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HLC Extends University of Phoenix’s Accreditation (APOL)

For profit education provider, Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL) said in its SEC filing on Wednesday that the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has reaffirmed accreditation of the University of Phoenix until 2022-2023; however, the university has been placed under “Notice” status for two years.

This is a huge relief for the Apollo Group as the University of Phoenix was earlier notified that it could possibly be place under “Probation”—which is harsher than “Notice” status.

Shares of Apollo Group climbed about 7.30% in afterhours trading.

A University is paced under “Notice” status when it is found running its administration (issues related to student assessment, faculty scholarship and research for doctoral programs), in a way which fails to match one or more eligibility criteria for accreditation, laid out by the HLC.

In such cases, a University is required to submit a written report, clearly charting out corrective measures, proving that its administration is fulfilling the accreditation criteria.

Apollo Group is due to present its reports in the fall of 2014.

Commenting over the HLC’s decision to reaffirm University of Phoenix’s accreditation, Mark Brenner, senior vice president of external affairs at Apollo Group said in a stamen, “That’s an improvement from some earlier reviews in this process, but that’s why the HLC has a robust review process.”

“It’s a great outcome for our students, our faculty and our alumni, who have a lot to be very proud of,” added Brenner.

Earlier in February, Apollo Group said that the HLC was considering placing the University of Phoenix under probation as it found certain irregularities in its governance and some other issues.

Had the University of Phoenix lost its accreditation then it could have severely impacted Apollo Group’s business. It would have left the University unqualified to operate in some states and might have even limited its eligibility criteria for a student loan aid program. Besides, losing its accreditation would have meant limited recognition for employees, including credits and degrees earned by students.

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