Domestic, Education Quality, For-Profit, Lawsuits, Legislation, Regulatory, Required, University & College - Written by on Monday, February 27, 2012 18:46 - 0 Comments

Sen. Dick Durban Calls For “Careful Review” Of University of Phoenix

 Sen. Dick Durban

US Sen. Dick Durban is calling for the Higher Learning Commission, the college accrediting body, to do a “careful review” of Apollo Group Inc.’s University of Phoenix. In a letter to Sylvia Manning, president of the commission, he writes:

As the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) begins to review the accreditation status of the University of Phoenix next month, I urge your agency to take great care in considering the integrity and quality of the programs.

The last comprehensive evaluation review of the University of Phoenix was ten years ago. Since the institution’s last accreditation review, it has been the subject at least five state lawsuits and an investigation by the U.S. General Accountability Office.  The school has been fined by the U.S. Department of Education for violating federal regulations. The subject of these investigations and lawsuits has varied widely and merit careful review of all of the University’s practices.

As soon as practicable following your comprehensive accreditation review, the findings should be made available to the public.  Such information about the practices and programs at the University of Phoenix can inform prospective students and their families seeking to make informed decisions about their postsecondary education choice.

Many of us in Congress are working to help raise the standards of postsecondary education. The propriety sector has grown faster than any other sector and warrants careful scrutiny.  We have limited federal resources for student financial aid, making it imperative that participating institutions offer their students quality education, clear information about their financial obligations, and appropriate educational support. The Higher Learning Commission can be an effective partner in this effort with a careful and transparent review of the University of Phoenix.  


 Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator

Oliver Staley at Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports on Feb. 22:

The for-profit college industry has been under scrutiny by Congress and states attorneys general who are investigating sales practices and student debt loads. The Higher Learning Commission, based in Chicago, is one of six regional accreditors that examine schools for financial stability and academic rigor. Accreditation is essential for students to receive federal financial aid. For-profit colleges get as much as 90 percent of their revenue from federal programs.

Students at for-profit colleges are more likely to be unemployed and earn less in the six years after graduation than their peers at community colleges, according to a study released today by Harvard University researchers.

Apollo, based in Phoenix, rose 0.5 percent to $52.13 at the close of trading in New York. The stock has climbed 14 percent in the past year.

“We appreciate Senator Durbin’s focus on ensuring a thorough accreditation process,” said Bill Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix. “This review will be the largest and most significant in higher education accreditation history and will be the benchmark for review of all institutions and online programs. We are proud of the quality education we’ve provided at University of Phoenix for more than 30 years.”

Via Bloomberg

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