One of America’s largest for-profit colleges, University of Phoenix, is up for sale. Parent company Apollo Education Group announced Monday it is exploring solutions to turn around the struggling school, including the new possibly selling it altogether.
The news comes after the latest earnings report showed Phoenix’s rapid decline is showing no signs of improving. The stock price for Apollo Education Group has declined about 75% in the past year. It’s valuation has dropped from $3.5 billion to just around $750 million in the course of a year.
Like many other for-profit schools, University of Phoenix has been hit hard with declining enrollment, increased scrutiny from federal and state officials, and investigations for predatory practices. Last October, the U.S. military banned University of Phoenix from receiving military financial aid for students, because the school was engaging in a multitude of deceptive practices such as providing marketing materials with official military seals to portray an official relationship with the military. The college has also been under investigation by the Obama administration recently for it’s deceptive marketing practices.
The for-profit institution has shed about half of its students over the past five years, and the university has fired 900 employees since September. That works out to over 3 workers laid off every day. “The University of Phoenix is shrinking in every way possible. It has lost students, employees and campuses at a breathtaking pace, and it’s making much less money than it once did.” Patrick Gillespie @CNNmoneyinvest
There is good news, however, for former students of for-profit colleges such as University of Phoenix. Loan forgiveness may be available to former students, and there are new programs released for 2016 in which many students that did not qualify for forgiveness before may now qualify.