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APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC 10-K 2009
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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
     
(Mark One)    
þ
  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
    For the fiscal year ended: August 31, 2009
    OR
o
  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
    For the transition period from [          ] to [          ]
 
Commission file number: 0-25232
 
     
ARIZONA
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  86-0419443
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
4025 S. RIVERPOINT PARKWAY, PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85040
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:
(480) 966-5394
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
     
(Title of Each Class)
 
(Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered)
Apollo Group, Inc.
Class A common stock, no par value
  The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
     
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  YES þ    NO o
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  YES o    NO þ
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  YES þ     NO o
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  YES o     NO o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
 
             
Large accelerated filer þ
  Accelerated filer o   Non-accelerated filer o   Smaller reporting company o
        (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act).  YES o     NO þ
 
No shares of Apollo Group, Inc. Class B common stock, its voting stock, are held by non-affiliates. The holders of Apollo Group, Inc. Class A common stock are not entitled to any voting rights. The aggregate market value of Apollo Group Class A common stock held by non-affiliates as of February 28, 2009 (last day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter), was approximately $9.9 billion.
 
The number of shares outstanding for each of the registrant’s classes of common stock as of October 16, 2009 is as follows:
 
         
Apollo Group, Inc. Class A common stock, no par value
    154,359,000 Shares  
Apollo Group, Inc. Class B common stock, no par value
    475,000 Shares  
 
 
Portions of the Information Statement for the 2010 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (Part III)
 


 

 
APOLLO GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 
FORM 10-K
 
 
             
        Page
 
    3  
  Business     4  
  Risk Factors     28  
  Unresolved Staff Comments     47  
  Properties     48  
  Legal Proceedings     48  
  Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders     49  
 
PART II
  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities     49  
  Selected Consolidated Financial Data     52  
  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations     53  
  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk     77  
  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data     80  
  Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure     139  
  Controls and Procedures     139  
 
PART III
  Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance     142  
  Executive Compensation     142  
  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters     142  
  Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence     142  
  Principal Accounting Fees and Services     142  
 
PART IV
  Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules     143  
    149  
 EX-10.3
 EX-10.20
 EX-10.23C
 EX-10.23D
 EX-10.46
 EX-10.47
 EX-10.49
 EX-10.50
 EX-21
 EX-23.1
 EX-31.1
 EX-31.2
 EX-31.3
 EX-32.1
 EX-32.2
 EX-32.3


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This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”), contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, among others, those statements regarding future events and future results of Apollo Group, Inc. (the “Company,” “Apollo Group,” “Apollo,” “APOL,” “we,” “us” or “our”) that are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts, and the beliefs and assumptions of us and our management, and speak only as of the date made and are not guarantees of future performance or results. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “predict,” “target,” “potential,” “continue,” “objectives,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Such forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates based upon current information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such statements should be viewed with caution. Actual events or results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors. While it is impossible to identify all such factors, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those estimated by us include but are not limited to:
 
  •  changes in regulation of the education industry, including the regulatory and other requirements discussed in Item 1, Business, under “Accreditation and Jurisdictional Authorizations,” “Financial Aid Programs,” and “Regulatory Environment;”
 
  •  each of the factors discussed in Item 1A, Risk Factors; and
 
  •  those factors set forth in Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
 
The cautionary statements referred to above also should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that may be issued by us or persons acting on our behalf. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, for any facts, events, or circumstances after the date hereof that may bear upon forward-looking statements. Furthermore, we cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance, or achievements.


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Part I
 
Item 1 — Business
 
 
Apollo Group, Inc. is one of the world’s largest private education providers and has been in the education business for more than 35 years. We offer innovative and distinctive educational programs and services both online and on-campus at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels through our wholly-owned subsidiaries:
 
  •  The University of Phoenix, Inc. (“University of Phoenix”);
  •  Western International University, Inc. (“Western International University”);
  •  Institute for Professional Development (“IPD”);
  •  The College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation (“CFFP”); and
  •  Meritus University, Inc. (“Meritus”).
 
In addition to these wholly-owned subsidiaries, in October 2007, we formed a joint venture with The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”), called Apollo Global, Inc. (“Apollo Global”), to pursue investments primarily in the international education services industry. Apollo Group currently owns 86.1% of Apollo Global, with Carlyle owning the remaining 13.9%. As of August 31, 2009, total cash contributions made to Apollo Global were approximately $511.8 million, of which $440.5 million was funded by us. Apollo Global is consolidated in our financial statements. Apollo Global has completed the following acquisitions:
 
  •  BPP Holdings plc (“BPP”) in the United Kingdom,
  •  Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación (“UNIACC”) in Chile, and
  •  Universidad Latinoamericana (“ULA”) in Mexico.
 
University of Phoenix.  University of Phoenix has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1978 and holds other programmatic accreditations. University of Phoenix offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a variety of program areas. University of Phoenix offers its educational programs worldwide through its online education delivery system and at its campus locations and learning centers in 39 states and the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. University of Phoenix’s online programs are designed to provide uniformity with University of Phoenix’s on-campus operations, which enhances University of Phoenix’s ability to expand into new markets while maintaining academic quality. University of Phoenix has customized computer programs for academic quality management, faculty recruitment and training, student tracking and marketing, which we believe provides us with a competitive advantage. University of Phoenix’s net revenue represented approximately 95% of our consolidated net revenue for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2009.
 
Western International University.  Western International University has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1984. Western International University offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of program areas as well as certificate programs. Western International University offers its undergraduate program courses at its Arizona campus locations and online at Western International University Interactive Online.
 
IPD.  IPD provides program development, administration and management consulting services to private colleges and universities (“Client Institutions”) to establish or expand their programs for working learners. These services typically include degree program design, curriculum development, market research, student recruitment, accounting, and administrative services.


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CFFP.  CFFP has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1994. CFFP provides financial services education programs, including a Master of Science in three majors, and certification programs in retirement, asset management, and other financial planning areas. CFFP offers these programs online and from its headquarters in Colorado.
 
Meritus.  Meritus was designated by the Government of New Brunswick to grant degrees in May 2008. Meritus offers degree programs online to working learners throughout Canada and abroad and launched its first three programs in the fall of 2008.
 
BPP.  BPP College of Professional Studies is the first proprietary institution to have been granted degree awarding powers in the United Kingdom. BPP, acquired by Apollo Global in July 2009 and headquartered in London, England, is a provider of education and training to professionals in the legal and finance industries. It is organized into the following three divisions:
 
  •  Professional Education, which provides exam training and sells published products for external certification training in accounting, tax, financial services, and actuarial qualifications and post qualification professional development;
  •  College of Professional Studies, which operates four law schools, human resource training and a business school; and
  •  Mander Portman Woodward, which operates independent fifth and sixth form colleges (similar to preparatory schools in the U.S.).
 
BPP provides these services through schools located in the United Kingdom, a European network of BPP offices, and the sale of books and other publications in over 150 countries.
 
UNIACC.  UNIACC is accredited by the Chilean Council of Higher Education. UNIACC is an arts and communications university which offers bachelor’s and master’s programs on campuses in Chile and online. UNIACC was acquired by Apollo Global in March 2008.
 
ULA.  ULA carries authorization from the Ministry of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Publica) in Mexico, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) for its high school and undergraduate psychology and law programs and by the Ministry of Education of the State of Morelos (Secretaría de Educación del Estado de Morelos) for its medicine and nutrition programs. ULA offers degree programs at its four campuses throughout Mexico. Apollo Global purchased a 65% ownership interest in ULA in August 2008 and purchased the remaining ownership interest in July 2009.
 
We also operate online high school programs through our Insight Schools, Inc. (“Insight Schools”) wholly-owned subsidiary, which is included in our Insight Schools reportable segment. Subsequent to our 2009 fiscal year end, we decided to explore the sale of Insight Schools.
 
Our schools described above are managed in the following five reportable segments:
 
  •  University of Phoenix;
  •  Apollo Global — BPP;
  •  Apollo Global — Other;
  •  Insight Schools; and
  •  Other Schools.


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The Apollo Global — Other segment includes UNIACC, ULA and Apollo Global corporate operations. The Other Schools segment includes Western International University, IPD, CFFP, and Meritus. The Corporate caption, as detailed in the table below, includes adjustments to reconcile segment results to consolidated results, which primarily consist of net revenue and corporate charges that are not allocated to our reportable segments. The following table presents the net revenue for fiscal years 2009, 2008 and 2007 for each of our reportable segments:
 
                         
    Year Ended August 31,  
($ in millions)   2009     2008     2007  
 
University of Phoenix
  $ 3,766.6     $ 2,987.7     $ 2,537.8  
Apollo Global:
                       
BPP
    13.1              
Other
    54.3       13.4        
                         
Total Apollo Global
    67.4       13.4        
Insight Schools
    20.6       7.5       2.0  
Other Schools
    116.8       122.5       182.6  
Corporate
    2.8       9.8       1.4  
                         
Net Revenue
  $ 3,974.2     $ 3,140.9     $ 2,723.8  
                         
 
See Note 19, Segment Reporting, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for the segment and related geographic information required by Items 101(b) and 101(d) of Regulation S-K, which information is incorporated by this reference.
 
Our operations are generally subject to seasonal trends. We experience, and expect to continue to experience, seasonal fluctuations in our results of operations as a result of seasonal variations in the level of student enrollments. While University of Phoenix enrolls students throughout the year, our net revenue generally is lower in the second quarter (December through February) than the other quarters due to holiday breaks in December and January. Most of our other subsidiaries experience more significant seasonality, as they have limited enrollment during their respective summer breaks.
 
University of Phoenix degreed enrollment (“Degreed Enrollment”) for the quarter ended August 31, 2009 was 443,000. Degreed Enrollment for a quarter represents individual students enrolled in a University of Phoenix degree program who attended a course during the quarter and did not graduate as of the end of the quarter. Degreed Enrollment also includes any student who previously graduated from one degree program and started a new degree program in the quarter (for example, a graduate of the associate’s degree program returns for a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree graduate returns for a master’s degree). In addition, Degreed Enrollment includes students participating in University of Phoenix certificate programs of at least 18 credit hours in length with some course applicability into a related degree program.
 
University of Phoenix combined new degreed enrollment (“New Degreed Enrollment”) for the four quarters in fiscal year 2009 was 355,800. New Degreed Enrollment for a quarter represents any individual student enrolled in a University of Phoenix degree program who is a new student and started a course in the quarter, any individual student who previously graduated from one degree program and started a new degree program in the quarter (for example, a graduate of an associate’s degree program returns for a bachelor’s degree program, or a graduate of a bachelor’s degree program returns for a master’s degree program), as well as any individual student who started a program in the quarter and had been out of attendance for greater than 12 months. In addition, New Degreed Enrollment also includes students who during the quarter started participating in University of Phoenix certificate programs of at least 18 credit hours in length with some course applicability into a related degree program.
 
Students enrolled in or serviced by Apollo Global’s institutions, Insight Schools and Other Schools (Western International University, IPD, CFFP, and Meritus) are not included in Degreed Enrollment or New Degreed Enrollment.


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We incorporated in Arizona in 1981 and maintain our principal executive offices at 4025 S. Riverpoint Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85040. Our telephone number is (480) 966-5394. Our website addresses are as follows:
 
     
                  • Apollo Group
     • University of Phoenix
     • Apollo Global
       • BPP
       • UNIACC
       • ULA
     • Insight Schools
     • Western International University
     • IPD
     • CFFP
     • Meritus
  www.apollogrp.edu
www.phoenix.edu
www.apolloglobal.us
www.bpp.com
uniacc08eng.uniacc.cl
www.ula.edu.mx
www.insightschools.net
www.west.edu
www.ipd.org
www.cffp.edu
www.meritusu.ca
 
Our fiscal year is from September 1 to August 31. Unless otherwise stated, references to the years 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 relate to fiscal years 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005, respectively.
 
 
Our goal is to strengthen and capitalize on our position as a leading provider of high quality, accessible education for individuals around the world by affording strong returns for all of our stakeholders: students, faculty, employees, and investors. Our principal focus is to provide high quality educational products and services to our students in order for them to maximize the benefit of their educational experience. We believe that a superior student experience, enabled by our engaged and energized faculty and employees, is essential for our shareholders to achieve attractive returns on their capital over time. We intend to pursue our goal in a manner that is consistent with our core organizational values: 1) operate with integrity and social responsibility; 2) change lives through education; 3) be the employer of choice and 4) build long-term value. These values provide the foundation for everything we do as a business.
 
