PHOENIX, AZ – The Federal Trade Commission is sending nearly $ 50 million in refunds to more than 147,000 University of Phoenix students who have been lured by deceptive ads.
The Phoenix-based, for-profit college chain has used ads to tout its connections with companies like AT&T, Yahoo !, Microsoft, Twitter and the American Red Cross, the FTC said. The university also misled students into believing that the university worked with these companies to tailor its curriculum to secure jobs for students in companies, the FTC said.
The university, which has two sites in the Phoenix area and one in Tucson, also has to pay $ 141 million to write off students’ outstanding balances with the school. This amount does not include other debts, such as federal and private student loans or military benefits, according to the FTC.
In a statement sent to Patch on Wednesday afternoon, the University of Phoenix said the following:
“The FTC made allegations regarding a campaign that ended in 2014 that have not been tested through litigation and do not constitute factual findings on the part of the FTC or a court. The University has not admitted any wrongdoing and continues to believe that it acted appropriately, ”he added. the statement reads.
“This settlement agreement has allowed us to continue to focus on our core mission of improving the lives of our students through career-relevant higher education, and to avoid any other distractions from serving students that may have resulted protracted litigation. “
The FTC mails over 140,000 checks and issues 677 PayPal payments to students who meet the following criteria:
- Enrolled in master’s, bachelor’s, or associate’s programs with the university between October 15, 2012 and December 31, 2016.
- Paid over $ 5,000 in cash, scholarships, federal and private student loans, or military benefits.
- Did not secure debt cancellation as part of the FTC settlement, and:
- Did not withdraw from college by providing student contact information to the FTC.
More than $ 21 million in cash return checks have been sent to 181,633 recipients in Arizona so far, according to FTC state by state database.
To contact the FTC regarding the state of the University of Phoenix settlement, you can send an email.