University of Phoenix will commit every federal dollar that it receives from the CARES Act to providing direct financial assistance to students who were not exclusively studying online before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Education Stabilization Fund included in the recently passed CARES Act legislation requires colleges and universities to use at least 50 percent of any funding received for direct financial assistance to students. University of Phoenix will exceed that requirement and pledged 100 percent of its share of federal funds towards relieving the financial burden of current students — many of whom are nurses, members of the military and veterans who have stepped up on the front lines fighting COVID-19 — to help them navigate these difficult times.
President Peter Cohen said the pledge demonstrates the University’s gratitude toward the adult students and alumni who have answered the call during the pandemic.
“Now more than ever, we believe it is our responsibility to do what we can to take care of our students and their families,” Cohen said. “As the most experienced online university and the first to offer accredited online degree programs, University of Phoenix recognizes its unique position and responsibility to assist the millions of students, teachers and professors who have been affected by the necessary shift to online learning in light of COVID-19.”
As leaders debate the next phase in our battle against the virus, Cohen hopes this pledge will encourage other institutions to use these federal dollars only for direct assistance to students during these difficult times.
Andrea Smiley, vice president of Public Relations, said that the University will provide regular, public updates on its use of the federal funds, ensuring complete transparency with current students and the general public. This, she hopes, will set an example for other institutions to follow to ensure the commitment remains on students.
“We strongly believe that every higher education institution should devote the majority of these federal funds to direct financial assistance to students,” she said. “The federal government should provide close and careful oversight to ensure that happens."