After Years Of Squeezing Poor Students, University of Phoenix CEO Makes Out With Millions
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit private corporation that sells packages of supposed “higher education” that are designed to help students fail. Under 10 percent of people who enroll at the University of Phoenix graduate with a degree.
The University of Phoenix targets people who are struggling to get through life: Single parents, traumatized military veterans, and people trapped working full-time dead end jobs for low pay. It convinces them to pay tens of thousands of dollars with the promise of great career opportunities.
Yet, the University of Phoenix often fails to deliver on its promises. The Better Business Bureau has received hundreds of separate complaints of abuses by the for-profit school, and summarizes the problems as follows: “Recently, BBB has received complaints for this company that allege billing, product, sales, and customer service issues. Complainants allege that this business may misinform them regarding the cost of attendance at the university and the amount of financial aid that may be available to the student. Some consumers report that the company may overcharge for classes. Other complainants state that the company may fail to respond to the customer when problems arise. In addition, when complainants ask the university to explain additional fees or tuition amounts on their account prior to paying the fees, the company may send the student’s account to collections without an explanation. Furthermore, some consumers report dissatisfaction with the quality of the academic programs, the professor’s lessons, and the attentiveness of the advisors employed by the university.”
The University of Phoenix has been prohibited by the Department of Defense from sending its recruiters to military bases, as universities often do, because the University of Phoenix is under investigation for deceptive practices in its efforts to get soldiers to use their GI Bill funds to enroll in the school.
University of Phoenix recruiters have also been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive marketing tactics, purposefully misleading prospective students about the professional qualifications that can be earned through its programs.
The marketers for the University of Phoenix make no secret of the company’s disdain for education. “A degree is a degree,” the latest University of Phoenix ad campaign says.
Over the years, word has spread, and so students have begun to flee the University of Phoenix in massive numbers. Enrollment is down by over 200,000 students from what it was five years ago.
As a business, as well as a school, the University of Phoenix has been remarkable only for its failure. Over recent years, University of Phoenix stock has fallen to less than one tenth of its previous value.
So, what are the consequences for this failure? The people at the top of the University of Phoenix pyramid are making out like bandits. As of this week, ownership of the University of Phoenix has been transferred from shareholders to three private ownership groups. Greg Cappelli, the CEO of Apollo Education, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, is expected to walk away with $4.2 million in cash and $3.3 million in stock from the deal.
Profiting from the poverty of others – will University of Phoenix executives ever learn?