In late fiscal year 2009, we embarked on a company-wide initiative to refresh and validate our strategic plan to further enhance our competitive situation and position the Company for continued growth into the future. The key themes of the plan are presented below:
 
  •  Maximize the value of our University of Phoenix business.  This is our highest priority over the next several years and we believe that investing in the University of Phoenix will continue to produce the highest return on our capital. We believe that we can strengthen our position and produce solid growth in revenue and cash flow by increasing our penetration in target markets, enhancing our current product offerings, improving our brand and continuing to deliver a high value experience to our students. In addition, we will strive to improve operating efficiency and will re-invest excess capital into key strategic initiatives.
 
  •  Expand intelligently beyond University of Phoenix.  We believe we can capitalize on opportunities to utilize our core expertise and organizational capabilities to grow in areas outside of the University of Phoenix, both domestically and internationally. In particular, we have observed a growing demand for high quality postsecondary and other education services outside of the U.S., including in Europe, Latin America and Asia, and believe that we have the capabilities and expertise to provide these services beyond our current reach. We intend to actively pursue quality opportunities to partner with and/or acquire existing institutions of higher learning where we can best position ourselves for longer-term attractive growth and value creation.
 
We intend to use our expertise to enhance the quality, delivery and student outcomes associated with the respective curricula across our entire group of owned and operated institutions and companies. We believe we can leverage our organizational capabilities to offer innovative products, optimize our cost structure and create new growth opportunities. Finally, we intend to continue to invest in our people, systems and organization, as


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they are the foundation for our future success. In our opinion, these efforts are the basis for enabling us to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations and further differentiate us from our competition.
 
 
 
The domestic non-traditional education sector is a significant and growing component of the postsecondary degree-granting education industry, which was estimated to be a $386 billion industry in 2007, according to the Digest of Education Statistics published in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. According to the same study, in 2007, over 6.9 million, or 38%, of all students enrolled in higher education programs were over the age of 24, and enrollment in degree-granting institutions between 2008 and 2017 is expected to increase 19% for students over age 25. These students would not be classified as traditional (i.e., 18 to 24 years of age, living on campus, supported by parents, and not working full-time). The non-traditional students typically are looking to improve their skills and enhance their earnings potential within the context of their careers. We believe that the demand for non-traditional education will continue to increase, reflecting the knowledge-based economy in the U.S.
 
Many working learners seek accredited degree programs that provide flexibility to accommodate the fixed schedules and time commitments associated with their professional and personal obligations. The education formats offered by our institutions enable working learners to attend classes and complete coursework on a more convenient schedule than traditional universities offer. Although more colleges and universities are beginning to address some of the needs of working learners, many universities and institutions do not effectively address the needs of working learners for the following reasons:
 
  •  Traditional universities and colleges were designed to fulfill the educational needs of conventional, full-time students ages 18 to 24, and that industry sector remains the primary focus of these universities and institutions. This focus has resulted in a capital-intensive teaching/learning model that may be characterized by:
 
  •  a high percentage of full-time, tenured faculty;
  •  physical classrooms, library facilities and related full-time staff;
  •  dormitories, student unions, and other significant physical assets to support the needs of younger students; and
  •  an emphasis on research and related laboratories, staff, and other facilities.
 
  •  The majority of accredited colleges and universities continue to provide the bulk of their educational programming on an agrarian calendar with time off for traditional breaks. The traditional academic year runs from September to mid-December and from mid-January to May. As a result, most full-time faculty members only teach during that limited period of time. While this structure may serve the needs of the full-time, resident, 18- to 24-year-old student, it limits the educational opportunity for working learners who must delay their education for up to four months during these traditional breaks.
 
  •  Traditional universities and colleges may also be limited in their ability to provide the necessary customer service for working learners because they lack the necessary administrative and enrollment infrastructure.
 
  •  Diminishing financial support for public colleges and universities has required them to focus more tightly on their existing student populations and missions, which has reduced access to education.
 
 
There were approximately 153 million students enrolled in postsecondary education worldwide in 2007 according to the Global Education Digest 2009 published in 2009 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics.
 
We believe that private education is playing a critical role in advancing the development of education, specifically higher education and lifelong learning, in many countries around the world. While primary and


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secondary education outside the U.S. are still funded mainly through government expenditures, we believe that postsecondary education outside of the U.S. is experiencing governmental funding constraints that create opportunities for a broader private sector role. The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank reported in May 2008 that governments around the world are embracing private sector participation as a way to increase quality and efficiency.
 
We believe that the following key trends are driving the growth in private education worldwide:
 
  •  unmet demand for education;
  •  insufficient public funding to meet demand for education;
  •  shortcomings in the quality of higher education offerings, resulting in the rise of supplemental training to meet industry demands in the developing world;
  •  worldwide appreciation of the importance that knowledge plays in economic progress;
  •  globalization of education; and
  •  increased availability and role of technology in education, broadening the accessibility and reach of education.
 
 
Our more than 35 years as a provider of education enables us to provide students with quality education and responsive customer service at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Our institutions have gained expertise in designing curriculum, recruiting and training faculty, monitoring academic quality, and providing a high level of support services to students. Our institutions offer the following:
 
  •  Accredited Degree Programs.  University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. BPP’s College of Professional Studies is a recognized body by order of the United Kingdom’s Privy Council. Our other educational institutions are accredited by appropriate accrediting entities. See Accreditation and Jurisdictional Authorizations, below.
 
  •  Professional Examinations Training and Professional Development.  BPP provides training and published materials for qualifications in accountancy (including tax), financial services and actuarial science. BPP also provides professional development through continuing education training and supplemental skills courses to post-qualification markets in finance, law, general management and insolvency. University of Phoenix and certain of our other institutions, including CFFP, also provide various training and professional development education.
 
  •  Faculty.
 
  •  Domestic Postsecondary:  Substantially all University of Phoenix faculty possess either a master’s or doctoral degree. Faculty members typically have many years of experience in the field in which they instruct. Our institutions have well-developed methods for hiring and training faculty, which include peer reviews of newly hired instructors by other members of the faculty, training in student instruction and grading, and teaching mentorships with more experienced faculty members.
 
  •  International:  Our recruitment standards and processes for international faculty are appropriate for the respective markets in which we operate and are consistent with and in compliance with local accreditation and regulatory requirements in these markets.
 
  •  Standardized Programs.
 
  •  Domestic Postsecondary:  Faculty content experts design curriculum for the majority of programs at our domestic postsecondary institutions. This enables us to offer current and relevant standardized programs to our students. We also utilize standardized tests and institution-wide systems to assess the educational outcomes of our students and improve the quality of our curriculum and instructional model. These systems evaluate the cognitive (subject matter) and affective (educational, personal and professional values) skills of our students upon registration and upon conclusion of the program, and


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  also survey students two years after graduation in order to assess the quality of the education they received. Classes are designed to be small and engaging.
 
  •  International:  Our international institutions typically follow a course development process in which faculty members who are subject matter experts work with instructional designers to develop curriculum materials based on learning objectives provided by school academic officers.
 
  •  Benefits to Employers.  The employers of students enrolled in our programs often provide input to faculty members in designing curriculum, and class projects are based on issues relevant to the companies that employ our students. Classes are taught by faculty members, many of whom, in our domestic postsecondary institutions, are practitioners and employers who emphasize the skills desired by employers. We conduct focus groups with business professionals, students, and faculty members who provide feedback on the relevancy of course work. Our objective is to gain insight from these groups so that we can develop new courses and offer relevant subject matter that reflect the changing needs of the marketplace and prepare our students for today’s workplace. In addition, the class time flexibility further benefits employers since it minimizes conflict with their employees’ work schedules.
 
Teaching Model and Degree Programs and Services
 
Domestic Postsecondary
 
 
While students over the age of 24 comprise approximately 38% of all higher education enrollments in the U.S., the primary mission of most accredited four-year colleges and universities is to serve 18- to 24-year-old students and conduct research. The teaching/learning models used by University of Phoenix were designed specifically to meet the educational needs of working learners, who seek accessibility, curriculum consistency, time- and cost-effectiveness, and learning that has immediate application to the workplace. The models are structured to enable students who are employed full-time to earn their degrees and still meet their personal and professional responsibilities. Our focus on working, non-residential students minimizes the need for capital-intensive facilities and services like dormitories, student unions, food service, personal and employment counseling, health care, sports and entertainment.
 
University of Phoenix online classes employ a proprietary online learning system. Online classes are small and have mandatory participation requirements for both the faculty and the students. Each class is instructionally designed so that students have learning outcomes that are consistent with the outcomes of their on-campus counterparts. All class materials are delivered electronically.
 
Components of our teaching/learning models at University of Phoenix for both online and on-campus classes include:
 
Curriculum Curriculum is designed by teams of academicians and practitioners to integrate academic theory and professional practice and their application to the workplace. The curriculum provides for the achievement of specified educational outcomes that are based on input from faculty, students, and students’ employers.
 
Faculty All faculty applicants participate in a rigorous selection and training process. For substantially all University of Phoenix faculty positions, the faculty member must have earned a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent and have recent professional experience in a field related to the relevant course. With courses designed to facilitate the application of knowledge and skills to the workplace, faculty members are able to share their professional knowledge and skills with the students.


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Accessibility Our academic programs may be accessed through a variety of delivery modes (electronically delivered, campus-based or a blend of both), which make our educational programs accessible and even portable, regardless of where the students work and live.
 
Class Schedule and Active Learning Environment Courses are designed to encourage and facilitate collaboration among students and interaction with the instructor. The curriculum requires a high level of student participation for purposes of enhancing learning and increasing the student’s ability to work as part of a team. University of Phoenix students (excluding associate’s degree students) are enrolled in five- to eight-week courses year round and complete classes sequentially, rather than concurrently. This permits students to focus their attention and resources on one subject at a time and creates a better balance between learning and ongoing personal and professional responsibilities. In addition to attending class, University of Phoenix students (excluding associate’s degree students) meet weekly (online or in-person) as part of a three- to five-person learning team. Learning team sessions are an integral part of each University of Phoenix course to facilitate in-depth review of and reflection on course materials. Members work together to complete assigned group projects and develop communication and teamwork skills. In the associate’s degree programs, the courses are nine weeks and classes are offered in pairs to complement each other.
 
Library and Other Learning Resource Services Students and faculty members are provided with electronic and other learning resources for their information and research needs. Students access these services directly through the Internet or with the help of a learning resource services research librarian.
 
Academic Quality Over the last few years, University of Phoenix implemented an academic quality assessment plan with the purpose of measuring whether the institution meets its mission and purposes. A major component of this plan is the assessment of student learning. To assess student learning, University of Phoenix measures whether graduates meet its programmatic and learning goals. The measurement is composed of the following four ongoing and iterative steps:
 
1. preparing an annual assessment plan for academic programs;
2. preparing an annual assessment result report for academic programs, based on student learning outcomes;
3. implementing improvements based on assessment results; and
4. monitoring effectiveness of implemented improvements.
 
By achieving programmatic competencies, University of Phoenix graduates are expected to become proficient in the following areas:
• critical thinking and problem solving;
• collaboration;
• information utilization;
• communication; and
• professional values.
 
We have developed an assessment matrix which outlines specific learning outcomes to measure whether students are meeting


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University of Phoenix learning goals. Multiple methods have been identified to assess each outcome.
 
 
University of Phoenix offers degrees in the following program areas:
 
                   
Associate’s
   
Bachelor’s
   
Master’s
   
Doctoral
•   Arts and Sciences
 •   Business and Management
 •   Criminal Justice and Security
 •   Education
 •   Health Care
 •   Human Services
 •   Psychology
 •   Technology
   
•   Arts and Sciences
•   Business and Management
•   Criminal Justice and Security
•   Education
•   Health Care
•   Human Services
•   Nursing
•   Psychology
•   Technology
   
•   Business and Management
•   Counseling
•   Criminal Justice and Security
•   Education
•   Health Care
•   Nursing
•   Psychology
•   Technology
   
•   Business and Management
•   Education
•   Health Care
•   Nursing
•   Psychology
•   Technology
                   
 
 
In 2008, University of Phoenix published its first Academic Annual Report which contains a transparent look at a variety of comparative performance measures related to student outcomes and university initiatives related to quality and accountability. The report was created within the framework set forth in the 2006 report commissioned by former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, entitled “A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education,” which focused on access, accountability, quality, and affordability. The Academic Annual Report is available on the University of Phoenix website at www.phoenix.edu.
 
International
 
 
Our international operations include full-time, part-time and distance learning courses for professional examination preparation, professional development training and various degree programs. Our international operations faculty members consist of both full-time and part-time professors.
 
