The University of Phoenix, once the largest for-profit chain in the country, is stopping in-person enrollment at more than 20 campuses and learning centers around the nation.
The five Florida locations — Miramar, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville — are on the list. Each campus website says it “is no longer accepting new campus-based enrollments.”
Students can still enroll in online courses, which are the bulk of the for-profit giant’s programs. The university stressed that this change will not affect any currently enrolled students, whose classes will continue as usual as part of a “teach-out” program.
A university spokesman, who called this move a “restructuring,” declined to say what will happen after current students have completed their programs or how many Floridians are enrolled in-person.
“We will continue to service current students at these locations, at other approved university locations or through our online programs, until they graduate. The university will allow students to determine whether they want to complete their education on campus or online,” the university said in a statement.
As first reported by the Phoenix New Times, university employees were informed of the change in a conference call Friday. Other affected schools are in Detroit, Tucson, Honolulu and Oakland.
The University of Phoenix, like other large for-profit chains, has suffered steep enrollment drops over the past few years as public schools broaden their online degree offerings and the job market rebounds. This year alone, enrollment fell 22 percent, to 171,000 students nationwide, marking a 70 percent loss since 2010, The Associated Press reported.
Over the years, the embattled chain has paid out hundred of millions of dollars to settle claims it illegally compensated its recruiters based on the number of students they enrolled and faced a Federal Trade Commission probe over possible deceptive marketing tactics.
The university spokesman said the “teach out” doesn’t affect the company’s commitment to education.
“This change will have no impact on our academic quality, the student experience or student outcomes, and is consistent with the university’s goal of optimizing resources to most effectively serve our students. As always, we will continue in our mission to change lives through higher education.”
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