University of Phoenix to pay $191 million for lying to troops about its close ties with major companies

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In this Nov 24, 2009, file photo, a University of Phoenix billboard is shown in Chandler, Ariz. 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. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.

Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.


The FTC said the University of Phoenix had falsely advertised that it had a relationships with AT&T Inc, Yahoo!, Microsoft Corp and Twitter Inc which could lead to jobs for students.

The advertisements also indicated falsely that big companies helped the school build a curriculum which could lead to jobs, the FTC said.

The university said in a statement that the FTC had focused on a marketing campaign that ran from late 2012 to early 2014.

"We continue to believe the university acted appropriately," it said. It was settling "to avoid any further distraction from serving students that could have resulted from protracted litigation, as well as the time and expense of the litigation itself," it added.

The University of Phoenix is on a long list of for-profit colleges that have attracted the attention of U.S. regulators because of accusations that they were not honest about metrics to judge student success.

In 2016, DeVry University agreed to pay a $100 million settlement to the FTC, which alleged that the school had not been honest about how successful its graduates were in finding well-paid jobs.


Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

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Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

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Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

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The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

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"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

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