U.S. Senators send letter to Univ. of Idaho President questioning purchase of Univ. of Phoenix

Durbin, Warren and Blumenthal all warn against U of P purchase
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:59 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — United States Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with senate members Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to the president of the University of Idaho on Monday urging the university to reconsider the purchase of the University of Phoenix.

They wrote in the letter that the University of Phoenix is a “nefarious for-profit college”. The senators discussed a few of Phoenix’s predatory practices, including illegal recruiting of military service members, misleading advertisements and hiring executives who led other defunct for-profit colleges.

The senators warn in the letter that, “Given Phoenix’s long record of poor student outcomes, deception of veterans, and entanglements in federal investigations and enforcement actions, we urge you to reconsider the implications of acquiring Phoenix, which could cause great harm to students and taxpayers not only in Idaho but also across the country.”

The letter goes on to highlight that in 2015 the Department of Defense suspended the U of P from receiving tuition assistance funds temporarily due to evidence of illegal recruiting practices aimed at military service members. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated the U of P for deceptive advertisements that targeted service members, veterans, and Hispanic populations.

These advertisements falsely implied Phoenix had employment partnerships with major companies, including AT&T, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo. The investigation resulted in a $191 million settlement—the largest settlement ever reached between the FTC and a for-profit college. Since the 2019 settlement, more than 2100 consumers have submitted complaints to the FTC about the University of Phoenix.

To read the full letter, click here.