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FTC settlement against University of Phoenix

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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. 

FTC settlement with University of Phoenix

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.

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Jobs & Making Money

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I was one of the people that believed their false advertising, got my masters degree in counseling there and never was able to find the job they promised. I don’t work in the field, I have over 80k in student debt (that started at 22k- I don’t even know how it multiplied 4 times). How can I keep up with settlement news? It would be good to have that shark student loan forgiven especially that I never use my “education”

I attended Phoenix from 2011 and graduated in 2015 I i didn't get a job as promised and ended up with debt and paid money to the school I was having personal crises and ended. Up homeless now I'm a graduate with a degree and no job it just piece of paper that lead me nowhere I was promised if I stayed in school and finished it would change my life with a career in my field now I have to go back to another college and start over it not fair for the Government to have to pay the debt that they falsely created or the students because of false advertisements and false promises. My question is how do the students receive compensation do we need to file a class action lawsuit?

Under the settlement between the FTC and the University of Phoenix, the University will cancel $141 million in debts that are owed directly to the school by people who first enrolled at the school between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.

The University will cancel debts owed directly to the school whether they were charged as fees or some other kind of charge. The University will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled. The University will contact the people who are eligible for debt cancellation. You don't need to file anything.

The University also paid $50 million to the FTC as part of the settlement. The FTC will identify people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million the University paid to the FTC. You don’t have to apply or submit a claim to get a payment. Please sign up here like to get email updates from the FTC about this settlement.

I went to the University of Phoenix, will I get a refund?

Under the settlement, the University of Phoenix will cancel $141 million in debts certain former students owe to the school. Those former students first enrolled during the time period people were probably exposed to the school's deceptive advertising.

University of Phoenix will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled. Read the press release for more information.

We will publish details about the FTC refund process on www.consumer.ftc.gov when it's available.

Any idea what enrollment years we are talking about on the loan forgiveness?

Under the settlement, the University of Phoenix will cancel $141 million in debts of people who first enrolled during the period starting October 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2016, during the time people were probably exposed to the school's deceptive advertising. The University will cancel debts that people owe directly to the school. The debts will be forgiven whether they were charged as fees or some other kind of charge.

University of Phoenix will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled.

So, only students who owe the school directly? Not student loans that are owed due tio attending UOP?

I got an email stating they sent the government some money for my federal student loan. My taxes paid off my federal loan last year. Am I going to get my money back now?

What about before 2012 i graduated in 2009 i should be included as well theu promised us jobs and i still have not found one

I'm wondering about this too. I finished some time in November 2011. I wasn't a victim of this particular advertising but I was told they had career services and all but guaranteed on paper that they helped students get jobs. It took a year or so probably to get anything, and only because I was friends with a manager. I got an IT degree and have a long history of doing that on a personal level, but my first interview for an IT position they literally laughed when they saw this school's name.

Not only did the school not help, they steered me towards forbearance rather than a payment plan, while still trying to get me to do a bachelor's with them. They behaved like telemarketers working in sales, for multiple years.

Yes what about those of us that graduated before 2012. We were also promised the same thing and I still owe over 70K in debt. I feel like my degree is a laughing stock. When companies see the Univ of Phoenix it is as if anyone can get one of those degrees.

I was enrolled during those years for two degrees and not working in the field, I did get financial aid I am not sure if that applies?

Yes. I just received news mine had been canceled

Was your financial aid through a federal loan? Or through another private loan?

I enrolled in Dec 2010 my graduation date was 2014. Would this include me since I attended during this time period? Or did I have to start my enrollment in Oct 2012?

How can i check and see if my loans will be forgiven i was in school during that period?

The settlement between the FTC and the University of Phoenix does not affect loans that students got from the federal government or private lenders.

Under the settlement, the University will cancel $141 million in debts that are owed directly to the school by people who first enrolled at the school between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The University will cancel debts owed directly to the school whether they were charged as fees or some other kind of charge.

How do we apply for a refund I’ve moved since I attended university ofphoenix

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.

I attend 2008 graduated 2011 I was told under false pretense at that time as well because I’ve yet to have been employed with my degree from UOP companies looked at it as not credible. Now I’m stuck with loans I need help . Any recommendations for me,

The Federal Student Aid Office of the US Department of Education has information about repaying student loans at www.StudentLoans.gov.

I was enrolled in 2015 how do I apply for this

University of Phoenix will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled.

When will these e-mails be sent out?

I received my emails from UOP last Thursday.

Can you please share what email the notification via email came from?

