Contact: Dom Slowey
Veterans’ Student Loan Relief Fund
NATION’S VETERANS DEMAND
UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX SELL BACK SUPER BOWL STADIUM NAME,
REINVEST MONEY INTO EDUCATION
Vets launch petition at http://bit.ly/StudentsNotStadiums
JANUARY 23, 2015 – With Super Bowl XLIX approaching, a group of veterans’ organizations is demanding that the University of Phoenix sell back the naming rights to the Arizona Cardinals’ football stadium, this year’s Super Bowl venue, which cost the company $154 million. For more information and to see the veterans’ petition, visit www.studentvetrelief.org.
Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans Education Success have joined The Veterans Student Loan Relief Fund in calling for this divestment.
More than 92 percent of the University of Phoenix’s revenue came from taxpayer dollars in 2014, including millions of dollars in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits given to veterans for their service to the country. In fact, the University of Phoenix has received more money from the Post-9/11 GI Bill than any other educational institution in the country, $751 million from 2009 through 2013. And, yet, the company only spent $892 per student on instruction in 2009, significantly less than it spent on marketing ($2,225) and on profit taking ($2,535). In contrast, comparable community colleges spend more than $3,000 per student per year and four-year state schools more than $11,000.
“We think this is shameful. With our petition – http://bit.ly/StudentsNotStadiums – we are asking the American public to tell the University of Phoenix and its parent company, the Apollo Education Group, to sell back the naming rights and reinvest that money into educating its students, ” said Matthew Boulay, the Executive Director of the Veterans’ Student Loan Relief Fund, and a veteran of the war in Iraq.
“I’m looking forward to this year’s Super Bowl,” he added. “But I won’t enjoy seeing it in a stadium where taxpayer-supported tuition dollars were spent on naming rights. It’s clear that an ‘education’ company that only spends $892 per student on instruction shouldn’t spend so much on self-promotion.”
The Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 to qualified vets, service personnel and their families to help them dig out from under the debt burden accumulated by attending unscrupulous for-profit colleges.
Among the more than 35 students who have received grants are two veterans who attended the University of Phoenix, Steven Dickie, of Tucson, AZ, and Wesley Martin, of Houston, TX. Both served in the Army in Iraq and have been unable to use their Phoenix degrees to get jobs in the fields they studied. Dickie is now working in a grocery store in Tucson. Since his Phoenix credits wouldn’t transfer, Martin has started college all over again, this time attending the University of Houston.
Information and applications can be found at http://iava.org/loan-relief.