 
Our international operations offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, which include a variety of degree programs and related areas of specialization. Additionally, we offer training and published materials for qualifications in specific markets for accountancy (including tax), financial services and actuarial science. We also provide professional development through continuing education training and supplemental skills courses primarily in the legal and finance industries.
 
 
 
To gain admission to undergraduate programs at University of Phoenix, students must have a high school diploma or a Certificate of General Educational Development, commonly referred to as GED, and satisfy employment requirements, if applicable, for their field of study. Applicants whose native language is not English must take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language or Test of English for International Communication. Non-U.S. citizens attending a campus located in the U.S. are required to hold an approved visa or to have been granted permanent residency. Additional requirements may apply to individual programs or to students who are attending a specific campus. Students already in undergraduate programs at other schools may petition to be


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admitted to University of Phoenix on a provisional status if they do not meet certain criteria. Some programs have work requirements (e.g. nursing) such that students must have a certain amount of experience in given areas in order to be admitted. These vary by program, and not all programs have them.
 
To gain admission to graduate programs at University of Phoenix, students must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university, satisfy the minimum grade point average requirement, and have relevant work and employment experience, if applicable for their field of study. Applicants whose native language is not English must take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language or Test of English for International Communication. Non-U.S. citizens attending a campus located in the U.S. are required to hold an approved visa or have been granted permanent residency. Additional requirements may apply to individual programs or to students who are attending a specific campus. Students in graduate programs at other schools may be admitted to University of Phoenix on provisional status if they do not meet grade point average admission requirements.
 
To gain admission to doctoral programs at University of Phoenix, students must generally have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, satisfy the minimum grade point average requirement, satisfy employment requirements as appropriate to the program applied for, have a laptop computer and have membership in a research library. Applicants whose native language is not English must take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language, Test of English for International Communication or Berlitz® Online English Proficiency Exam.
 
The admission requirements for our Other Schools are similar to University of Phoenix and vary depending on the respective degree program.
 
 
In general, postsecondary students in our international institutions must have obtained a high school or equivalent diploma from an approved school. Other requirements apply for graduate and other programs. Admissions requirements for our international institutions are appropriate for the respective markets in which we operate.
 
Students
 
 
University of Phoenix Degreed Enrollment for the quarter ended August 31, 2009 was 443,000. See Item 1, Business, “Overview,” for a description of the manner in which we calculate Degreed Enrollment. The following table details Degreed Enrollment for the respective periods:
 
                         
    Quarter Ended August 31,     %
 
(Rounded to the nearest hundred)   2009     2008     Change  
 
Associate’s
    201,200       146,500       37.3 %
Bachelor’s
    163,600       141,800       15.4 %
Master’s
    71,200       67,700       5.2 %
Doctoral
    7,000       6,100       14.8 %
                         
Total
    443,000       362,100       22.3 %


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The following chart details quarterly Degreed Enrollment by degree type for the respective periods:
 
(BAR CHART)
 
University of Phoenix New Degreed Enrollment
 
University of Phoenix combined New Degreed Enrollment for fiscal year 2009 was 355,800. See Item 1, Business, “Overview,” for a description of the manner in which we calculate New Degreed Enrollment. The following table details University of Phoenix combined New Degreed Enrollment for the respective fiscal years:
 
                         
    Year Ended August 31,     %
 
(Rounded to the nearest hundred)   2009     2008     Change   
 
Associate’s
    191,700       143,400       33.7 %
Bachelor’s
    108,900       92,400       17.9 %
Master’s
    51,900       49,400       5.1 %
Doctoral
    3,300       3,000       10.0 %
                         
Total
    355,800       288,200       23.5 %


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The following chart details quarterly New Degreed Enrollment by degree type for the respective periods:
 
(BAR CHART)
 
We have a diverse student population. During fiscal years 2009 and 2008, approximately 66% of students enrolled in University of Phoenix degree programs who attended a course were women. Approximately 69% and 70% during fiscal years 2009 and 2008, respectively, of the students enrolled in University of Phoenix degree programs who attended a course provided us information on their race/ethnicity. The relative percentages by race/ethnicity category for those students who responded during the respective periods are as follows:
 
                 
Race/Ethnicity
  2009     2008  
 
African-American
    27.7 %     25.0 %
Asian/Pacific Islander
    3.6 %     4.1 %
Caucasian
    52.2 %     53.8 %
Hispanic
    11.6 %     12.0 %
Native American/Alaskan
    1.3 %     1.3 %
Other/Unknown
    3.6 %     3.8 %
                 
      100.0 %     100.0 %
                 
 
The relative percentages by age of incoming students that comprise New Degreed Enrollment during fiscal years 2009 and 2008 are as follows:
 
                 
Age
  2009     2008  
 
22 and under
    14.9 %     14.0 %
23 to 29
    34.3 %     34.0 %
30 to 39
    31.0 %     31.0 %
40 to 49
    14.5 %     15.0 %
50 and over
    5.3 %     6.0 %
                 
      100.0 %     100.0 %
                 


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In October 2007, we acquired Aptimus, Inc., an online advertising company, which has been successfully integrated into our marketing organization. Our primary purpose in acquiring Aptimus was to help us more effectively monitor, manage, and control our marketing investments and brands by leveraging its industry-specific knowledge and technology platform. Our marketing strategy is to increase awareness of and access to quality and affordable education through improved messaging and sharpened focus on our different communication channels and to attract students who are more likely to persist in our programs.
 
We engage in a broad range of marketing activities to inform potential students about our teaching/learning model and the programs offered, including online advertising, broadcast, outdoor advertising, print, and direct mail. In fiscal year 2009, we launched a national marketing campaign called “I am a Phoenix” to develop and strengthen our brand identity.
 
 
We advertise on the Internet using search engine keywords, banners, and custom advertising placements on targeted sites, such as education portals, career sites, and industry-specific websites. Our Internet and non-Internet advertising activities have improved the quality of the consumer traffic and interest on our owned and operated website, website www.phoenix.edu, which provides prospective students with relevant information and resources about University of Phoenix’s degrees and programs.
 
We intend to continue to leverage the unique qualities of the Internet and its emerging technologies to enhance our brand awareness among prospective students, and to improve our ability to deliver relevant messages to satisfy prospective students’ specific needs and requirements. New media technologies that we have begun to use to communicate with our current and prospective students include online social networks, search engine marketing and emerging video advertising.
 
 
We utilize non-Internet marketing, primarily through broadcast and print advertising, to reach new prospects and to establish brand recognition among key segments of prospective students. Broadcast advertising includes advertisements on cable, local and national television networks. In addition, we advertise in select print publications, including national and local newspapers and publications with focused areas of content, to target programs and fields in which we provide classes and degrees.
 
 
Direct mail is effective at reaching targeted individuals in specific career fields of interest including Accounting, Business, Education, Technology, Criminal Justice and Nursing. Direct mail also allows us to reach specific metropolitan areas for focused local marketing efforts. We currently purchase education-related mailing lists from various sources that specialize in this area. In addition, we track student prospects for every direct mail campaign by variety of methods including postage-paid reply cards, a specific toll-free number and dedicated online links.
 
 
We selectively sponsor and provide advertising to support specific activities, including local and national sports and entertainment events. We also utilize outdoor advertising, including billboards, to communicate the quality and affordability of our on campus educational offerings in regional markets.
 
 
In 2006, we obtained naming and sponsorship rights on a stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which is home to the Arizona Cardinals team in the National Football League. These naming and sponsorship rights are in effect until 2026 with options to extend and include opportunities for signage, advertising, and other promotional rights and benefits to enhance the University of Phoenix brand awareness.


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We work closely with many businesses and governmental agencies to meet their specific educational and training needs either by modifying existing programs or, in some cases, by developing customized programs. These programs are often held at the employers’ offices or on site at select military bases. University of Phoenix has formed educational partnerships with various corporations to provide programs specifically designed for their employees. BPP enrolls the majority of its students through relationships with employers. We consider the employers that provide tuition assistance to their employees through tuition reimbursement plans or direct bill arrangements to be our secondary customers.
 
 
Referrals continue to be an important source of new students, including those from employers, co-workers, current students, alumni, family members and friends.
 
 
 
The higher education industry is highly fragmented with no single private or public institution enjoying a significant market share. We compete primarily with traditional four- and two-year degree-granting public and private regionally accredited colleges and universities. While students over the age of 24 comprise approximately 38% of all higher education enrollments in the U.S., the primary mission of most accredited four-year colleges and universities is to serve 18- to 24-year-old students and conduct research. University of Phoenix acknowledges the differences in educational needs between working learners and traditional students and provides programs and services that allow students to earn their degrees without major disruption to their personal and professional lives.
 
An increasing number of colleges and universities enroll working learners in addition to the traditional 18- to 24-year-old students, and we expect that these colleges and universities will continue to modify their existing programs to serve working learners more effectively, including by offering more distance learning programs. We believe that the primary factors on which we compete are the following:
 
  •  the ability to provide flexible and convenient access to programs and classes;
  •  cost of the program;
  •  breadth of programs offered;
  •  active and relevant curriculum development that considers needs of employers;
  •  the time necessary to earn a degree;
  •  reliable and high-quality products and services;
  •  qualified and experienced faculty;
  •  reputation of programs and classes; and
  •  comprehensive student support services.
 
In our offerings of non-degree programs, we compete with a variety of business and information technology providers, primarily those in the for-profit training sector. Many of these competitors have significantly more market share in given geographical regions and longer-term relationships with key employers of potential students.
 
 
Competitive factors for our international schools vary by country and generally include the following:
 
  •  breadth of programs offered;
  •  active and relevant curriculum development that considers the needs of employers; and
  •  reputation of programs and classes.


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In addition, BPP competes with other training providers, public and private colleges, and universities primarily in the United Kingdom. The primary factors on which BPP competes with these institutions include the following:
 
  •  reputation of programs and classes;
  •  examination success;
  •  reliable and high-quality products and services;
  •  qualified and experienced faculty;
  •  flexible learning programs;
  •  active and relevant curriculum development that considers the needs of employers;
  •  relationships with employers; and
  •  degree awarding powers.
 
 
We believe that our employee relations are satisfactory. As of August 31, 2009, we had the following numbers of employees:
 
                         
    Non-Faculty        
    Full-Time     Part-Time     Faculty(1)  
 
University of Phoenix
    15,725       291       27,361  
Apollo Global:
                       
BPP
    1,273       249       647  
Other
    1,244             1,080  
                         
Total Apollo Global
    2,517       249       1,727  
Insight Schools
    140       15       376  
Other Schools
    741       7       1,912  
Corporate(2)
    2,391       46        
                         
Total
    21,514       608       31,376  
                         
 
 
(1) Includes both full-time and part-time faculty. Also includes 1,113 employees counted as non-faculty that serve in both roles.
 
(2) Consists primarily of employees in executive management, information systems, accounting and finance, financial aid, and corporate human resources.
 
 
Domestic Postsecondary
 
 
University of Phoenix is covered by regional accreditation, which provides the following:
 
  •  recognition and acceptance by employers, other higher education institutions and governmental entities of the degrees and credits earned by students;
  •  qualification to participate in Title IV programs (in combination with state higher education operating and degree granting authority); and
  •  qualification for authorization in certain states.
 
Regional accreditation is accepted nationally as the basis for the recognition of earned credit and degrees for academic purposes, employment, professional licensure and, in some states, authorization to operate as a degree-granting institution. Under the terms of a reciprocity agreement among the six senior regional accrediting associations, representatives of each region in which a regionally accredited institution operates may participate in the evaluations for reaffirmation of accreditation of which the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is a member.


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Accreditation information for University of Phoenix and applicable programs is described in the chart below:
 
             
Institution/Program     Accrediting Body (Year Accredited)     Status
University of Phoenix
    — The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (1978, reaffirmed in 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2002)     — Next comprehensive evaluation visit by The Higher Learning Commission is scheduled to be conducted in 2012 (maximum period of reaffirmation is 10 years)
— North Central Association of Colleges and Schools may require focused visits between comprehensive visits as part of normal and continuing relationship
 — Business programs
    — Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (2007)     — Next reaffirmation visit expected in 2017, with interim focus report to be submitted by us in 2011
 — Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    — Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (2005)
— Previously accredited by National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission from 1989 to 2005
    — Reaccreditation due in 2010 by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
 — Master of Science in Nursing
    — Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (2005)
— Previously accredited by National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission from 1996 to 2005
    — Reaccreditation due in 2010 by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
 — Master of Counseling in Community Counseling (Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona campuses)
    — Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (1995, reaffirmed in 2002)     — Reaffirmation visit expected in 2010
 — Master of Counseling in Mental Health Counseling Salt Lake City, Utah campus
    — Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (2001)     — Reaffirmation visit expected in 2009
 — Master of Arts in Education with options in Elementary Teacher Education and Secondary Teacher Education
    — Teacher Education Accreditation Council (preaccredited in 2007)     — Reaccreditation due in 2012
             
 
The schools in our Other Schools segment maintain the requisite accreditations for their respective operations.
 
