order prohibits the companies from further deceptive business practices. In addition, it requires them to ask consumer reporting agencies to delete the debts from people’s credit reports, give notice to those who got debt cancellation, and make sure people have access to their diplomas and transcripts.
Before enrolling in school, it’s important to do your homework. You can get important information about any school at the U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator. For example, if you enter a school’s name, you can find out if it’s public or private, for-profit or non-profit, its accreditation status, and its student loan default rates.
Also, check out what are people are saying about schools you’re considering. Search online for the school’s name plus words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.”
If you’re looking to advance your education, do your homework to be sure you know what you’re paying for. Check out Choosing a College: Questions to Ask.
Added on December 19, 2019: The FTC will identify people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million University of Phoenix settlement with the FTC. You don’t have to apply or submit a claim to get a payment. If you would like to get email updates about this settlement, please sign up here.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
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In reply to ok so I just began to be a by Michael Jady Spence
In reply to So what your saying is that by Victoria Foote
In reply to I received a letter from by srainbolt
(1) As part of the $191 million settlement, University of Phoenix cancelled $141 million in debt students owed directly to the school. The University cancelled debts that were owed directly to the school by people who first enrolled at the school between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The University cancelled debts owed directly to the school - whether they were charged as fees or some other kind of charge - and will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled.
(2) Also part of the settlement, the companies paid $50 million to the FTC. The FTC will identify people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million. You don’t have to apply or submit a claim to get a payment. If you would like to get email updates about this settlement, please sign up here.
The notice you got about releasing your address to the FTC is related to part (2). The FTC is working on identifying people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million the University of Phoenix paid to the FTC as part of the settlement.
The settlement between the FTC and the University of Phoenix does not affect your private loans or federal government loans.
In reply to I went to school during this by Reshaeb
As part of the settlement, the companies paid $50 million to the FTC. The FTC will identify people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million. You don’t have to apply or submit a claim to get a payment. If you would like to get email updates about this settlement, please sign up here.
In reply to As part of the settlement, by FTC Staff
In reply to When will the FTC notify by julie
In reply to I signed up for UOP in 2014 by Jim800
The FTC will identify people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million University of Phoenix settlement with the FTC. You don’t have to apply or submit a claim to get a payment. If you would like to get email updates about this settlement, please sign up here.
In reply to The FTC will identify people by FTC Staff
In reply to The FTC will identify people by FTC Staff
In reply to I just found out about this by BrendonL
Go to www.FTC.gov/UoP for information about the payments.
In reply to Go to www.FTC.gov/UoP for by FTC Staff
In reply to I graduated from there with a by mbrns81
Borrowers who want to lower their monthly payments on federal loans can get free information from the United States Department of Education about income-driven repayment plans. If you think you were defrauded or deceived you can apply for loan forgiveness through the Borrower Defense to Repayment procedures.