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University of Phoenix pays $191M to settle charges
The Federal Trade Commission has announced the University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, will settle for a record $191 million to resolve FTC charges that they used deceptive advertisements that falsely touted their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross. Under the settlement, the university will pay $50 million in cash and cancel $141 million in debts owed to the school by students who were harmed by the deceptive ads. A complaint filed by the Commission alleged that the university and Apollo relied heavily on advertising to attract students, including specific ads that targeted military and Hispanic consumers. The companies’ ads featured employers such as Microsoft, Twitter, Adobe, and Yahoo!, giving the false impression that the university worked with those companies to create job opportunities for its students and tailor its curriculum for such jobs.