No More Arbitration Clauses at Apollo Education Group
Apollo Education Group, which operate the popular University of Phoenix and Western International University, has decided it will eliminate the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in the enrollment agreements signed by students before beginning their education. The move is another in a series of actions intended to curb the power of arbitration and limit the rights of consumers.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the school, Greg Cappelli, “[Apollo] has worked hard to further improve the student experience at all of our institutions and it’s clear that eliminating mandatory arbitration is the right choice…” Cappelli goes on to point out the company has already made other changes in policies and procedures in an effort to improve the outcomes for students enrolling at the schools. The goal is to also align all of the US-based colleges under one single student practice.
Apollo is in the process of a buyout and the change to the policy is fully supported by the prospective new owners. The company’s shareholders recently approved a deal for Apollo to be purchased by a consortium of investors. The sale is under review by the US Education Department and Higher Learning Commission, which is Phoenix’s regional accreditor, but most expect the deal will be successful and finalized by the end of the year.
Currently, President Obama’s administration has considered banning all mandatory arbitration agreements at any institution that is a recipient of federal funding. Though a tool for resolving disputes without going to court, mandatory arbitration agreements prevent students and other consumers from filing lawsuits against companies.