PHOENIX — The University of Phoenix for-profit college and its parent company will pay $50 million and cancel $141 million in student debt to settle allegations of deceptive advertisement brought by the Federal Trade Commission.
The deal announced Tuesday settles a dispute over an ad campaign unrolled in 2012 touting partnerships with companies including Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe and suggesting the school worked with those companies to create job opportunities for students.
Investigators found there was no such agreement.
"The University has agreed to pay $50,000,000 to be distributed at the sole discretion of the FTC and forgive outstanding accounts owed directly to the University in the amount of $140,966,806 for a certain designated population of students who first enrolled between October 1, 2012, and December 31, 2016. Other debt, including, but not limited to, federal student loans are not covered and remain due pursuant to their terms," said the university in a media statement Tuesday.
The school said affected students' accounts would be cleared automatically and that the students do not need to take any action.
Christina Baez was one of the students who enrolled between 2012 and 2016.
"It was a false promise because they said we would have job placement and stuff like that," she said.
Baez said she is facing $60,000 in debt and still waiting for the university to clear her account.
"That could be a house payment or a down payment on a house," she said.
The school says it believes it acted appropriately and agreed to the settlement “to avoid any further distraction from serving students."
The university said the advertisement campaign ran under prior ownership.
If you have any questions about the settlement, you can learn more by following this link.