Ashford University Parent Company Weighs Sale

October 8, 2019

The education-technology services company Zovio is considering selling Ashford University.

Zovio, formerly Bridgepoint Education, has been working for several months to convert Ashford from a for-profit to a nonprofit institution. The company Monday shared the results of a review by the U.S. Department of Education that considered potential changes in the status and ownership of Ashford.

To convert Ashford to a nonprofit, the department would require the university to post a letter of credit equal to approximately 25 percent of the Title IV funding it received during 2018. The letter of credit is used to protect students and taxpayers should the university become unable to pay back money it owes to the government. A similar condition was proposed when the University of Phoenix changed owners in 2016.

If the university were sold to a third party, the letter of credit would likely not be required, said Zovio. The company intends to enter into an education technology services agreement with the buyer so that it can continue providing services to Ashford.

“Zovio’s management team and board of directors are evaluating options to best position both Zovio and Ashford University for future success,” Andrew Clark, founder, president and chief executive officer of Zovio, said in a news release.

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