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University Of Phoenix Students Get Deceptive Ad Settlement Money

Some University of Phoenix students will receive money as part of a 2019 settlement over deceptive advertising. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it will send almost $50 million to more than 147,500 students.

According to the FTC, the University of Phoenix used deceptive ads to attract students, ads that gave the false impression the for-profit online university worked with companies like AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter and the American Red Cross to create job opportunities and shape its programs for the jobs.

Students who have not already had their debt canceled by the university may be eligible if they enrolled in associates, bachelor’s or master’s programs between Oct. 15, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2016 and paid more than $5,000 to the University of Phoenix using cash, student loans, military benefits or a combination.

The FTC said the average payment is $337, and most students will get a check in the mail from the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting. About 700 students will receive payments through PayPal and the FTC will email those people before PayPal sends the payment.

The FTC says it will never demand money or ask for sensitive information like Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers before sending payments. If that happens, contact the FTC at  ReportFraud.ftc.gov

In addition to the nearly $50 million in direct payments, the settlement includes $141 million to cancel unpaid balances owed directly to the school by eligible students. The FTC said federal and private student loans or military benefits are not affected by this settlement and directed students with questions about debt canceled by the school to email  [email protected] or call 1.800.333.5305.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.