University of Phoenix strikes $191 million deal to settle false advertising claims

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By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

A Phoenix-based national university known for promoting its programs has agreed to pay a record $191 million to settle claims it used deceptive advertising to attract prospective students.

The deal with the Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday requires the University of Phoenix to forgive $141 million in debt by former students who enrolled between Oct. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016, the period the federal agency says they were likely exposed to the school’s advertising campaigns where it claimed it had special arrangements with major national and international companies to create jobs for students. Those ads, the FTC says, also led students to believe that the school tailored its curriculum for those jobs.

The other $50 million will go to the FTC to process refund demands from students.

A spokesman for the university said there was no admission of wrongdoing.

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