University of Phoenix to pay $191 million to settle 'deceptive ad' probe


WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it was deceptive in advertising close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.

Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.

The FTC said that the University of Phoenix had falsely advertised that it had a relationships with AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Twitter which could lead to jobs for students.

The school’s advertisements also indicated falsely that big companies helped it build a curriculum which could lead to jobs, the FTC said.

The University of Phoenix is one of a long list of for-profit colleges that have attracted the attention of U.S. regulators because of accusations that they were not honest about metrics to judge the success of their students.

In 2016, DeVry University agreed to pay a $100 million settlement to the FTC, which alleged that the school had not been honest about how successful its graduates were in finding well-paid jobs. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Nick Macfie)



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