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FTC Sends Nearly $50 Million to U of Phoenix Students

March 25, 2021
 
 

The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling nearly $50 million to more than 147,000 University of Phoenix students who may have been lured by allegedly deceptive advertisements.

The refunds stem from a lawsuit the FTC filed against Phoenix alleging that it used deceptive advertisements that falsely touted its relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter and the American Red Cross. The FTC also alleged that Phoenix's advertising gave the false impression that the online division worked with those companies to create job opportunities for its students and tailor its curriculum for such jobs.

In addition to the nearly $50 million in direct payments for some students, the $191 million settlement includes $141 million to cancel unpaid balances owed directly to the school by eligible students.

A Phoenix spokeswoman said, “The FTC made allegations concerning a campaign that ended in 2014 that were not tested through litigation, and do not constitute factual findings by either the FTC or any court. The university has admitted no wrongdoing and continues to believe it has acted appropriately. This settlement agreement has enabled us to continue our focus on our core mission of improving the lives of our students through career-relevant higher education, and to avoid any further distraction from serving students that could have resulted from protracted litigation.”



 

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