 
In addition to accreditation by independent accrediting bodies, our schools must be authorized to operate by the appropriate regulatory authorities in many of the jurisdictions in which they operate.
 
In the U.S., institutions that participate in Title IV programs must be authorized to operate by the appropriate postsecondary regulatory authority in each state where the institution has a physical presence, or


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be exempt from such regulatory authorization, usually based on recognized accreditation. As of August 31, 2009, University of Phoenix is authorized to operate and has a physical presence in 39 states and the District of Columbia. University of Phoenix has held these authorizations for periods ranging from less than two years to over 25 years. As of August 31, 2009, University of Phoenix has also been approved to operate in Alaska, Mississippi, Montana and South Dakota, but does not yet have a physical presence in these states.
 
All regionally accredited institutions, including University of Phoenix, are required to be evaluated separately for authorization to operate in Puerto Rico. University of Phoenix obtained authorization from the Puerto Rico Commission on Higher Education, and that authorization remains in effect.
 
Some states assert authority to regulate all degree-granting institutions if their educational programs are available to their residents, whether or not the institutions maintain a physical presence within those states. University of Phoenix has obtained licensure in these states.
 
The schools in our Other Schools segment maintain the requisite authorizations in the jurisdictions in which they operate.
 
 
Our international schools must be authorized by the relevant regulatory authorities under applicable local law, which in some cases requires accreditation, as described in the chart below:
 
             
School     Accrediting Body     Operational Authority
BPP
   
— BPP Professional Education and BPP College of Professional Studies operate under a number of professional body accreditations to offer training towards professional body certifications

— BPP has additional accreditations by country and/or program as necessary
   
— The Privy Council for the United Kingdom has designated BPP College of Professional Studies Limited as an awarding body for qualifications (including degrees) in the United Kingdom

 — BPP College of Professional Studies’ reauthorization will be due when its current authority expires in August 2013
UNIACC
   
— Council for Higher Education (Consejo Superior de Educación)

— National Commission on Accreditation (Comisión Nacional de Acreditación)
   
— Chilean Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación de Chile)

 — Reaccreditation due in 2011
ULA
    — N/A    
— Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education (Secretaria de Educación Pública)

— Ministry of Education of the State of Morelos (Secretaria de Educación del Estado de Morelos)

— National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
             
 
 
 
The Higher Education Act of 1965 and the related regulations govern all higher education institutions participating in U.S. Title IV federal financial aid programs. In August 2008, the Higher Education Act was


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reauthorized through September 30, 2013 by the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized (which we refer to generally as Title IV), is awarded every academic year to eligible students. Certain types of U.S. federal student aid are awarded on the basis of financial need, generally defined as the difference between the cost of attending an educational institution and the amount the student and/or the student’s family, as the case may be, can reasonably be expected to contribute to that cost. The amount of financial aid awarded per academic year is based on many factors, including, but not limited to, program of study, grade level, Title IV annual loan limits, and financial need. All recipients of Title IV program funds must maintain satisfactory academic progress within the guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Education.
 
We collected the majority of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, principally from federal Stafford loans, also known as Federal Family Education Loan Program (“FFELP”) loans, and Pell Grants. University of Phoenix represented approximately 95% of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue and University of Phoenix generated 86% of its cash basis revenue for eligible tuition and fees during fiscal year 2009 from the receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, as calculated under the 90/10 Rule, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases, described further below.
 
FFELP loans are currently the most significant source of U.S. federal student aid and are low interest, federally guaranteed loans made by private lenders. Annual and aggregate loan limits apply based on the student’s grade level. There are two types of Stafford loans: subsidized Stafford loans, which are based on the U.S. federal statutory calculation of student need, and unsubsidized Stafford loans, which are not need-based. Neither type of Stafford loan is based on creditworthiness. The U.S. federal government pays the interest on subsidized Stafford loans while the student is enrolled in school; the borrower is responsible for the interest on unsubsidized Stafford loans regardless of school attendance. The student has the option to defer payment on the principal and interest while enrolled in school. Repayment on Stafford loans begins six months after the date the student ceases enrollment. The loan may be paid back to the lender over the course of up to 10 years or longer. Both graduate and undergraduate students may apply for Stafford loans. During fiscal year 2009, Stafford loans represented approximately 85% of the gross Title IV funds received by University of Phoenix.
 
In addition to FFELP loans made by private lenders, the U.S. Department of Education also administers the Federal Direct Loan Program (“FDLP”), which eliminates the private financial institution as the lender. Under the FDLP, the federal government makes the loans directly to the students with terms consistent with FFELP loans. During fiscal year 2009, we began participating in the FDLP for a small portion of our Title IV eligible students. During fiscal year 2009, FDLP loans represented less than 1% of the gross Title IV funds received by University of Phoenix. In U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget request delivered to Congress on February 26, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education proposed to eliminate FFELP loans and instead require all Title IV student loans to be administered through the FDLP commencing July 1, 2010. We expect to be able to fully transition from the FFELP program to the FDLP by the proposed July 1, 2010 phase-out date, if necessary. If this proposal is adopted, the transition would require us to develop and implement administrative capabilities and procedures for volume processing of loans under the FDLP. If we experience a disruption in our ability to process student loans through the FDLP, either because of administrative challenges on our part or the inability of the U.S. Department of Education to process the increased volume of direct loans on a timely basis, our results of operations and cash flows could be adversely and materially affected.
 
Federal Pell Grants are generally awarded based on need only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Unlike loans, Pell Grants do not have to be repaid. During fiscal year 2009, Pell Grants represented approximately 14% of the gross Title IV funds received by University of Phoenix.
 
Funding from student loans not guaranteed by the federal government represented approximately 1% of the cash basis revenue for eligible tuition and fees for University of Phoenix during fiscal year 2009. See Item 1A, Risk Factors — Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate.


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Government financial aid funding for students enrolled in our international institutions is not widely available.
 
 
 
Our domestic postsecondary operations are subject to significant regulations. New or revised interpretations of regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, changes in existing or new interpretations of applicable laws, rules, or regulations could have a material adverse effect on our accreditation, authorization to operate in various states, permissible activities, and operating costs. The failure to maintain or renew any required regulatory approvals, accreditation, or state authorizations could have a material adverse effect on us. See Item 1A, Risk Factors — Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate.
 
The Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, and the related regulations govern all higher education institutions participating in U.S. Title IV federal financial aid programs, and provide for a regulatory triad by mandating specific regulatory responsibilities for each of the following:
 
  •  the accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education;
  •  the federal government through the U.S. Department of Education; and
  •  state higher education regulatory bodies.
 
To be eligible to participate in Title IV programs, a postsecondary institution must be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and must comply with the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, and all applicable regulations thereunder. University of Phoenix and Western International University currently meet the requirements for Title IV participation. The most significant regulatory requirements applicable to our domestic postsecondary operations are summarized below.
 
Eligibility and Certification Procedures.  The Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, specifies the manner in which the U.S. Department of Education reviews institutions for eligibility and certification to participate in Title IV programs. Every educational institution involved in Title IV programs must be certified to participate and is required to periodically renew this certification. University of Phoenix was recertified in June 2003 and its current certification for the Title IV programs expired in June 2007. In March 2007, University of Phoenix submitted its Title IV recertification application to the U.S. Department of Education. We have been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Education since that date and continue to supply additional follow-up information based on requests from the U.S. Department of Education. Our eligibility continues on a month-to-month basis until the U.S. Department of Education issues its decision on the application. We have no reason to believe that our application will not be renewed in due course.
 
In February 2009, unrelated to our recertification application, the U.S. Department of Education performed an ordinary course, focused program review of University of Phoenix’s policies and procedures involving Title IV programs. We have not yet received the program review report.
 
Western International University was recertified in October 2003 and its current certification for participation in Title IV programs expired on June 30, 2009. In March 2009, Western International University submitted its Title IV recertification application to the U.S. Department of Education and Western International University’s eligibility continues on a month-to-month basis until the U.S. Department of Education completes its review of the application and issues its decision. As with University of Phoenix, we have no reason to believe that the application will not be renewed in due course.
 
The “90/10 Rule.”  A requirement of the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, commonly referred to as the “90/10 Rule,” applies only to proprietary institutions of higher education, which includes University of Phoenix and Western International University. Under this rule, a proprietary institution will be ineligible to participate in Title IV programs if for any two consecutive fiscal years it derives more than 90% of its cash basis revenue, as defined in the rule, from Title IV programs. An


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institution that derives more than 90% of its revenue from Title IV programs for any single fiscal year will be placed on provisional certification for two fiscal years and will be subject to possible additional sanctions determined to be appropriate under the circumstances by the U.S. Department of Education in the exercise of its broad discretion. An institution that derives more than 90% of its revenue from Title IV programs for two consecutive fiscal years will be ineligible to participate in Title IV programs. University of Phoenix and Western International University are required to calculate this percentage at the end of each fiscal year. If an institution violates the 90/10 Rule and becomes ineligible to participate in Title IV programs, any disbursements of Title IV program funds while ineligible must be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education.
 
The 90/10 Rule percentage for University of Phoenix has increased materially over the past several fiscal years and we expect the trend will continue in fiscal year 2010. The increase has been driven primarily by the following factors:
 
  •  Increased student loan limits.  In May 2008, the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 increased the annual loan limits on federal unsubsidized student loans by $2,000 for the majority of our students enrolled in associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs, and also increased the aggregate loan limits (over the course of a student’s education) on total federal student loans for certain students. This increase in student loan limits, together with increases in Pell Grants, has increased the amount of Title IV program funds available to and used by our students to satisfy tuition, fees and other costs, which has increased the proportion of our revenue deemed to be from Title IV programs.
 
  •  Increased associate’s degree enrollment.  The proportion of our revenue from associate’s degree programs is composed of a higher percentage of Title IV funds than is the case for our bachelor’s and other degree programs. As a result, our 90/10 Rule percentage tends to increase as associate’s degree enrollment increases relative to other programs. Because our associate’s degree enrollment continues to grow at a higher rate than our other programs, this growth has contributed to the increase in the 90/10 Rule percentages for the University of Phoenix.
 
The Higher Education Opportunity Act provides temporary relief from the impact of the loan limit increases by excluding from the 90/10 Rule calculation any amounts received between July 1, 2008 and July 1, 2011 that are attributable to the increased annual loan limits. The implementing regulations for this temporary relief are being developed in a negotiated rulemaking process involving the U.S. Department of Education, industry representatives and other interested parties. The proposed rules were published for comment by the U.S. Department of Education in August 2009, and are expected to be published in final form by November 1, 2009. There is uncertainty about the manner and extent in which the temporary relief will apply to University of Phoenix and Western International University, which have atypical academic calendars. We continue to monitor the rulemaking process, as the resolution of the interpretive issues and subsequent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education could have an impact on the benefit derived from the temporary relief. The application of this temporary relief will decrease the 90/10 Rule percentages for University of Phoenix and Western International University for fiscal year 2009. However, at present given the evolving rule-making process as well as the complexity of such a calculation given our atypical academic calendars, we are unable to quantify precisely the benefit that we will derive in the 90/10 Rule percentage from the temporary relief. As such, our reported rates below exclude the benefits from the temporary relief, which we currently estimate will reduce our University of Phoenix rate between 50 and 300 basis points.
 
The 90/10 Rule percentages, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases, for University of Phoenix and Western International University for fiscal year 2009 were 86% and 57%, respectively.
 
University of Phoenix is taking various measures to reduce the percentage of its cash basis revenue attributable to Title IV funds, including emphasizing employer-paid and other direct-pay education programs, encouraging students to carefully evaluate the amount of necessary Title IV borrowing, and increasing the focus on professional development and continuing education programs. Although we expect that these measures will favorably impact the 90/10 Rule calculation in the future, there is no assurance that these initiatives will be effective in reducing the 90/10 Rule calculation, or that they will be adequate to prevent the


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90/10 Rule calculation from exceeding 90% in fiscal year 2010 or future fiscal years. We do not believe that these measures significantly impacted our 90/10 Rule calculation for fiscal year 2009.
 