Most students have student loans through federal student loans or private loans and not owed directly to the school. which means most students will not get their refund. I was excited to hear the settlement until I read the fine print.

Hi. I have a similar circumstance. Have you filed a formal complaint? I hope they do something about these additional years and degree programs.

Does the affected reap benefits of the 50M as well as the debt cancellation? or is it either or?

I just dont understand. This is all misleading. I went to school there between those times but since I do not owe the school directly I do not qualify. Most loans got through Sallie Mae or the Dept of revenue. Who can I contact on this?

The Federal Student Aid Office of the US Department of Education has information about repaying student loans at www.StudentLoans.gov.

Yay, FTC! These people should go to JAIL! Predators, all them!
Advertising on tv/radio/internet is CONSTANT regarding "on line" Universities to make your "dream" come true...They prey on desperate people trying to make a postitve change in their lives. Its DISPICABLE, GrEEDY, and OUTRAGEOUS! Im glad you are doing something about this. THANK YOU FTC Job well done.

Do you know if this refund applies to students who paid cash upfront for classes between the affected date?

Do you owe money directly to the University for fees or some other kind of charge?

The University will cancel the debts of students who owe fees or other charges directly to the school, for students who enrolled for the first time between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The University will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled.

I am eligible for the time frame. What if I was paying the amount to them. Do I receive my funds back? Thanks

Hi, I’m a graduated student with two degrees within those years. Nowhere near a job in my field. However, I have students loans in which the UoP supplied the lender to me. Will I be a student who is offered these funds or cancelled debt? It’s the wording of “owing the school directly” that throws me off.

The settlement between the FTC and the University of Phoenix does not affect loans that students have with the federal government or private lenders. To find out who your lender is, look at your account online, or look at the paperwork you signed when you took out the loan.

Under the settlement, the University will cancel $141 million in debts that are owed directly to the school by people who first enrolled at the school between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The University will cancel debts owed directly to the school whether they were charged as fees or some other kind of charge.

The University also paid $50 million to the FTC as part of the settlement. The FTC will identify people who are eligible for a payment from the $50 million the University paid to 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.

I took the online classes and curious to when will people be notified of the refund and how that determination is made. I think the school is a rip off and I have not had any luck finding a job in my field. And the cost to attend is extremely high. I have paid back a lot of money and still don't see any progress being made of getting close to paying it off.

To get email updates about this settlement, please sign up here.

I went to the University of Phoenix $300.. And I w And I went to Apollo School of Phoenix And I paid them $8,000 cash. Well I'll be getting a refund from both schools

I was denied by UOP because I took out a student loan to pay them so I don't owe them directly. This is BS - who still owes them on the books from 20212 - 2016?

I was also someone who went to UOP and understood that I would have a job as well. i was told by an advisor that any money borrowed would not have to be paid back. I enrolled. I was almost finished with my program, when I was told that I had to complete yet another degree and that the program I was offered and almost finished with was no longer available to me. I had to drop out. I soon learned from thr Advisor who enrolled me into the school to start with was earning monies for enrolling students, and now I also learned that I did indeed have to pay all funds back. I had no problem with this, due to the fact that I would earn an AA degree. But, when I was suddenly pushed into another program that I did not sign up for.... that is when I learned that there was something very wrong. I had no chioce but to drop out. Now, I am stuck with a huge bill accruing interest evry month for something I was forced out of. i never got to complete the program I signed up for. Yet, I owe over 18,000.00.

Good job FTC! Good job getting these student’s debts forgiven!

They are not including students who took out federal loans. I have no idea how students owe the university of phoenix. They have to pay as they go or the university will not let them continue. So what the heck???

How will students know if their loans are fore given or refund etc? I also need my transcripts.

Under the settlement, the University of Phoenix will cancel $141 million in debts certain former students owe to the school. Those former students first enrolled during the time period people were probably exposed to the school's deceptive advertising. The settlement doesn't affect students' private loans or federal government loans.

University of Phoenix will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled. The notice will come by email or paper mail. The notice will have information about getting transcripts.

When is the time period?

Under the settlement, the University of Phoenix will cancel $141 million in debts of people who first enrolled during the period starting October 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2016, during the time people were probably exposed to the school's deceptive advertising. The University will cancel debts that people owe directly to the school. The debts will be forgiven whether they were charged as fees or some other kind of charge.

University of Phoenix will send a notice to each person whose debt to the school is being cancelled.

what happens to enrollments prior to 2012? Is there any relief?

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