University of Phoenix parent says government review will focus on federal financial aid

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Apollo Education Group said the U.S. Department of Education will review the administration of federal student financial aid programs by its University of Phoenix subsidiary.

The for-profit education company said Monday that the government review, which is scheduled to start Aug. 4, will initially cover the 2012-13 and 2013-14 years. The review will also cover the University of Phoenix’s compliance with laws governing campus security and crime statistics and drug policy. The university has about 241,900 students.

The Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Enrollments at for-profit education companies boomed during the recession, but demand is sliding and government scrutiny of the industry has intensified.

Another for-profit education company, Corinthian Colleges Inc., this month agreed to close or sell more than 100 campuses in the U.S. and Canada after the Department of Education had stepped up its financial monitoring of the company. The Education Department said Corinthian failed to provide adequate paperwork and didn’t comply with requests to address concerns about the company’s practices. The department said the concerns included allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students, and allegations of altered grades and attendance.

Shares of Phoenix-based Apollo Education Group Inc. dropped $1.72, or 5.8 per cent, to $27.85 in aftermarket trading Monday.

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