A California judge has ordered an online, for-profit university and its former parent company to pay $22 million in penalties, saying they mislead students about the costs of their education, among other things, the state’s attorney general announced Monday.
The San Diego Superior Court ruled in favor of the state of California in its 2017 lawsuit against Ashford University and and its then-parent company Zovio, Inc. The University of Arizona has since acquired the university and rebranded the online school, the University of Arizona Global Campus. It is an independent university that is operated in affiliation with the University of Arizona.
“Ashford made false promises to students about the value of an Ashford degree, leaving students with mounting debt, broken promises, and searching for a job,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement announcing the ruling. “While we can’t turn back the clock for these students, this decision should send a strong message: If you engage in deceptive practices in order to pad your bottom line, my office will hold you accountable.”