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🠈  University of Phoenix  🠊

University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix (aka UoP) is a private for profit university with campuses across the United States. The University is owned by the Apollo Group

The Apollo Group was established in 1973 and University of Phoenix in 1976. The founder of the organization, John Sperling, felt that the mainstream educational system failed to meet the needs of working professionals. Traditional students tend to get part time jobs that fit to the set schedule of the school. Professionals need a flexible educational environment that bends to their jobs.

The University of Phoenix offers evening classes from a network of conveniently placed satellite campuses, and uses a self-paced curriculum that will adapt to one's job schedule.

The University advocates hands on training in smaller classes led by teachers with work experience. They offer Bachelors, Master and PhD degrees in a variety of subjects.

The University has an open admission policy and offers continuing education to to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. The open admission policy, predictably, leads to a lower graduation rate which is about 20%.

The University of Phoenix offers online classes. Critics claim that only 5% of the people who enroll online graduate. The low graduation rate does not seem odd to me. I sign up for a lot of things online that I never pursue.

The company has a history of aggressively seeking financial aid for its students. The aggressive pursuit of financial aid led to a situation where the default rate on student loans was higher than the graduation rate for the university causing USA Today to list it as a "red flag" institution in 2013.

The University of Phoenix claimed to have achieved a peak enrollment of 600,000 students in 2010. A massive publicity campaign against private for-profit universities and changes in financial aid rules led to a sharp drop in enrollment and the closure of numerous for profit schools. ITT Tech closed its doors and the University of Phoenix closed many satellite campuses and dropped to about 150,000 students.

Corporate History

The Apollo Group went public in 1994 with the symbol APOL. The company had a market capitalization of $5.36 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.22 in 2011. The stock price tumbled after negative news and increased regulation in following years. In 2016 the company was acquired by private equity firms led by the Vistria Group of Chicago and the Najafi Group of Phoenix for $1.4B.

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