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University Of Phoenix To Pay $191 Mln To Settle FTC Charges For Deceptive Ads

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The University of Phoenix has agreed to pay a record $191 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges alleging that the university used deceptive advertisements.

According to the FTC, the university used deceptive advertisements that falsely touted their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross.

Under the settlement, University of Phoenix will pay $50 million in cash as well as cancel $141 million in debts owed to the school by students who were harmed by the deceptive ads.

"This is the largest settlement the Commission has obtained in a case against a for-profit school," said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Students making important decisions about their education need the facts, not fantasy job opportunities that do not exist."

Apollo Education Group (APOL) owns the University of Phoenix. The Arizona-based for-profit college chain has 55 campuses across the nation and teaches thousands of students through its online programs.

The companies' ads featured employers such as Microsoft, Twitter, Adobe, and Yahoo!, giving the false impression that the university worked with those companies to create job opportunities for its students and tailor its curriculum for such jobs.

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