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News Update

University of Idaho set to acquire the University of Phoenix

The University of Idaho is on the verge of buying the for-profit University of Phoenix and turning it into a nonprofit, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The Idaho State Board of Education approve the deal Thursday, according to reports.

The Idaho deal comes after a University of Phoenix-proposed deal with the University of Arkansas System fell apart last month amid sharp disagreement among the system’s board members and concerns expressed by critics of for-profit higher education, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Under the proposal, the University of Idaho will create and fully control a new nonprofit corporation that would issue bonds to pay $550 million to buy the University of Phoenix’s assets, which include about 85,000 students, significant technology and roughly 3,000 full-time and adjunct faculty members, according to Inside Higher Ed. The University of Phoenix has a campus in Ontario, San Bernardino County.

The University of Phoenix was once the biggest university in the United States, and it was also the flag bearer of a for-profit higher education sector that burgeoned during the 2000s and early 2010s but has shrunk significantly in the last decade. Although it is far from its peak of nearly 470,000 students in 2010, documents show its current enrollment at about 85,000, making it still one of the nation’s largest institutions, according to Inside Higher Ed.