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Press Release

University of Phoenix Joins Money Smart Week and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to Improve Financial Literacy and Empower Students to Make Informed Choices About Paying for College

Money Smart Week public information campaign includes new University of Phoenix online content

PHOENIX, April 10, 2014 – University of Phoenix and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago recently released resources to help consumers of all ages make informed choices about paying for college. The work is part of Money Smart Week, a public awareness campaign aimed at helping all consumers make informed decisions about their personal finances, and includes a comprehensive listing of the best resources that empower students to achieve their educational goals.

“The success of Money Smart Week has always been built upon strong partnerships with financial institutions, universities, libraries, nonprofits and others that all leverage their resources, expertise and best practices to showcase financial education,” said Alejo Torres, Senior Outreach Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. “This year we are especially delighted to partner with University of Phoenix to extend greater educational opportunities to students and parents through interactive online media.”

“Deciding to go to college is an important decision for all students, but the financial choices they face are among the most stressful and important,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. “We are pleased to offer resources that can help students ask the right questions regarding the costs of their education, and we applaud the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for its ongoing work with Money Smart Week to help all consumers make informed decisions, and to expand its mission to higher education financial literacy."

As part of its work with Money Smart Week, University of Phoenix created an online video series to provide information to prospective students—including veterans, active duty servicemembers and spouses who receive military benefits—that can help them understand their rights and responsibilities before enrolling or signing documents for student financial aid. The video series—found online at www.moneysmartweek.org/universityofphoenix—includes information on filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), identifying and applying for scholarship and grant opportunities, minimizing student loan amounts and avoiding default during repayment, and special options for veterans and military members. Each video features an overview conversation, providing information to consider and answers to questions about options for paying for college.

“College students should budget before they borrow," said Mark Kantrowitz, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Edvisors Network, Inc. "Students should borrow smart, keeping student loan debt in sync with income. So long as total student loan debt at graduation is less than the student’s annual starting salary, the student should be able to repay his or her loans in ten years or less.”

Prior to the Money Smart Week video series, University of Phoenix announced support for initiatives that promote responsible borrowing and make available updated information on the costs of education and how to understand loan debt, including:

  • Support of President Obama’s call for a new “Shopping Sheet,” which helps students make better-informed choices about their higher education options, and how to pay for them.;
  • A free online resource for students to develop a Financial Plan, which allows students to build a personal financial plan by estimating tuition and expenses for their entire degree program, analyzing projected monthly loan payments, and comparing loan debt against possible salary ranges for jobs their college education prepares them for;
  • A scholarship reward program, designed to encourage academic achievement and enhance affordability
  • A tuition freeze for all new and currently-enrolled students, ensuring that no student will incur any increase in tuition as long as they have remained consistently enrolled in the university;
  • A three-week orientation workshop at no charge – mandatory for most students with little or no college experience – that helps them understand the practical realities of enrolling in a university-level degree program, including how to pay for it before they incur any financial obligation or student debt;
  • Access to trained financial advisors, who provide assistance to students who have questions about any aspect of financing their degree;
  • A Career Guidance Tool to help students to identify a degree program that aligns with their chosen career, and a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code translator tool, allowing veterans and active servicemembers to see how their military job training and skills align with degree programs, and ultimately, civilian career opportunities;
  • Free access to iGrad for all of University of Phoenix students and alumni with the intent of providing a complete set of tools and resources for students to make effective personal finance, student loan, and career decisions throughout their lives.

“We're committed to help all students be as successful as possible—whether at University of Phoenix or other postsecondary institutions," said Pepicello. "We are grateful for the opportunity to join the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and its Money Smart Week efforts, and hope to contribute more resources in the future."

Money Smart Week runs from April 5-12, 2014.

About Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and designed to promote financial education across all ages. More than 2,500 free educational programs are offered nationwide during the week on topics ranging from budgeting to saving for college and retirement to using credit wisely. Launched in 2002, the program is now active in more than 41 states through these national partnerships. Events are also coordinated and hosted by hundreds of local partner organizations including banks, universities, government agencies, community groups and libraries; among them, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Library Association and the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards. For the most-up-to date calendar of events, please visit www.moneysmartweek.org.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

Media Contact: Ryan Rauzon
Cell: (916) 599-2911
media@phoenix.edu