Category: John Kline
Posted: 08/16/14 18:33, Edited: 08/16/14 18:38
by Dave Mindeman
Here is an interesting factoid.
The University of Phoenix spent $154.5 million for 20-year naming rights for the stadium home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.
The interesting part is this: The University of Phoenix is an online university and does not participate in intercollegiate sports.
So why the big bucks
? So they can recruit students and get them to use their student loan money at their online school.
So, what do they get in return?The University of Phoenix campus in San Diego has received $95 million in GI Bill payments since 2009. That is more than any other college campus in the entire country, exceeding what the entire University of California system with its 233,000 students receives, compared to a campus of just 6,686.
The state of California has taken notice:The fact that a college with such a poor graduation rate and uncertain job prospects for graduates is getting such a windfall has not gone unnoticed at the state level. California has banned the University of Phoenix from enrolling veterans in seven of its programs after an audit determined they already comprised 85% of the student population.
However, under pressure, the VA moved to lift the ban citing new information from the college. "CalVet considers the matter closed," Deputy Secretary of the California VA Keith Boylan said in a statement.
Must have friends in high places?
Well, they do.Federal lobbying records show that the Apollo Education Group (parent company of the Univ of Phoenix) has spent $4.8 million since 2009. Since Kline became chairman of the education and workforce committee, Apollo has been his largest campaign contributor, dishing out $48,100 in contributions since 2011.
And why, you may ask, do they need this kind of help?Phoenix is almost completely dependent on federal money. For the 2013-2014 fiscal year, over 90% of its revenue came from the federal government in the form of student loans, grants and GI Bill and DoD education funding. Combined with the 83% of its total funding that is received through other federal education programs, this would put Phoenix well over the 90/10 rule if the GI Bill and DoD spending were counted in the mix.
An attempt to make that 90/10 rule apply to GI student loans was brought forward in the House Education and Workforce Committee....which would have forced the Univ of Phoenix to be in compliance with Fed regulations on graduation rates.
But this attempt was gaveled down as non-germane and out of order by the chairman of the committee - Congressman John Kline.
Just like the naming rights for the stadium, it is money well spent.