The holidays weren’t the only cause celebre at Apollo Group and its subsidiary Univeristy of Phoenix this month. The company was likely also celebrating the closure of a long court battle with former employees charging the company violated a federal ban on paying recruiters based on the number of students they enroll.
Unfortunately, Apollo Group has to fork over nearly $80 million to the federal government and about $11 million more in attorney fees to two plaintiffs per a settlement reached earlier this month. But, on the bright side for Apollo, the company will likely find peace and more certainty with the lawsuit finally settled.
It’s been a rough month for Apollo and its University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit college in the U.S. As the company was busy posting notices of its settlement and the conclusion of the court process, it was also grappling with a Maryland congressman calling for congress to look further into the situation. Rep. Elijah Cummings demanded an investigation into Apollo regarding claims it had misled students about financial aid and benefits for enrolling in the University of Phoenix.
The controversy follows a long, investigative report by ProPublica on techniques of the company’s recruiters. An Apollo spokesman has alleged the report is inaccurate and imbalanced.
Meanwhile, Apollo also recently filed its fourth-quarter earnings report, which indicated stronger-than-expected earnings. It also just elected a fourteenth member to its board of directors — Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., former CEO of an accounting firm called PriceWaterhouseCoopers.