University of Phoenix to close 115 locations, including 2 in Utah

By Stephanie Grimes

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Oct. 20 2012 12:16 a.m. MDT

In this 2010 file photo, students attend an economics class at the University of Phoenix in Taylorsville, Utah, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. The University of Phoenix will be closing 115 locations around the country, including two in Utah.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Phoenix will be closing 115 locations around the country, including learning centers in Pleasant Grove and St. George, because of higher costs and declining enrollment.

The move comes as Apollo Group, the parent company of the nation's largest for-profit university, posted an 11 percent revenue drop during the fourth quarter. The company's net income dropped 60 percent in that time, according to transcripts of a Tuesday conference call between company executives.

The closings include 25 main campuses and 90 smaller satellite learning centers. At least one location in 30 states is slated to be shuttered. In Utah, the St. George and Pleasant Grove locations will close. The move will affect 13,000 students nationwide.

Following the closures, the University of Phoenix will be left with 112 locations in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In Utah, the North Davis Learning Center, the South Jordan Learning Center and the Utah Campus in Salt Lake City will remain open.

The roughly 4 percent of Apollo students affected by the closures will be given the option of transferring to online programs or moving their course work to other sites, said University of Phoenix President Bill Pepicello.

If no other center is nearby, the company will continue courses at other space near the closed facility until students complete their degrees, Pepicello said.

"Times have changed, and we're changing in order to take into account the needs of our students today, their preferences and lifestyles, their ability to gain access to low-cost technology, as well as the realities of our socioeconomic conditions in the U.S. today versus the past," said Gregory W. Cappelli, CEO, director and chairman of Apollo Global Inc.

In the June-to-August quarter, the university had 328,400 students — a 13.8 percent decline in enrollment compared with the same time last year, according to Brian L. Swartz, Apollo Group CFO and senior vice president of finance.

Swartz said the drop in revenue was partially offset by tuition increases. With a tuition freeze currently in place, though, the university can no longer count on the additional padding.

"We are focused on the initiatives that support our efforts to enroll new students, improve retention and optimize our cost structure," he said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

email:sgrimes@desnews.com

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