Student loans canceled for 1,200+ University of Phoenix students due to misleading ad
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Over 1,000 Arizona students won’t have to worry about student loans or payments anymore. On Wednesday, the Biden Administration announced more than 1,200 University of Phoenix students won’t have to pay their student loans after an ad misled students about potential job opportunities.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, between Sept. 21, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2014, a national ad from the school misinformed students by falsely claiming its partnerships with thousands of corporations would help students, including hiring preferences. Instead, the department said Phoenix’s partnerships “provided no such benefits.” The Department of Education reviewed evidence from the Federal Trade Commission, such as emails, policies, procedures, advertisements, and recorded phone calls with prospective students.
Officials say in a “Let’s Get to Work” national ad campaign in 2012, the University of Phoenix misled students about its relationship with Microsoft, Adobe, AT&T, and the American Red Cross. The university claimed the companies created unique job opportunities for students and said their corporate partners were “looking specifically at University of Phoenix students for hire instead of any other school,” which turned out to be false. However, corporate partners let the university post their names in a career database portal, which was available to the general public. Education officials also claimed University of Phoenix management knew the partnerships didn’t exist. One official reportedly told other university executives the ad lacked factual support and needed to be improved. However, the advertisement continued for another two years.
“The University of Phoenix brazenly deceived prospective students with false ads to get them to enroll,” Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Students who trusted the school and wanted to better their lives through education ended up with mounds of debt and useless degrees.”
In response, the University of Phoenix released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
Students who believe they may qualify for relief can visit StudentAid.gov/borrower-defense. The department will notify affected students by early October that their applications have been approved, and their remaining student loans will be canceled. Any loan payments will also be refunded.
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