Biden-Harris Administration Approves $37 Million in Borrower Defense Discharges for Over 1,200 Students Who Attended the University of Phoenix

U.S. Department of Education 

September 20, 2023
Relief stems partly from evidence provided by the Federal Trade Commission, which obtained a $191 million settlement from the school in 2019
The Biden-Harris Administration today announced the approval of nearly $37 million in borrower defense to repayment discharges for more than 1,200 students who enrolled at the University of Phoenix (Phoenix) between Sept. 21, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2014, and applied for relief. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) found that a national ad campaign from Phoenix misled prospective students by falsely representing that its partnerships with thousands of corporations, including Fortune 500 companies, would benefit students by, for example, giving them hiring preferences at those companies. In fact, Phoenix’s corporate partnerships provided no such benefits to students. The approved applications are from borrowers who enrolled in Phoenix during the covered time period and filed borrower defense applications that made allegations corroborated by this finding. Today’s announcement brings the total amount of debt cancellation approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to more than $117 billion – including $14.8 billion in relief for 1.1 million borrowers whose colleges took advantage of them or closed abruptly.
“The University of Phoenix brazenly deceived prospective students with false ads to get them to enroll,” said Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray. “Students who trusted the school and wanted to better their lives through education ended up with mounds of debt and useless degrees. Today’s announcement builds on the FTC’s work to provide relief to those affected by Phoenix’s misconduct and delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s mission to support student loan borrowers.”