University of Phoenix to sell assets to University of Idaho for $550 million

Deal still needs regulatory approval
A University of Idaho entity plans to buy the University of Phoenix.
A University of Idaho entity plans to buy the University of Phoenix.(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 1:30 PM MST
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BOISE, ID (3TV/CBS 5) -- The University of Phoenix may be acquired by a public university in Idaho after the school eyes a complete transformation into a nonprofit.

In a sudden announcement made Wednesday morning, the University of Idaho announced plans to create a nonprofit entity comprising the University of Phoenix assets, which would be acquired for about $550 million. The University of Idaho said the move is being paid for by bonds issued by the nonprofit entity. The news also comes as rumors swirled in the industry of a possible sale to the University of Arkansas, but the deal was called off in April. Arizona’s Family CBS affiliate in Boise reports that the Idaho State Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Thursday to consider the proposal. If the deal is approved, it would be completed by early next year.

Part of the deal includes $200 million in cash that would sit in the nonprofit arms of the newly-created entity. U of I has also said it would not significantly impact the Idaho school’s campuses or operations. The University of Idaho, however, would guarantee up to $10 million annually should the nonprofit create fail to cover its debt payments. The university says that risk would be offset by initial educational funding that would grow in the coming years.

The University of Phoenix has struggled with declining enrollment in the last decade amid increased scrutiny of for-profit colleges and universities. Its current enrollment stands at just under 80,000. Last summer, the Biden administration announced it would cancel $6 billion in student loans to borrowers who say a number of colleges, including the University of Phoenix, defrauded them.