Showing posts with label Tuskegee University. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuskegee University. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

New Data Show Nearly a Million University of Phoenix Debtors Owe $21.6 Billion Dollars

The Higher Education Inquirer has just received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response from the US Department of Education, stating that about 971,000 current student loan debtors who have attended the University of Phoenix have accumulated an estimated $21.6B in debt. The FOIA is Department of Education FOIA 23-02912-F. These debt numbers are consistent with a previous HEI analysis

We have been unable to learn whether this accumulated debt includes the hundreds of millions in debt that has already been forgiven--and that its present and future owners may be liable for. In 2023, we reported that approximately 73,000 debtors from the University of Phoenix had filed borrower defense fraud claims, and that more than 19,000 cases were granted immediate relief in the Sweet v Cardona settlement.

Through another FOIA request, we also discovered 6,265 consumer complaints in the Federal Trade Commission database made after its current owners took over. In 2019, the FTC and the University of Phoenix settled a claim for $191M for deceptive employment claims. It would appear that Phoenix has not done enough to clean up its act.  

The Higher Education Inquirer has been working for more than six years to get data about the school's noncompliance with the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance (TA) program, where servicemembers have been systematically preyed upon--and where Trump officials and their surrogates worked to cover up malfeasance by subprime schools--including the University of Phoenix. We hope to report on this topic later.  

The University of Phoenix is presently owned by Apollo Global Management and Vistria Group, who have been unsuccessfully trying to sell the school for at least three years. Previous potential suitors, held to secrecy, have included Tuskegee University, UMass Global, and the University of Arkansas System

Apollo Global Management is currently negotiating with the State of Idaho, which would incur $685M in debt to acquire the school. State officials are wary of the deal, and those with strong principles are unlikely to approve. But it's possible that other politicians may change their minds: if they or their families are properly compensated, directly or indirectly, for taking the risks to their reputations and careers. 

Related links:

ED Completes Pre-Acquisition Review for University of Phoenix Deal. University of Idaho Continues Hiding Details of Transaction Fees, 43 Education "High-Risk" Bonds.