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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Senate Dems doubt Univ. of Phoenix should get student loan, GI Bill money

May 05, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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The University of Phoenix advertises itself as a school for those looking to chart a new path in life. The institution has a a well-connected network of alumni, and its commercials are everywhere. 

But according to six Democratic senators, the school has a history of scamming students. They want the departments of Education and Defense to scrutinize their participation in the federal student loan program and the GI bill. 

“Phoenix is an unscrupulous and predatory for-profit college that has long preyed on veterans, low-income students, and students of color,” the lawmakers said in a letter to the department secretaries. 

The University of Phoenix is approved to receive GI Bill money. According to data reviewed by USA Today, it received $1.6 billion in GI Bill funds from 2013 to 2021. That money is supposed to be used to help veterans get a college education. The organization reviewed data provided to them by an independent researcher that found seven of the top 10 recipients of GI Bill funds are for-profit institutions

But the senators wrote, “Phoenix’s dismal graduation rate of 14 percent at its main and largest campus is an obvious sign that this predatory college leaves students with significant student debt and no degree to show for it.” 

The university has been in trouble before. It reached a $191 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2019 for deceptive advertising. The school implied in an ad campaign that it had partnerships with major employers including AT&T and Microsoft. 

The senator’s letter encouraged federal agencies to protect students from enrolling at Phoenix. They said the Education and Defense departments “can and must take additional steps to protect student borrowers and taxpayers by scrutinizing Phoenix’s participation in federal student aid programs, especially after clear violations of its previous agreement with the FTC.” 

Straight Arrow News reached out to the University of Phoenix for comment, but has not heard back.

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The commercials are everywhere. 

 

The University of Phoenix advertises itself as a school for those looking to chart a new path in life. As an institution with a well connected network of alumni. But according to some lawmakers, the school has a history of scamming students and they want the departments of education and defense to scrutinize their participation in the federal student loan program and the GI bill. 

 

A letter from six Democratic senators to department secretaries stated: “Phoenix is an unscrupulous and predatory for-profit college that has long preyed on veterans, low-income students, and students of color.”  

 

The University of Phoenix is approved to receive GI bill money. According to data reviewed by USA Today, it received 1.6 billion dollars in GI Bill funds from 2013 to 2021. That money is supposed to be used to help Veterans get a college education. 

 

But the Senators wrote: Phoenixs dismal graduation rate of 14 percent at its main and largest campus is an obvious sign that this predatory college leaves students with significant student debt and no degree to show for it.” 

 

The University has been in trouble before. It reached a 191 million dollar settlement with the FTC in 2019 for deceptive advertising. The school implied in this ad campaign that it had partnerships with major employers including AT&T and Microsoft. 

 

The Senator’s letter encouraged federal agencies to protect students from enrolling at Phoenix.  They said the Education and Defense Departments quote: “can and must take additional steps to protect student borrowers and taxpayers by scrutinizing Phoenix’s participation in federal student aid programs, especially after clear violations of its previous agreement with the FTC.” 

 

Straight Arrow News reached out to the University of Phoenix for comment, but has not heard back. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.