In addition, we intend to consider other measures to favorably impact the 90/10 Rule calculation for University of Phoenix, including appropriate domestic acquisitions and tuition price increases. These efforts, and our other long-term initiatives to impact this calculation, may increase our operating expenses and/or reduce our revenue and may have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
 
Student Loan Defaults.  To remain eligible to participate in Title IV programs, educational institutions must maintain an appropriate student loan cohort default rate. The U.S. Department of Education reviews an educational institution’s cohort default rate annually as a measure of administrative capability. The cohort is the group of students who first enter into student loan repayment during a federal fiscal year (ending September 30). The currently applicable cohort default rate for each cohort is the percentage of the students in the cohort who default on their student loans prior to the end of the following federal fiscal year. The cohort default rates are published by the U.S. Department of Education approximately 12 months after the end of the measuring period. Thus, in September 2009 the U.S. Department of Education published the cohort default rates for the 2007 cohort, which measured the percentage of students who first entered into repayment during the year ended September 30, 2007 and defaulted prior to September 30, 2008. As discussed below, the measurement period for the cohort default rate has been increased to three years starting with the 2009 cohort.
 
If an educational institution’s cohort default rate exceeds 10% for any one of the three preceding years, it must delay for 30 days the release of the first disbursement of U.S. federal student loan proceeds to first time borrowers enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate program. Western International University implemented a 30 day delay for such disbursements in fiscal year 2007, and University of Phoenix proactively implemented a 30 day delay for such disbursements in July 2009. If an institution’s cohort default rate exceeds 25% for three consecutive years or exceeds 40% in any one year, it will be ineligible to participate in Title IV programs and, as a result, its students would not be eligible for federal student financial aid.
 
The cohort default rates for University of Phoenix, Western International University and for all proprietary postsecondary institutions for the federal fiscal year periods 2007, 2006 and 2005 were as follows:
 
                         
    Cohort Year Ended September 30,  
    2007     2006     2005  
 
University of Phoenix
    9.3 %     7.2 %     7.3 %
Western International University
    18.5 %     27.4 %     11.4 %
All proprietary postsecondary institutions(1)
    11.0 %     9.7 %     8.2 %
 
 
(1) Information published by the U.S. Department of Education.
 
The University of Phoenix cohort default rate has ranged from approximately 4% to 9.3% over the past several years. The increase in the rate is, in large measure, the result of our transitioning associate’s degree students from Western International University to University of Phoenix beginning in April 2006 and the general expansion of the University of Phoenix associate’s degree program. Student loan default rates tend to be higher in our associate’s degree student population than in our bachelor’s and graduate degree student populations. We believe that the 2008 University of Phoenix cohort default rate for the period ending September 30, 2009 will exceed 10%, although we do not expect that this will have a material impact on our business as we have already implemented a 30 day delay in the disbursement of Title IV loan proceeds for first time borrowers enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate program.
 
The increase in Western International University’s cohort default rate from 2005 to 2006 is due to the enrollment of associate’s degree students in Western International University from September 2004 through March 2006. The transition of the associate’s degree program to University of Phoenix in April 2006 has resulted in a decrease in Western International University’s cohort default rate from 2006 to 2007. We anticipate a further decrease in student loan defaults for Western International University based on this transition.


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We have implemented initiatives to mitigate the increased risk of student loan defaults for University of Phoenix and Western International University students. We have dedicated resources focused on assisting the students who are at risk of default. These dedicated resources contact students and offer assistance, which includes providing students with specific loan repayment information, lender contact information and attempts to transfer these students to the lender to resolve their delinquency. In addition, we have refined and improved our student retention programs, resulting in improved student retention rates. Accordingly, we believe that the increase in cohort default rates for University of Phoenix arising from the increased proportion of associate’s degree students will be significantly less pronounced than it was for Western International University.
 
The cohort default rate calculation was modified by the Higher Education Opportunity Act enacted in August 2008. As modified, effective for the federal fiscal year 2009 cohort, the measuring period for the cohort default rate will be extended to the end of the second year after a student first enters repayment, rather than the end of the first year following the commencement of repayment. Accordingly, the cohort default rate for the 2009 cohort will measure the percentage of students entering student loan repayment during the year ended September 30, 2009 who default on their student loans on or before September 30, 2011 (rather than September 30, 2010).
 
The Higher Education Opportunity Act also modified several provisions to counterbalance the extended measurement period with increased threshold cohort default rates that trigger penalties along with the penalties imposed based on an institution’s cohort default rate effective with the federal fiscal year 2009 cohort as follows:
 
  •  The trigger based on a single cohort default rate of 10%, which would result in a required 30-day delay in disbursing Title IV loan proceeds to first year, first time borrowers, will be increased to 15%;
  •  The trigger based on cohort default rates of more than 25% for three consecutive cohorts, which would result in Title IV ineligibility, will be increased to 30%; and
  •  The trigger based on a single cohort default rate of more than 40%, which would result in Title IV ineligibility, is unchanged.
 
At this time we are unable to forecast the impact of these modifications on our business due to the uncertain impact on student loan defaults of the current adverse economic conditions.
 
Administrative Capability.  The Higher Education Opportunity Act directs the U.S. Department of Education to assess the administrative capability of each institution to participate in Title IV programs. The failure of an institution to satisfy any of the criteria used to assess administrative capability may allow the U.S. Department of Education to determine that the institution lacks administrative capability and, therefore, may be subject to additional scrutiny or denied eligibility for Title IV programs.
 
Standards of Financial Responsibility.  Pursuant to the Title IV regulations, as revised, each eligible higher education institution must satisfy the minimum standard established for three tests which assess the financial condition of the institution at the end of the institution’s fiscal year. The three tests measure primary reserve, equity, and net income ratios by using information from the institution’s audited financial statements. These ratios take into account the total financial resources of the school. The Primary Reserve Ratio is a measure of an institution’s financial viability and liquidity. The Equity Ratio is a measure of an institution’s capital resources and its ability to borrow. The Net Income Ratio is a measure of an institution’s profitability. These tests provide three individual scores which are converted into a single composite score. The maximum composite score is 3.0. If the institution achieves a composite score of at least 1.5, it is considered financially responsible. A composite score from 1.0 to 1.4 is considered financially responsible, subject to additional monitoring and other consequences, and the institution may continue to participate as a financially responsible institution for up to three years. If an institution does not achieve a composite score of at least 1.0, it can be transferred from the “advance” system of payment of Title IV funds to cash monitoring status or to the “reimbursement” system of payment, under which the institution must disburse its own funds to students and document the students’ eligibility for Title IV program funds before receiving such funds from the U.S. Department of Education. The composite scores for Apollo Group, University of Phoenix and Western International University exceed the required minimum of 1.5.


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Limits on Title IV Program Funds.  The Title IV regulations place restrictions on the types of programs offered and the amount of Title IV program funds that a student is eligible to receive in any one academic year. Only certain types of educational programs offered by an institution qualify for Title IV program funds. For students enrolled in qualified programs, the Title IV regulations place limits on the amount of Title IV program funds that a student is eligible to receive in any one academic year, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. An academic year must consist of at least 30 weeks of instructional time and a minimum of 24 credit hours. Most of University of Phoenix’s and Western International University’s degree programs meet the academic year minimum definition of 30 weeks of instructional time and 24 credit hours. Substantially all of University of Phoenix’s degree programs qualify for Title IV program funds. The programs that do not qualify for Title IV program funds consist primarily of corporate training programs and certain certificate and continuing professional education programs. These programs are paid directly by the students or their employers.
 
Restricted Cash.  The U.S. Department of Education places restrictions on excess Title IV program funds collected for unbilled tuition and fees transferred to University of Phoenix, Western International University or IPD Client Institutions. If an institution holds excess Title IV program funds with student authorization, the institution must maintain, at all times, cash in its bank account (not an escrow account) in an amount at least equal to the amount of funds the institution holds for students.
 
Compensation of Representatives.  The Higher Education Opportunity Act prohibits an institution from providing any commission, bonus or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid to any person or entity engaged in any student recruitment, admission, or financial aid awarding activity. Title IV regulations provide safe harbors for activities and arrangements that an institution may carry out without violating the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, which include, but are not limited to, the payment of fixed compensation (annual salary), as long as that compensation is not adjusted up or down more than twice during any 12-month period, and any adjustment is not based solely on the number of students recruited, admitted, enrolled, or awarded financial aid. University of Phoenix, Western International University, and IPD believe that their current methods of compensating enrollment counselors and financial aid staff comply with the Title IV regulations. See Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, regarding the Incentive Compensation False Claims Act lawsuit.
 
Authorizations for New Locations and Programs.  University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP are required to have authorization to operate as degree-granting institutions in each state where they physically provide educational programs. Certain states accept accreditation as evidence of meeting minimum state standards for authorization or for exempting the institution entirely from formal state licensure or approval. Other states require separate evaluations for authorization. Depending on the state, the addition of a degree program not offered previously or the addition of a new location must be included in the institution’s accreditation and be approved by the appropriate state authorization agency. University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP are currently authorized to operate in all states in which they have physical locations.
 
University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP also must obtain the prior approval of The Higher Learning Commission before expanding into new locations to conduct instructional activities.
 
Branching and Classroom Locations.  The Title IV regulations contain specific requirements governing the establishment of new main campuses, branch campuses and classroom locations at which the eligible institution offers, or could offer, 50% or more of an educational program. In addition to classrooms at campuses and learning centers, locations affected by these requirements include the business facilities of client companies, military bases and conference facilities used by University of Phoenix and Western International University. The U.S. Department of Education requires that the institution notify the U.S. Department of Education of each location offering 50% or more of an educational program prior to disbursing Title IV program funds to students at that location. University of Phoenix and Western International University have procedures in place to ensure timely notification and acquisition of all necessary location approvals prior to disbursing Title IV funds to students attending any new location. In addition, The Higher Learning


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Commission requires that each new campus or learning center of University of Phoenix or Western International University be approved before offering instruction. States in which the two universities operate have varying requirements for approval of branch and classroom locations.
 
Change of Ownership or Control.  A change of ownership or control, depending on the type of change, may have significant regulatory consequences for University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP. Such a change of ownership or control could trigger recertification by the U.S. Department of Education, reauthorization by state licensing agencies, or the reevaluation of the accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission.
 
The U.S. Department of Education has adopted the change of ownership and control standards used by the U.S. federal securities laws for institutions owned by publicly-held corporations. If a change of ownership and control occurs that requires us to file a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or there is a change in the identity of a controlling shareholder of Apollo Group, the University of Phoenix and/or Western International University may become ineligible to participate in Title IV programs until recertified by the U.S. Department of Education. Under some circumstances, the U.S. Department of Education may continue an institution’s participation in Title IV programs on a temporary provisional basis pending completion of the change in ownership approval process. In addition, some states where University of Phoenix, Western International University or CFFP are presently licensed have requirements governing change of ownership or control that require approval of the change to remain authorized to operate in those states. See Item 1A, Risk Factors — Our Executive Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board control 100% of our voting stock and control substantially all actions requiring the vote or consent of our shareholders. Moreover, University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP are required to report any material change in stock ownership to The Higher Learning Commission. In the event of a material change in stock ownership, The Higher Learning Commission may seek to evaluate the effect of such a change on the continuing operations of University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP.
 
New U.S. Department of Education Reporting and Disclosure requirements.  The Higher Education Opportunity Act includes various provisions aimed at the rising cost of postsecondary education and other efforts for more transparency. Beginning July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education will publish national lists disclosing the top five percent in each of nine institutional categories with the highest college costs and largest percentage increases. Additional consumer information disclosures required of all Title IV eligible institutions, include, but are not limited to, plans for improving the academic program, institutional policies and sanctions related to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, retention rates, placement information, completion and graduation rates and campus/student safety awareness provisions.
 
U.S. Department of Education Audits and Other Matters.  From time to time as part of the normal course of business, University of Phoenix and Western International University are subject to program reviews and audits by regulating bodies as a result of their participation in Title IV programs. In February 2009, the U.S. Department of Education performed an ordinary course, focused program review of University of Phoenix’s policies and procedures involving Title IV programs. We have not received the program review report resulting from this visit.
 
U.S. Department of Education regulations require institutions and third-party servicers to submit annually to the Secretary of Education their student financial aid compliance audit, prepared by an independent auditor, no later than six months after the last day of the institution’s or third-party servicer’s fiscal year. University of Phoenix, Western International University and IPD have timely submitted their respective fiscal year 2008 annual student financial aid compliance audits.
 
