Keiser University has agreed to offer thousands of former students free retraining and has pledged that its admissions counselors and marketing materials will not misrepresent offerings, under an agreement with Florida's attorney general that was announced Wednesday, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. For the last two years, Florida officials have been investigating the recruiting and marketing practices of for-profit colleges. Keiser was for-profit when the investigation started but has since become a nonprofit entity. Keiser has denied any wrongdoing and the agreement does not include any admission that the university did anything wrong.
Among the pledges made by Keiser in the agreement are that it will not advertise its programs as "fully accredited," that it will not say programs have "limited availability" unless that is true, and that federal student loans will not be described as if they have no cost to students. Further, Keiser must "clearly and conspicuously disclose" that credits may not be transferable to other colleges.
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 30, 2012 - 3:00am
In a surprise move, Grand Canyon University this week said it would not accept the gift of a 217-acre campus in Northfield, Mass., according to a corporate filing. Five weeks ago the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores announced that it had selected the for-profit institution after a lengthy search for a Christian owner for the property. Grand Canyon said it planned to spend an estimated $150 million to develop a second, 5,000-student residential campus at the new location. The filing revealed little about the about-face, noting only that the company had determined that accepting the campus would not be in its "best interest." However, in an interview with the Religious News Service, Grand Canyon's CEO said the city of Northfield had resisted the planned campus.
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 24, 2012 - 3:00am
Potomac College will reimburse students for courses they take from StraighterLine, an online provider that offers 42 entry-level courses, according to a StraighterLine announcement. The for-profit college will pay students for the $999 fee for up to 10 StraighterLine courses, the equivalent of a full year of college, after students transfer the courses to Potomac and then successfully complete a semester there. StraighterLine's courses are not credit-bearing, but come with a credit recommendation from the American Council on Education.
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 17, 2012 - 3:00am
The Apollo Group on Tuesday announced that it was closing 90 of the University of Phoenix's satellite learning centers and 25 of its campuses, leaving 112 remaining locations. The closures are part of a "re-engineering initiative" that the company said will help the bottom line by 2014. About 13,000 students, or 4 percent of those pursuing degrees at Phoenix, will be affected by the shuttering of locations. But those students will continue to be served online and at alternative sites, according to the company.
The news accompanied the release of Apollo's disappointing fourth-quarter earnings, with a 10 percent decline in annual revenue and a 15 percent dip in enrollment at Phoenix. The company also announced the elimination of 800 jobs, but not faculty positions. Phoenix last week introduced a tuition freeze for current and incoming students.
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 16, 2012 - 3:00am
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Bridgepoint Education Inc. over the compensation of admissions staff members, the company announced Monday in a corporate filing. The for-profit is also facing a serious accreditation challenge for its Ashford University, which is scrambling to retain regional accreditation.
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 12, 2012 - 3:00am
The University of Phoenix on Thursday announced an immediate tuition freeze for all new and currently enrolled students. Tuition rates will be locked in for students as they work toward degrees, university officials said, as long as they meet eligibility requirements and stay enrolled. The university said the freeze was an effort to keep tuition levels affordable at Phoenix, which is the largest for-profit institution. Tuition rates vary at the university, but some bachelor's degree programs are $420 per credit.
Kaplan's higher education division announced Friday that it will close nine campuses, The Washington Post (which owns Kaplan) reported. The company did not say why the campuses were being closed, but did recently disclose that an accreditor had recently warned that three campuses might lose recognition. Students currently enrolled in the campuses being closed will be permitted to finish their courses, but new students will not be enrolled.