The College Post
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University of Arizona Acquires Ashford University to Expand Online Reach

The University of Arizona (UA) is acquiring Ashford University, a for-profit college, to create an online school called the University of Arizona Global Campus.

With about 35,000 students across the country, Ashford University’s learners are mostly adults from regions outside UA’s reach. The new Arizona Global Campus will focus on parents, older adults, veterans, and those seeking upskilling.

“We see this as an important step in expanding the reach of the University of Arizona,” said Brent White, vice provost for global affairs at UA, to The Arizona Republic newspaper. UA sees it as a way to “provide access to education as broadly as possible to students,” White added.

The Deal

UA will purchase Ashford for $1 from Zovio, an education technology company. Zovio will also be providing education technology services to the campus after the regulatory approvals are granted. 

The services will include recruiting, counseling, financial aid, information technology, and academic support as per a regulatory filing from Zovio

Expanding Footprint

The Arizona Board of Regents issued a statement saying that the move aligns with the commitment to “increase affordable access to high-quality education,” and is a true example of “innovation and entrepreneurialism.”

Larry Penley, the chairman of the Board said, “The arrangement … makes the university a significant player in online higher education.” He added that the acquisition has the potential to create a stable and much-needed additional revenue stream to support Arizona resident student education and university operations.

The deal has been crafted to ensure that current students do not face any disruptions, says Ashford’s official page on the acquisition. The Global Campus will be a private nonprofit university operating from San Diego.