During a previous internal review of certain Title IV policies and procedures, it came to our attention that certain Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations performed by University of Phoenix and Western International University failed to properly identify students who should have been placed on financial aid disqualification status and therefore were ineligible to participate in Title IV financial aid programs. Additionally, we determined that University of Phoenix was incorrectly disbursing certain funds under a grant program. These matters were self-reported to the U.S. Department of Education in October 2008. In February 2009, after completing our review of these practices, we reported to the U.S. Department of Education the


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results of our review and paid the U.S. Department of Education our best estimate of the liability, which was $8.4 million. Approximately half of this amount was recorded in our Consolidated Statements of Income in fiscal year 2008, which was our best estimate based on the information available when we identified the matter. We recorded the remaining amount in our Consolidated Statements of Income in the first half of fiscal year 2009 following completion of our review. The U.S. Department of Education has informed us that this matter has been resolved.
 
 
Governmental regulations in foreign countries significantly affect our international operations. New or revised interpretations of regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on us. Changes in existing or new interpretations of applicable laws, rules, or regulations in the foreign jurisdictions in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our accreditation, authorization to operate, permissible activities, and costs of doing business outside of the U.S. The failure to maintain or renew any required regulatory approvals, accreditation, or state authorizations could have a material adverse effect on our international operations. See Item 1A, Risk Factors — Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate.
 
 
We file annual, quarterly and current reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may read and copy any document we file at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the Securities and Exchange Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330 for information on the Public Reference Room. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains a website that contains annual, quarterly and current reports that issuers file electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s website is http://www.sec.gov.
 
Our website address is www.apollogrp.edu. We make available free of charge on our website our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Information Statements on Schedule 14C, Forms 3, 4, and 5 filed on behalf of directors and executive officers, and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
Item 1A — Risk Factors
 
You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below and all other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In order to help assess the major risks in our business, we have identified many, but not all, of these risks. Due to the scope of our operations, a wide range of factors could materially affect future developments and performance.
 
If any of the following risks are realized, our business, financial condition, cash flow or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected, and as a result, the trading price of our Class A common stock could be materially and adversely impacted. These risk factors should be read in conjunction with other information set forth in this Annual Report, including Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, including the related Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
 
 
Dr. John G. Sperling, our Executive Chairman of the Board and Founder, and his son, Mr. Peter V. Sperling, our Vice Chairman of the Board, control the John Sperling Voting Stock Trust and the Peter Sperling


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Voting Stock Trust. Dr. Sperling, Mr. Sperling and the two trusts collectively own 100% of our voting securities, the Apollo Group Class B common stock. Through their individual holdings and their control of these trusts, Dr. Sperling and Mr. Sperling together control the election of all members of our Board of Directors and substantially all other actions requiring a vote of our shareholders, except in certain limited circumstances. Holders of our outstanding Apollo Group Class A common stock do not have the right to vote for the election of directors or for substantially any other action requiring a vote of shareholders, except in certain limited circumstances. In the event of Dr. Sperling’s passing, control of the John Sperling Voting Stock Trust, which holds a majority of the outstanding Apollo Group Class B common stock, will be exercised by a majority of three successor trustees: Mr. Sperling, Terri Bishop, who is an executive officer and Director of Apollo, and Darby Shupp, an employee of an entity affiliated with Dr. Sperling. No assurances can be given that the Apollo Group Class B shareholders will exercise their control of Apollo Group in the same manner that a majority of the outstanding Class A shareholders would if they were entitled to vote on actions currently reserved exclusively for our Class B shareholders. In addition, the control of 100% of our voting stock by Dr. Sperling and Mr. Sperling makes it impossible for a third party to acquire voting control of us without Dr. Sperling’s consent.
 
We are a “Controlled Company” as defined in Rule 5615(c)(1) of the NASDAQ Listing Rules, since more than 50% of the voting power of Apollo Group is held by the John Sperling Voting Stock Trust. As a consequence, we are exempt from certain requirements of NASDAQ Listing Rule 5605, including that:
 
  •  our Board be composed of a majority of Independent Directors (as defined in NASDAQ Listing Rule 5605(a)(2));
 
  •  the compensation of our officers be determined by a majority of the independent directors or a compensation committee composed solely of independent directors; and
 
  •  nominations to the Board of Directors be made by a majority of the independent directors or a nominations committee composed solely of independent directors.
 
However, NASDAQ Listing Rule 5605(b)(2) does require that our independent directors have regularly scheduled meetings at which only independent directors are present (“executive sessions”). In addition, Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m) requires that a compensation committee of outside directors (within the meaning of Section 162(m)) approve stock option grants to executive officers in order for us to be able to claim deductions for the compensation expense attributable to such stock options. Notwithstanding the foregoing exemptions, we do have a majority of independent directors on our Board of Directors and we do have an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee and a Nominating and Governance Committee composed entirely of independent directors.
 
The charters for the Compensation, Audit and Nominating and Governance Committees have been adopted by the Board of Directors and are available on our website, www.apollogrp.edu. These charters provide, among other items, that each member must be independent as such term is defined by the applicable rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate
 
U.S. Operations
 
 
As a provider of higher education, we are subject to extensive U.S. regulation on both the federal and state levels. In particular, the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act in August 2008, and related regulations impose significant regulatory scrutiny on University of Phoenix and Western International University, and all other higher education institutions that participate in the various federal student financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (“Title IV programs”). We collected the majority of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue from receipt of Title IV financial


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aid program funds. University of Phoenix represented approximately 95% of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue and University of Phoenix generated 86% of its cash basis revenue for eligible tuition and fees during fiscal year 2009 from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, as calculated under the 90/10 Rule, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases.
 
These regulatory requirements cover virtually all phases of our U.S. operations, including educational program offerings, facilities, instructional and administrative staff, administrative procedures, marketing and recruiting, financial operations, payment of refunds to students who withdraw, maintenance of restricted cash, acquisitions or openings of new schools, commencement of new educational programs and changes in our corporate structure and ownership.
 
The Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, mandates specific regulatory responsibilities for each of the following components of the higher education regulatory triad: (1) the U.S. federal government through the U.S. Department of Education; (2) independent accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education; and (3) state education regulatory bodies.
 
The regulations, standards and policies of these regulatory agencies frequently change and are subject to interpretation, particularly where they are crafted for traditional, academic term-based schools rather than our non-term academic delivery model. Changes in, or new interpretations of, applicable laws, regulations, or standards could have a material adverse effect on our accreditation, authorization to operate in various states, permissible activities, receipt of funds under Title IV programs, or costs of doing business. We cannot predict with certainty how all of the requirements applied by these agencies will be interpreted or whether our schools will be able to comply with these requirements in the future.
 
From time to time, we identify inadvertent compliance deficiencies that we must address and, where appropriate, report to the U.S. Department of Education. Such reporting, even in regard to a minor compliance issue, could result in a more significant compliance review by the U.S. Department of Education or even a full recertification review, which may require the expenditure of substantial administrative time and resources to address. If the U.S. Department of Education concluded that these reported deficiencies reflect a lack of administrative capability, we could be subject to additional sanctions or even lose our eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. See “A failure to demonstrate “administrative capability” or “financial responsibility” may result in the loss of eligibility to participate in Title IV programs,” below.
 
If we are found to be in noncompliance with any of these regulations, standards or policies, any one of the relevant regulatory agencies may be able to do one or more of the following:
 
  •  impose monetary fines or penalties;
 
  •  limit or terminate our operations or ability to grant degrees and diplomas;
 
  •  restrict or revoke our accreditation, licensure or other approval to operate;
 
  •  limit, suspend or terminate our eligibility to participate in Title IV programs or state financial aid programs;
 
  •  require repayment of funds received under Title IV programs or state financial aid programs;
 
  •  require us to post a letter of credit with the U.S. Department of Education;
 
  •  subject our schools to heightened cash monitoring by the U.S. Department of Education;
 
  •  transfer us from the U.S. Department of Education’s advance system of receiving Title IV program funds to its reimbursement system, under which a school must disburse its own funds to students and document the students’ eligibility for Title IV program funds before receiving such funds backed by the U.S. Department of Education;
 
  •  subject us to other civil or criminal penalties; and/or
 
  •  subject us to other forms of censure.


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In addition, in some circumstances of noncompliance or alleged noncompliance, we may be subject to qui tam lawsuits under the Federal False Claims Act. In these actions, private plaintiffs seek to enforce remedies under the Act on behalf of the U.S. and, if successful, are entitled to recover their costs and to receive a portion of any amounts recovered by the U.S. in the lawsuit. These lawsuits can be prosecuted by a private plaintiff in respect of some action taken by us, even if the Department of Education does not agree with plaintiff’s theory of liability.
 
Any of the penalties, injunctions, restrictions or other forms of censure listed above could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. If we lose our Title IV eligibility, we would experience a dramatic and adverse decline in revenue and we would be unable to continue our business as it currently is conducted.
 
The reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act in August 2008 includes substantially increased reporting and other requirements which may impair our reputation and adversely affect our enrollments. In addition, not all of these new requirements are clear on their face. Our failure to accurately interpret these new requirements may subject us to penalties and other sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Education.
 
The Higher Education Opportunity Act, enacted on August 14, 2008, extends the Higher Education Act through September 30, 2013. Among other things, the Higher Education Opportunity Act imposes more than 100 new reporting requirements. Beginning July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education will publish national lists disclosing various statistics including the top five percent of schools in each of nine institutional categories with the highest college costs and largest percentage increases. If University of Phoenix or Western International University is highlighted negatively on one or more of these lists, our reputation may be impaired and our enrollments may be adversely affected. In addition, many of the Higher Education Opportunity Act provisions will be further specified in regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education currently is evaluating which provisions in the law should be the subject of regulation. This regulatory process may impose additional or apparently different reporting and other requirements on institutions that participate in Title IV programs. Some period will elapse before the U.S. Department of Education determines which provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act will be the subject of administrative rulemaking and issues final rules. In the interim, the uncertainty about various requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act will remain. Any failure by us to properly interpret the effect of the Higher Education Opportunity Act could subject us to the consequences, penalties and other sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Education discussed in the preceding risk factor, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The prospect of such sanctions may cause us to conservatively interpret the Higher Education Opportunity Act’s requirements pending interpretive guidance, which may limit our flexibility in operating or growing our business.
 
 
The “90/10 Rule.” A requirement of the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, commonly referred to as the “90/10 Rule,” applies only to proprietary institutions of higher education, which includes University of Phoenix and Western International University. Under this rule, a proprietary institution will be ineligible to participate in Title IV programs if for any two consecutive fiscal years it derives more than 90% of its cash basis revenue, as defined in the rule, from Title IV programs. An institution that derives more than 90% of its revenue from Title IV programs for any single fiscal year will be placed on provisional certification for two fiscal years and will be subject to possible additional sanctions determined to be appropriate under the circumstances by the U.S. Department of Education in the exercise of its broad discretion. An institution that derives more than 90% of its revenue from Title IV programs for two consecutive fiscal years will be ineligible to participate in Title IV programs. University of Phoenix and Western International University are required to calculate this percentage at the end of each fiscal year. If an


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institution violates the 90/10 Rule and becomes ineligible to participate in Title IV programs, any disbursements of Title IV program funds while ineligible must be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education.
 
The 90/10 Rule percentage for University of Phoenix has increased materially over the past several fiscal years and we expect the trend will continue in fiscal year 2010. The increase has been driven primarily by the following factors:
 
  •  Increased student loan limits.  In May 2008, the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 increased the annual loan limits on federal unsubsidized student loans by $2,000 for the majority of our students enrolled in associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs, and also increased the aggregate loan limits (over the course of a student’s education) on total federal student loans for certain students. This increase in student loan limits, together with increases in Pell Grants, has increased the amount of Title IV program funds available to and used by our students to satisfy tuition, fees and other costs, which has increased the proportion of our revenue deemed to be from Title IV programs.
 
  •  Increased associate’s degree enrollment.  The proportion of our revenue from associate’s degree programs is composed of a higher percentage of Title IV funds than is the case for our bachelor’s and other degree programs. As a result, our 90/10 Rule percentage tends to increase as associate’s degree enrollment increases relative to other programs. Because our associate’s degree enrollment continues to grow at a higher rate than our other programs, this growth has contributed to the increase in the 90/10 Rule percentages for the University of Phoenix.
 
