The University of Arizona paid $1 to acquire Ashford University, a for-profit, online institution, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. With the acquisition, the university will establish a new nonprofit entity called University of Arizona Global Campus that will operate independently under its own board of directors and president.
Ashford has 35,000 students, and 87 percent of its undergraduates are older than 25, the Chronicle reported. Approximately the same proportion of Arizona's 35,000 students are under 24.
Together, Arizona and Ashford have 140 online programs, and about 15 overlap. Ashford's programs focus primarily on work-force development.
A few years ago, the Chronicle investigated Ashford for avoiding California's regulatory oversight of eligibility of G.I. Bill money by designating the state of Arizona as its headquarters. The Department of Veterans Affairs stepped in, and when Ashford was required to request approval from California, the state rejected the bid.
A 2019 accreditation of Ashford by WASC Senior College and University Commission gave a "notice of concern" about persistence and graduation rates of students.
Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Arizona Global Campus will seek accreditation from the WASC.
The Chronicle of Higher Education