University of Phoenix put on probation by U.S. Department of Defense
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently placed the University of Phoenix on probation and prohibited the school from enrolling new service members using its tuition assistance program -- a decision that was lauded by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who also serves as vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
The DOD investigated the University of Phoenix at Durbin's request, which was facilitated by an article published by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting that alleged the for-profit college had used deceptive marketing practices and infringed upon military trademarks.
“This is a decisive action by the Department of Defense to protect service members and taxpayers from a company that offers degrees of questionable value," Durbin said. "With below-average graduation rates and a student loan default rate almost forty percent higher than the national average, the University of Phoenix is going to have a hard time explaining why students should continue to enroll in this institution."
The University of Phoenix nets nearly $300 million annually from the DOD Tuition Assistance program and the VA’s GI Bill.
“I will be calling on the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to review the Defense Department’s findings and take appropriate action against the University of Phoenix to protect Title IV students and veterans using GI Bill benefits,” Durbin said.
The university is also being investigated by at least three state attorneys general's offices, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Education Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission.
"We can’t continue to give outrageous, scandalous subsidies to these worthless companies," Durbin said. "The for-profit college industry needs to be thoroughly investigated and carefully monitored."