The Higher Education Opportunity Act provides temporary relief from the impact of the loan limit increases by excluding from the 90/10 Rule calculation any amounts received between July 1, 2008 and July 1, 2011 that are attributable to the increased annual loan limits. The implementing regulations for this temporary relief are being developed in a negotiated rulemaking process involving the U.S. Department of Education, industry representatives and other interested parties. The proposed rules were published for comment by the U.S. Department of Education in August 2009, and are expected to be published in final form by November 1, 2009. There is uncertainty about the manner and extent in which the temporary relief will apply to University of Phoenix and Western International University, which have atypical academic calendars. We continue to monitor the rulemaking process, as the resolution of the interpretive issues and subsequent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education could have an impact on the benefit derived from the temporary relief. The application of this temporary relief will decrease the 90/10 Rule percentages for University of Phoenix and Western International University for fiscal year 2009. However, at present given the evolving rule-making process as well as the complexity of such a calculation given our atypical academic calendars, we are unable to quantify precisely the benefit that we will derive in the 90/10 Rule percentage from the temporary relief. As such, our reported rates below exclude the benefits from the temporary relief, which we currently estimate will reduce our University of Phoenix rate between 50 and 300 basis points.
 
The 90/10 Rule percentages, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases, for University of Phoenix and Western International University for fiscal year 2009 were 86% and 57%, respectively.
 
University of Phoenix is taking various measures to reduce the percentage of its cash basis revenue attributable to Title IV funds, including emphasizing employer-paid and other direct-pay education programs, encouraging students to carefully evaluate the amount of necessary Title IV borrowing, and increasing the focus on professional development and continuing education programs. Although we expect that these measures will favorably impact the 90/10 Rule calculation in the future, there is no assurance that these initiatives will be effective in reducing the 90/10 Rule calculation, or that they will be adequate to prevent the 90/10 Rule calculation from exceeding 90% in fiscal year 2010 or future fiscal years. We do not believe that these measures significantly impacted our 90/10 Rule calculation for fiscal year 2009.
 
In addition, we intend to consider other measures to favorably impact the 90/10 Rule calculation for University of Phoenix, including appropriate domestic acquisitions and tuition price increases. These efforts, and our other long-term initiatives to impact this calculation, may increase our operating expenses and/or


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reduce our revenue and may have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
 
If the U.S. Congress acts to further increase the student loan limits or to increase the amount of Pell or other grants available to students, the 90/10 Rule percentage for University of Phoenix could increase. Absent corresponding changes in the 90/10 Rule to address the effects of any such increase, such an increase may require us to accelerate our efforts to manage the proportion of our cash basis revenue composed of Title IV funds.
 
We collected the majority of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, and continued Title IV eligibility is critical to the operation of our business. If University of Phoenix becomes ineligible to participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs, we could not conduct our business as it is currently conducted and it would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See the discussion of the 90/10 Rule, including the changes enacted by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, in Item 1, Business, Regulatory Environment — Domestic Postsecondary — The “90/10 Rule,” which discussion is incorporated by this reference.
 
 
University of Phoenix and Western International University are eligible and certified to participate in Title IV programs. University of Phoenix was recertified for Title IV programs in June 2003 and its current certification expired in June 2007. In March 2007, University of Phoenix submitted its Title IV recertification application to the U.S. Department of Education. We have been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Education since that date and continue to supply additional follow-up information based on requests from the U.S. Department of Education. Our eligibility continues on a month-to-month basis until the U.S. Department of Education issues its decision on the application. We have no reason to believe that our application will not be renewed in due course.
 
In February 2009, unrelated to our recertification application, the U.S. Department of Education performed an ordinary course, focused program review of University of Phoenix’s policies and procedures involving Title IV programs. We have not yet received the program review report.
 
Western International University was recertified in October 2003 and its current certification for participation in Title IV programs expired on June 30, 2009. In March 2009, Western International University submitted its Title IV recertification application to the U.S. Department of Education. Western International University’s eligibility continues on a month-to-month basis until the U.S. Department of Education completes it review of the application and issues its decision. As with University of Phoenix, we have no reason to believe that the application will not be renewed in due course.
 
Generally, the recertification process includes a review by the U.S. Department of Education of the institution’s educational programs and locations, administrative capability, financial responsibility, and other oversight categories. The U.S. Department of Education could limit, suspend or terminate an institution’s participation in Title IV programs for violations of the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, or Title IV regulations.
 
We collected the majority of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds. University of Phoenix represented approximately 95% of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue and University of Phoenix generated 86% of its cash basis revenue for eligible tuition and fees during fiscal year 2009 from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, as calculated under the 90/10 Rule, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases. Continued Title IV eligibility is critical to the operation of our business. If University of Phoenix becomes ineligible to participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs, we could not conduct our business as it is currently conducted and it would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


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Student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (“FFELP”) are currently the most significant source of U.S. federal student aid and are low interest, federally guaranteed loans made by private lenders. We collected the majority of our fiscal year 2009 total consolidated net revenue from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, principally from FFELP student loans. In addition to FFELP loans made by private lenders, the U.S. Department of Education also administers the Federal Direct Loan Program (“FDLP”), which eliminates the private financial institution as the lender. Under the FDLP, the federal government makes the loans directly to the students on terms consistent with FFELP loans. During fiscal year 2009, FDLP loans represented less than 1% of the gross Title IV funds received by University of Phoenix.
 
In U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget request to Congress, the U.S. Department of Education proposed to eliminate FFELP loans and instead require all Title IV student loans to be administered through the FDLP commencing July 1, 2010. We expect to be able to fully transition from the FFELP program to the FDLP by the proposed July 1, 2010 phase-out date, if necessary. If this proposal is adopted, the transition would require us to develop and implement administrative capabilities and procedures for volume processing of loans under the FDLP. If we experience a disruption in our ability to process student loans through the FDLP, either because of administrative challenges on our part or the inability of the U.S. Department of Education to process the increased volume of direct student loans on a timely basis, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely and materially affected.
 
 
A change of ownership or control of Apollo Group, depending on the type of change, may have significant regulatory consequences for University of Phoenix and Western International University. Such a change of ownership or control could require recertification by the U.S. Department of Education, reauthorization by state licensing agencies, or the reevaluation of the accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The U.S. Department of Education has adopted the change of ownership and control standards used by the federal securities laws for institutions owned by publicly-held corporations. Upon a change of ownership and control sufficient to require us to file a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a change in the identity of a controlling shareholder of the Apollo Group, University of Phoenix and/or Western International University may cease to be eligible to participate in Title IV programs until recertified by the U.S. Department of Education. There can be no assurances that such recertification would be obtained on a timely basis. Under some circumstances, the U.S. Department of Education may continue an institution’s participation in the Title IV programs on a temporary provisional basis pending completion of the change in ownership approval process. In addition, some states where University of Phoenix, Western International University or CFFP is presently licensed have requirements governing change of ownership or control that require approval of the change to remain authorized to operate in those states. Moreover, University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP are required to report any material change in stock ownership to The Higher Learning Commission. In the event of a material change in stock ownership of Apollo Group, The Higher Learning Commission may seek to evaluate the effect of such a change of stock ownership on the continuing operations of University of Phoenix, Western International University and CFFP.
 
Substantially all of our voting stock is owned and controlled by Dr. John Sperling and Mr. Peter Sperling. We cannot prevent a change of ownership or control that would arise from a transfer of voting stock by Dr. Sperling or Mr. Sperling, including a transfer that may occur or be deemed to occur upon the death of one or both of Dr. Sperling or Mr. Sperling. Dr. and Mr. Sperling have established voting stock trusts and other agreements with the intent to maintain the Company’s voting stock in such a way as to prevent a change of ownership or control upon either’s death, but we cannot assure you that these arrangements will have the desired effect.


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When we acquire an institution, we must seek approval from the U.S. Department of Education, if the acquired institution participates in Title IV programs, and from most applicable state agencies and accrediting agencies because an acquisition is considered a change of ownership or control of the acquired institution under applicable regulatory standards. A change of ownership or control of an institution under the U.S. Department of Education standards can result in the temporary suspension of the institution’s participation in the Title IV programs unless a timely and materially complete application for recertification is filed with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education issues a temporary provisional certification. If we are unable to obtain approvals from the state agencies, accrediting agencies or U.S. Department of Education for any institution we may acquire in the future, depending on the size of that acquisition, such a failure to obtain approval could have a material adverse effect on our business.
 
 
The U.S. Congress must periodically reauthorize the Higher Education Act and annually determine the funding level for each Title IV program. In 2008, the Higher Education Act was reauthorized through September 30, 2013 by the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Changes to the Higher Education Act are likely to result from subsequent reauthorizations, and the scope and substance of any such changes cannot be predicted. Any action by the U.S. Congress that significantly reduces Title IV program funding or the ability of our institutions or students to participate in Title IV programs would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Congressional action may also require us to modify our practices in ways that could increase our administrative costs and reduce our profit margin, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
If the U.S. Congress significantly reduced the amount of available Title IV program funding, we would attempt to arrange for alternative sources of financial aid for our students, but it is unlikely that private sources would be able to provide as much funding to our students on as favorable terms as is currently provided by Title IV. In addition, private organizations could require us to guarantee all or part of this assistance and we might incur other additional costs. For these reasons, private, alternative sources of student financial aid would only partly offset, if at all, the impact on our business of reduced Title IV program funding.
 
 
Currently, under the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, an educational institution will lose its eligibility to participate in some or all Title IV programs if its student loan cohort default rate equals or exceeds 25% for three consecutive years or 40% for any given year. If our student loan default rates approach these limits, we may be required to expend substantial effort and resources to improve these default rates. In addition, because there is a lag between the funding of a student loan and a default thereunder, many of the borrowers who are in default or at risk of default are former students with whom we may have only limited contact. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we would be able to effectively improve our default rates or improve them in a timely manner to meet the requirements for continued participation in Title IV funding if we begin to experience a substantial increase in our student loan default rates.
 
The cohort default rate requirements were modified by the Higher Education Opportunity Act enacted in August 2008 to increase by one year the measuring period for each cohort and increase some of the threshold rates that trigger penalties. We do not expect the change in the measurement period for the calculation of the cohort default rate and the related thresholds to have a material impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
If we lose our eligibility to participate in Title IV programs because of high student loan default rates, we could not conduct our business as it is currently being conducted and it would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See the discussion of student loan cohort default rates, including the changes enacted by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, in Item 1,


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Business — Regulatory Environment — Domestic Postsecondary — Student Loan Defaults, which discussion is incorporated by this reference.
 
 
Due to the highly regulated nature of the postsecondary education industry, we are subject to audits, compliance reviews, inquiries, complaints, investigations, claims of non-compliance and lawsuits by federal and state governmental agencies, regulatory agencies, accrediting agencies, present and former students and employees, shareholders and other third parties, any of whom may allege violations of any of the regulatory requirements applicable to us. If the results of any such claims or actions are unfavorable to us, we may be required to pay monetary fines or penalties, be required to repay funds received under Title IV programs or state financial aid programs, have restrictions placed on or terminate our schools’ or programs’ eligibility to participate in Title IV programs or state financial aid programs, have limitations placed on or terminate our schools’ operations or ability to grant degrees and certificates, have our schools’ accreditations restricted or revoked, or be subject to civil or criminal penalties. Any one of these sanctions could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and result in the imposition of significant restrictions on us and our ability to operate.
 
 
University of Phoenix and Western International University are institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the Secretary of Education. Accreditation by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education is required in order for an institution to become and remain eligible to participate in Title IV programs. The loss of accreditation would, among other things, render our schools and programs ineligible to participate in Title IV programs, affect our authorization to operate in certain states and decrease student demand. If University of Phoenix becomes ineligible to participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs, we could not conduct our business as it is currently conducted and it would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
University of Phoenix and Western International University are authorized to operate and to grant degrees by the applicable state agency of each state where such authorization is required and where we maintain a campus. In addition, several states require University of Phoenix to obtain separate authorization for the delivery of distance education to residents of those states. Compliance with these state requirements is also necessary for students in the respective states to participate in Title IV programs. The loss of such authorization in one or more states would render students resident in those states ineligible to participate in Title IV programs and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Loss of authorization in one or more states could increase the likelihood of additional scrutiny and potential loss of operating and/or degree granting authority in other states in which we operate, which would further impact our business.
 
