On Tuesday, the University of Phoenix and the Federal Trade Commission finalized a settlement that requires the university to pay nearly $191 million after alleged practices of misleading advertising. The deal could potentially affect students who attended the institution between October of 2012 and December of 2016.
The allegations arose from the University of Phoenix’s marketing strategy. The institution ran advertisements that suggested students will have opportunities at major companies through partnership programs. In reality, the programs did not exist.
The settlement includes $141 million in cancellation of student debt owed to the University of Phoenix. The remaining $50 million will be paid to the FTC. The settlement also explicitly restricts the University of Phoenix from running deceptive or misleading advertisements. The language of the agreement states:
[The University of Phoenix is] permanently restrained and enjoined from… making any misrepresentation, or assisting others in making any misrepresentation, expressly or by implication, regarding… [the University of Phoenix’s] relationships with any companies or employers.
In a statement, officials from the University of Phoenix said that they were pleased to resolve the issue through this agreement. The statement also provides that the University “continues to believe that it has acted appropriately and admitted to no wrongdoing.”