Zovio, Inc. an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions, announced today it has agreed to resolve an inquiry by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office through an Assurance of Discontinuance (“AOD”). Zovio cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s inquiry, which focused on alleged violations of the Massachusetts consumer protection laws.
Following a seven-year investigation, of its former Ashford University, the AOD alleges that 1) Ashford unfairly imposed a one-time student technology fee that wasn’t refunded to students who withdrew after six weeks of enrollment and 2) failed to disclose certain information, which if provided to students, may have influenced the prospective students not to choose to enroll.
In 2014, Ashford University made the decision, to cease online operations in Massachusetts and not recruit or enroll new students in the State. Zovio and Ashford University deny the allegations made in the AOD and stand behind its commitment, adherence and compliance with all consumer protection laws. Most importantly, the AOD does not constitute an admission or finding of wrongdoing by Zovio nor any non-compliance with any state or federal law, rule or regulation.
The AOD requires Zovio to pay $295,120 to the Attorney General and cease to collect previously written off balances owe to Ashford University by students who enrolled in Ashford and were Massachusetts residents between 2011 – 2014.
Vickie Schray, Zovio’s Chief External Affairs Officer, said: “Zovio is pleased to put this matter behind us. While there was no wrongdoing, we made the decision to resolve the investigation to end the protracted legal matter and stop the dated accusations that harm our proud alumni and partners allowing us to focus on helping today’s students succeed.”
Zovio is an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions and employers to deliver innovative, personalized solutions to help learners and leaders achieve their aspirations. The Zovio network, including Fullstack Academy and TutorMe, leverages its core strengths to solve priority market needs through education technology services. Using proprietary advanced data analytics, Zovio identifies the most meaningful ways to enhance the learner experience and deliver strong outcomes for higher education institutions, employers, and learners. Zovio’s purpose is to help everyone be in a class of their own. For more information, visit www.zovio.com.