“The check’s in the mail.” You’ve heard it before, but this time it’s true if you are one of the 147,000 University of Phoenix students who will be receiving payments totaling more than $50 million as a result of the FTC’s law enforcement action against the online school.
In a 2019 lawsuit, the FTC alleged the University of Phoenix lured consumers in with ads that falsely touted – among other things – job opportunities for its students with national employers like AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and the American Red Cross. To settle the case, the defendants agreed to pay $50 million in direct payments for some students and an additional $141 million in canceled balances that eligible students owed directly to the school. (Other debts – for example, federal and private student loans or military benefits – aren’t affected by the settlement.)
Who is getting the 146,804 checks and 677 PayPal payments the FTC is sending out? The money is going to students who:
- first enrolled in a masters, bachelors, or associates degree program between October 15, 2012, and December 31, 2016;
- paid more than $5,000 with cash, grants, federal and private student loans, or military benefits;
- didn’t get debt cancellation as part of this settlement; and
- didn’t opt out of the University of Phoenix providing the student’s contact information to the FTC.
People who receive checks should deposit or cash them within 90 days. By the way, the FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund or to cash a refund check. People who get a refund via PayPal will have 30 days to accept the payment. (This FAQ has more information about the PayPal payment process.)
If you have questions about debt canceled by the school, email the University of Phoenix at UOPXFinance@phoenix.edu or call 1-800-333-5305. For questions about refunds, call the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting, at 1-877-310-0487.
Even if you weren’t a University of Phoenix student, someone in your company may have been. Share this information with them to make sure they don’t miss their check in the mail.