The University of Phoenix laid off 470 employees on Tuesday, according to The Arizona Republic. The move comes after Phoenix's parent company, Apollo Group, announced in February that it was in the process of selling the company to a group of private investors for $1.1 billion.
"A significant workforce reduction was announced today in departments across the university. I support the decisions and am gratified by the planning that ensures a seamless student experience with minimal disruption. I am also grateful for the work of our human resources leaders to ensure our colleagues affected by the restructuring receive severance and outplacement services," said Timothy Slottow, president of the for-profit institution, in a statement. "This difficult decision came after careful deliberation and analysis with a focus on streamlined workflow serving fewer students than in years past, improved use of technology and ultimately an approach that ensures our students have the transformative experience that leads to higher retention and improved learning outcomes."
A memo from Yale Law School's Veterans Legal Services Clinic finds that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had the authority to protect veterans from institutions that use deceptive recruiting practices by denying GI Bill funds to those colleges. But the VA and other state approving agencies have failed to do so.
"Although the VA is responsible for overseeing education benefits for veterans, it has been slow to join other agencies in addressing deceptive practices, drawing criticism from congressional and veterans' leaders," said the memo.
The memo prompted Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, to call on the VA to act against deceptive recruitment by predatory colleges.
“The VA has a clear moral and legal obligation to identify fraudulent behavior at schools that enroll veterans,” said Blumenthal. “The VA should also partner with the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies to crack down on predatory for-profit schools so that veterans do not waste their hard-earned benefits on worthless degrees.”
The Florida Senate and House of Representatives have passed a bill to close a loophole legislators created to allow the state to license unaccredited for-profit degree programs for physical therapy assistants, The Miami Herald reported. The move follows a Herald series that noted that many graduates of the programs were unable to find work and left with large debts.
Nonprofit Zenith Education Group is consolidating or closing 10 more campuses of the former Corinthian Colleges. The chain lost $100 million last year and is making changes to its business model, curriculum and leadership.
A new study featured in this month's edition of American Economic Review found that employers are less likely to accept a job applicant for a business or health job if they have attended a for-profit online institution than they would an applicant from a nonselective public institution.
The researchers submitted a range of fictitious résumés to companies offering entry-level job openings. Some of the résumés were designed to be identical except for the educational history.
The study found that for business job vacancies that require a bachelor's degree, employers' callback rates differed by more than 20 percent in favor of applicants from public institutions as opposed to for-profits. Employers who are hiring for health jobs that don't require a certificate or license also prefer applicants from public institutions over those from for-profits.
A California judge on Wednesday ordered the defunct Corinthian Colleges to pay $1.17 billion because of what he found to be false advertising and other practices that misled students into enrolling and borrowing money to pay tuition, The Los Angeles Times reported. The ruling came in a suit filed by Kamala D. Harris, the California attorney general. The ruling said Corinthian misled students through false statistics about job placement rates and the unlawful use of U.S. military seals in advertisements, among other practices. The ruling calls for Corinthian to pay $820 million to former students and $350 million in civil penalties. It is unclear how much money Corinthian still has.
The California attorney general last week released thousands of pages of documents in the state's lawsuit against Corinthian Colleges, which collapsed last year. ProPublica analyzed the documents and has now published numerous email messages and documents showing how recruiters for Corinthian enrolled homeless people and helped them borrow money. The students then dropped out quickly and were left with considerable debt. Other documents show that Corinthian recruiters targeted those with low self-esteem.
Baltimore-based Laureate Education announced earlier this week they had reached an agreement with Eurazeo, a European investment company, to sell Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management for $384 million.
Glion is a hospitality business institution with campuses in Switzerland and London that enroll about 2,000 students. Les Roches has campuses in Chicago, Jordan, Shanghai, Switzerland and Spain, which enroll about 2,900 students.
The sale of both institutions is subject to regulatory and accreditor approval.