Education Dept. Approves Sale of U. of Phoenix Owner, With Strict Conditions

The U.S. Department of Education has approved the sale of the Apollo Education Group, which owns the giant for-profit University of Phoenix, to a group of private investors, but has imposed strict conditions on the deal. The investors agreed to purchase the company this year for $1.14 billion.

The department sent a letter to the presidents of Phoenix and of Western International University, another Apollo-owned institution, outlining the terms by which it was requiring them and their new owners to abide.

Among the most significant conditions was a requirement that the buyers submit a letter of credit amounting to 25 percent of the universities’ federal student-aid financing. The department said that would total nearly $386 million.

The department also imposed reporting requirements on the institutions’ finances and enrollments, and said they had to disclose sanctions leveled by their accreditors or state oversight agencies, among other conditions.

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