California AG Gives an “F” to University’s Military Enrollment Tactics

  • California AG Rob Bonta reached a settlement with the University of Phoenix, Inc., and its parent company Apollo Education Group, Inc., to resolve claims that the University intentionally solicited servicemembers, veterans, and their family members to enroll in its programs using tactics that violated California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law.
  • According to the complaint, University of Phoenix allegedly made false and misleading statements and engaged in unfair business acts by engaging in prohibited commercial solicitation practices on military installations, using unduly aggressive recruiting practices, violating federal and state law prohibiting the unauthorized use of military seals, and misrepresenting to base personnel, event organizers, and the military community their motivations for participating in career and hiring fairs, among other things.
  • Under the terms of the Stipulation for Entry of Final Judgment, the University and Apollo must pay $4.5 million in civil penalties—which includes $1 million for the benefit of nonprofit military service relief organizations—are enjoined and restrained from future violations of California’s consumer protection laws and federal laws relating to solicitations of servicemembers, must seek written approvals to conduct business on any military installation, and are subject to ongoing monitoring and compliance by the AG’s office, among other things.