The retirement package for John Sperling, the recently retired founder of the Apollo Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix) "likely won’t do the company any favors on the PR front," The Wall Street Journal reported. Sperling will receive $5 million in a "special retirement bonus," an annuity of $70,833.33 a month, ownership of two Apollo vehicles he used while he was chairman and "reasonable out-of-pocket” medical- and dental-care coverage.
Stevens-Henager College, which has multiple campuses in Idaho and Utah, has become the latest for-profit postsecondary institution to change its tax status: The Idaho Statesman reports that the institution became a nonprofit as of Jan. 1. The college's chief executive, Eric Juhlin, told the newspaper the change would allow the college to accept tax-deductible donations for its scholarship programs scholarship programs and accept donated equipment, among other things. Keiser University changed its tax status in 2011.
Submitted by Paul Fain on January 17, 2013 - 3:00am
Rasmussen College, a midsized for-profit institution with roots in the Midwest, this week announced a tuition cut that averages 12 percent across the institution. Some students will see a 24 percent tuition reduction, the college said. Rasmussen is also locking in tuition rates for continuously enrolled students. The college has joined several other for-profits that are cutting their prices, freezing tuition rates and offering scholarships amid broad enrollment declines across the sector. Rasmussen said it was able to cut prices by having reduced overall operating expenses.
Submitted by Paul Fain on January 10, 2013 - 3:00am
The University of Phoenix expects to be placed "on notice" by its regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The commission recently conducted a comprehensive review of the university, and an official with the Apollo Group, which owns Phoenix, told investors this week that the commission had said it would soon issue a report identifying "several areas of concern" that arose from the review. Placing the university on notice is less serious than probation. Phoenix would have up to two years to correct issues that could affect its accreditation status.
Submitted by Paul Fain on January 8, 2013 - 3:00am
ITT Educational Services, a for-profit college chain specializing in technical programs, last week announced that it had agreed to a $46 million settlement payment to Sallie Mae, according to a corporate filing. The settlement was related to a lawsuit filed by the lending giant, Reutersreported, which argued that ITT had breached a shared loan risk agreement. The company did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Connecticut officials are investigating the sudden closure this week of three for-profit colleges, The Hartford Courant reported. Two of the campuses are Sawyer Schools, and one is a Butler Business School. All are owned by Academic Enterprises, Inc. State regulations require 60 days' notice of a school closure, and that was not given. School officials could not be reached.
Wyoming's attorney general has sued DegreeinaDay.com, which is based in Cheyenne, asking that it stop operating as an unaccredited institution, The Casper Star-Tribune reported. The site offered degrees in medicine, cosmetic dermatology, law and teaching based on life experience. The suit charged that the institution had no authority to award degrees. Officials from the website could not be reached for comment.
Submitted by Paul Fain on December 21, 2012 - 3:00am
Late Wednesday the U.S. Senate passed legislation aimed at requiring colleges to be more transparent about how they serve veterans. The bill, which was approved during gridlock on Capitol Hill, had received broad support from veterans' groups, for-profit institutions and advocates for traditional higher education. First introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Florida Republican, the legislation was less sweeping than a related Senate bill that quickly stalled.