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Bridgepoint Falls as Accreditor Says Monitoring Ashford

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Bridgepoint Education Inc., the for-profit college that owns Ashford University, plunged to a record low in New York trading after an accreditor put the school on “special monitoring” status.

Bridgepoint fell 25 percent to $9.77, the lowest since the stock began trading in April 2009. Ashford received a letter yesterday from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges saying that the college must produce a report by Aug. 10, Bridgepoint said today in a statement.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accreditor, denied Ashford’s application for accreditation, the school said on July 9. The school is appealing the decision. The Higher Learning Commission told Ashford to host an advisory visit in the next 60 days, and the commission will review information on Ashford at its meeting in February, according to the statement.

“We are accredited and will continue our critical service to our non-traditional students, largely comprised of working adults and underserved populations,” said Elizabeth Tice, Ashford’s president and chief executive officer, in the statement.

Bridgepoint, based in San Diego, has lost more than half its value this week.

To contact the reporters on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at jlauerman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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