Bridgepoint’s Ashford University Cuts 450 Jobs

Ashford University, a for-profit college owned by Bridgepoint Education Inc., eliminated 450 admissions jobs to focus on student support after heightened scrutiny by accreditors.

In July, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges put the Clinton, Iowa-based school on “special monitoring” status and another denied its application for accreditation. Ashford is appealing the decision.

Congress and state attorneys general are investigating the marketing and job-placement claims of for-profit colleges, which can receive as much as 90 percent of their revenue from federal grants and loans that students use to pay tuition. Such schools have higher student-loan default rates than traditional institutions. For-profit colleges got almost $32 billion in U.S. student aid in the 2009-2010 school year.

“The reorganization allows us to align our services with our continued dedication to student success,” Elizabeth Tice, president of Ashford, said in a statement.

Ashford also said it reassigned 200 admissions personnel to its student-services department.