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University of Phoenix Students to get $50 Million Settlement

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that $50 million has been sent to the former students of the University of Phoenix following the settlement to the accusation that the school engaged in deceptive advertising. The payment is part of a record $191 million settlement, reached in late 2019. For accusations raised that the school ran ads that falsely claimed it had relationships with companies like AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Twitter.

According to the ad the university said they could use the relationship with those companies to open job opportunities to students and also shape the curriculum so that the students will be placed in jobs after college. The Federal Trade Commission said that the school had no such connections.

Andrew Smith, Director of the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection said that this is the largest settlement the commission had obtained in a case against a for-profit school. This is an important decision for students so they need facts and not fantasy job opportunities that do not exist. In addition to the nearly $50 million in direct payments to more than 147,000 students, the $191 million settlement includes $141 million to cancel unpaid balances owed directly to the school by eligible students.

For the $50 million, the commission mailed 146,804 checks and issued 677 PayPal payments to students. Those who enrolled at the University of Phoenix between Oct. 15, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2016, and paid more than $5,000 with cash, grants, federal and private student loans, or military benefits. The students who did not get debt cancellation as part of the settlement, and did not opt-out of the University of Phoenix provides student’s contact information.

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