U.S. Department of Education reviews the University of Phoenix

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Last week, the U.S. Education Department began a regularly scheduled review of the Apollo Education Group, the publicly traded company that owns and operates the University of Phoenix. Federal authorities began examining how Apollo distributed federal student-aid dollars, whether it returned funds associated with students no longer enrolled, and how it reported on-campus crimes during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

While the review is a standard practice—the agency conducted more than 300 similar reviews last year—it comes at a time of increased scrutiny and regulatory activity directed at the for-profit college sector. The volume of financial aid collected by Apollo and the role that financial-aid funds play in the company's balance sheet also significantly raise the stakes of this review.

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