 
The U.S. Department of Education regulations specify extensive criteria an institution must satisfy to establish that it has the requisite administrative capability to participate in Title IV programs. These criteria require, among other things, that the institution:
 
  •  comply with all applicable Title IV program regulations;


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  •  have capable and sufficient personnel to administer the federal student financial aid programs;
 
  •  have acceptable methods of defining and measuring the satisfactory academic progress of its students;
 
  •  not have a student loan cohort default rate above specified levels;
 
  •  have procedures in place for safeguarding federal funds;
 
  •  not be, and not have any principal or affiliate who is, debarred or suspended from federal contracting or engaging in activity that is cause for debarment or suspension;
 
  •  provide financial aid counseling to its students;
 
  •  refer to the Office of Inspector General any credible information indicating that any applicant, student, employee or agent of the institution has been engaged in any fraud or other illegal conduct involving Title IV programs;
 
  •  submit in a timely manner all reports and financial statements required by the regulations; and
 
  •  not otherwise appear to lack administrative capability.
 
Furthermore, to participate in Title IV programs, an eligible institution must satisfy specific measures of financial responsibility prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education, or post a letter of credit in favor of the U.S. Department of Education and possibly accept other conditions on its participation in Title IV programs. If our schools eligible to participate in Title IV programs fail to maintain administrative capability or financial responsibility, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, those schools could lose their eligibility to participate in Title IV programs or have that eligibility adversely conditioned, which would have a material adverse effect on our business. Limitations on, or termination of, participation in Title IV programs as a result of the failure to demonstrate administrative capability or financial responsibility would limit students’ access to Title IV program funds, which could significantly reduce the enrollments and revenues of our schools eligible to participate in Title IV programs and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See the discussion of financial responsibility in Item 1, Business — Regulatory Environment — Domestic Postsecondary — Standards of Financial Responsibility, which discussion is incorporated by this reference.
 
 
The Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, and U.S. Department of Education regulations require us to calculate refunds of unearned Title IV program funds disbursed to students who withdraw from their educational program before completing it. If refunds are not properly calculated or timely paid for 5% or more of students sampled in the institution’s annual compliance audit or in a program review, generally within 45 days of the date the school determines that the student has withdrawn, we may have to post a letter of credit in favor of the U.S. Department of Education or otherwise be subject to adverse actions by the U.S. Department of Education, which could increase our cost of regulatory compliance and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
A school participating in Title IV programs may not provide any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid to any person or entity engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity or in making decisions regarding the awarding of Title IV program funds. The law and regulations governing this requirement do not establish clear criteria for compliance in all circumstances. If the U.S. Department of Education determined that our compensation practices violated these standards, the U.S. Department of Education could subject us to monetary fines, penalties, or other sanctions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


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IPD provides to its Client Institutions numerous consulting and administrative services, including services that involve the handling and receipt of Title IV funds. As a result of this, IPD may be jointly and severally liable for any fines, penalties or other sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Education on the Client Institution for violation of applicable Title IV regulations, regardless of the degree of fault, if any, on IPD’s part. The imposition of such fines, penalties or other sanctions could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
The increasing popularity and use of the Internet and other online services has led and may lead to further adoption of new laws and regulatory practices in the U.S. or foreign countries and to new interpretations of existing laws and regulations. These new laws and interpretations may relate to issues such as online privacy, copyrights, trademarks and service marks, sales taxes, value-added taxes, withholding taxes, allocation and apportionment of income amongst various state, local and foreign jurisdictions, fair business practices and the requirement that online education institutions qualify to do business as foreign corporations or be licensed in one or more jurisdictions where they have no physical location or other presence. New laws, regulations or interpretations related to doing business over the Internet could increase our costs and materially and adversely affect our enrollments, which could have a material adverse affect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Our non-U.S. operations are subject to regulatory requirements of the applicable countries in which we operate, and our failure to comply with these requirements may result in substantial monetary liabilities, fines and penalties and a loss of authority to operate.
 
We operate physical and online educational institutions in the United Kingdom, Europe, China, India, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and elsewhere, and are actively seeking further expansion in other countries. Our operations in each of the relevant foreign jurisdictions are subject to educational and other regulations, which may differ materially from the regulations applicable to our U.S. operations.
 
Risks Related to Our Business
 
 
The U.S and much of the world economy are in the midst of an economic downturn. We believe the current economic downturn has contributed to a portion of our recent enrollment growth as an increased number of working learners seek to advance their education to improve job security or reemployment prospects. This effect cannot be quantified. However, to the extent that the economic downturn has increased demand for our programs, a subsequent economic recovery may eliminate this effect and reduce such demand as fewer potential students seek to advance their education. This reduction could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. A worsening of the economic downturn may reduce the demand for our programs among students and the willingness of employers to sponsor educational opportunities for their employees, either of which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, these events could adversely affect the ability or willingness of our former students to repay student loans, which could increase our bad debt expense and our student loan cohort default rate and require increased time, attention and resources to manage these defaults, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business. See Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate — Student loan defaults could result in the loss of eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, above.


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We, certain of our subsidiaries, and certain of our current and former directors and executive officers have been named as defendants in lawsuits alleging violations of the federal securities laws and the federal False Claims Act. In August 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District Court of Arizona vacated a judgment for damages against us in a securities class action, and the plaintiffs have appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We also are awaiting trial in a separate qui tam action against us alleging violations of the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, and federal securities laws and the federal False Claims Act. We are also subject to various other lawsuits, investigations and claims, covering a range of matters, including, but not limited to, claims involving shareholders and employment matters and an informal inquiry by the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding our revenue recognition practices. Refer to Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further discussion of pending litigation and other proceedings.
 
We cannot predict the ultimate outcome of these matters and expect to incur significant defense costs and other expenses in connection with them. Such costs and expenses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and the market price of our common stock. We may be required to pay substantial damages or settlement costs in excess of our insurance coverage related to these matters, or may be required to pay substantial fines or penalties, any of which could have a further material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Our ability to sustain our current rate of growth or profitability depends on a number of factors, including our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals, our ability to attract and retain students, our ability to maintain operating margins, our ability to recruit and retain high quality academic and administrative personnel and competitive factors. Over the past three years, our growth has been predominately in our associate’s degree programs. If we do not sustain our growth rate in the associate’s degree programs, or fail to transition students to our bachelor’s degree, advanced degree and other potential new programs, our business could be adversely affected. In addition, growth may place a significant strain on our resources and increase demands on our management information and reporting systems, financial management controls, and personnel. Although we have made a substantial investment in augmenting our financial and management information systems and other resources to support future growth, we cannot assure you that we will have adequate capacity to accommodate substantial growth or that we will be able to manage further growth effectively. Failure to do so could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
In addition, our growth could be adversely impacted by a reduction in the growth rate of overall postsecondary enrollment. According to the U.S. Department of Education, enrollment in degree-granting, postsecondary institutions is projected to grow approximately 10% over the ten-year period ending in 2017, to approximately 20.1 million students. This growth compares with a 25.5% increase reported in the prior ten-year period ended in 2007, when enrollment increased from 14.5 million students in 1997 to 18.2 million students in 2007. This projected reduction in the growth rate of postsecondary enrollment could negatively affect our ability to grow our business in the U.S.
 
 
Building awareness of our schools and the programs we offer is critical to our ability to attract prospective students. If our schools are unable to successfully market and advertise their educational programs, our schools’ ability to attract and enroll prospective students in such programs could be adversely affected, and, consequently, our ability to increase revenue or maintain profitability could be impaired. It is also critical to our success that we convert these prospective students to enrolled students in a cost-effective manner and


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that these enrolled students remain active in our programs. Some of the factors that could prevent us from successfully enrolling and retaining students in our programs include:
 
  •  the emergence of more attractive competitors;
 
  •  factors related to our marketing, including the cost and effectiveness of Internet advertising and broad-based branding campaigns;
 
  •  inability to expand program content and develop new programs in a timely and cost-effective manner;
 
  •  performance problems with or capacity constraints of our online education delivery systems;
 
  •  failure to maintain accreditation;
 
  •  inability to continue to recruit, train and retain quality faculty;
 
  •  student or employer dissatisfaction with the quality of our services and programs;
 
  •  student financial, personal or family constraints;
 
  •  adverse publicity regarding us, our competitors or online or for-profit education generally;
 
  •  tuition rate reductions by competitors that we are unwilling or unable to match;
 
  •  a decline in the acceptance of online education;
 
  •  increased regulation of online education, including in states in which we do not have a physical presence;
 
  •  a decrease in the perceived or actual economic benefits that students derive from our programs or education in general; and
 
  •  litigation or regulatory investigations that may damage our reputation.
 
 
In recent years, a substantial proportion of our overall growth has arisen from the increase in associate’s degree students enrolled in University of Phoenix. As a result of this, the proportion of our Degreed Enrollment composed of associate’s degree students has increased and may continue to increase in the future. While this growth has generated significant financial returns, we have experienced certain negative effects from this shift, such as an increase in our student loan cohort default rate. If this mix shift continues, we may experience additional consequences, such as higher cost per New Degreed Enrollment, lower retention rates and/or higher student services costs, an increase in the percentage of our revenue derived from Title IV funding under the 90/10 Rule, more limited ability to implement tuition price increases and other effects that may adversely affect our operating results.
 
 
The performance and reliability of our computer network infrastructure at our schools, including our online programs, is critical to our operations, reputation and ability to attract and retain students. Any computer system error or failure, regardless of cause, could cause network outages that disrupt our online and on-ground operations. We have only limited redundancies in our core computer network infrastructure, which is concentrated in a single geographic area. If we experience a catastrophic failure or unavailability for any reason of our principal data center, we may need to replicate the function of this data center at our existing remote data facility or elsewhere, which may require equipping and restoring activities that could take a week or more to complete. The disruption from such an event could significantly impact our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


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In addition, we face the threat to our computer systems of unauthorized access, computer hackers, computer viruses and other security problems and system disruptions. We have devoted and will continue to devote significant resources to the security of our computer systems, but they may still be vulnerable to these threats. A user who circumvents security measures could misappropriate proprietary information or cause interruptions or malfunctions in operations. As a result, we may be required to expend significant resources to protect against the threat of these system disruptions and security breaches or to alleviate problems caused by these disruptions and breaches, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
As part of our growth strategy, we are actively considering acquisition opportunities in the U.S. and worldwide. We have acquired and expect to acquire additional proprietary educational institutions that complement our strategic direction, some of which could be material. Any acquisition involves significant risks and uncertainties, including:
 
  •  inability to successfully integrate the acquired operations, including the information technology systems, into our institutions and maintain uniform standards, controls, policies and procedures;
 
  •  distraction of management’s attention from normal business operations;
 
  •  challenges retaining the key employees of the acquired operation;
 
  •  possibly insufficient revenue generation to offset liabilities assumed;
 
  •  expenses associated with the acquisition;
 
  •  challenges relating to conforming non-compliant financial reporting procedures to those required of a subsidiary of a U.S. reporting company, including procedures required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and
 
  •  unidentified issues not discovered in our due diligence process, including commitments and/or contingencies.
 
Acquisitions are inherently risky. We cannot be certain that our previous or future acquisitions will be successful and will not materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We may not be able to identify suitable acquisition opportunities, acquire institutions on favorable terms, or successfully integrate or profitably operate acquired institutions. Future transactions may involve use of our cash resources, issuance of equity or debt securities, incurrence of other forms of debt or a significant increase in our financial leverage, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, especially if the cash flows associated with any acquisition are not sufficient to cover the additional debt service. If we issue equity securities as consideration in an acquisition, current shareholders’ percentage ownership and earnings per share may be diluted. In addition, our acquisition of an educational institution could be considered a change in ownership and control of the acquired institution under applicable regulatory standards. For such an acquisition in the U.S., we may need approval from the U.S. Department of Education and applicable state agencies and accrediting agencies and possibly other regulatory bodies. Our inability to obtain such approvals with respect to a completed acquisition could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
We review our goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible asset balances for impairment on at least an annual basis through the application of a fair-value-based test. In assessing the fair value of our reporting units, we rely primarily on using a discounted cash flow analysis which includes our estimates about the future cash flows of our reporting units that are based on assumptions consistent with our plans to manage the underlying businesses. Other factors we consider include, but are not limited to, significant underperformance


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relative to expected historical or projected future operating results, significant changes in the manner or use of the acquired assets or the overall business strategy, and significant negative industry or economic trends. If our estimates or related assumptions change in the future, we may be required to record non-cash impairment charges for these assets. In the future, if we are required to significantly write down the carrying value of goodwill or other intangible assets associated with any of our reporting units, our operating results and the market price of our common stock may be materially adversely affected.
 
 
We currently have relationships with large employers to provide their employees with the opportunity to obtain degrees through us while continuing their employment. These relationships are an important part of our strategy as they provide us with a steady source of potential working learners for particular programs and also serve to increase our reputation among high-profile employers. In addition, these programs have a beneficial impact on our 90/10 Rule percentage calculation by reducing the proportion of our cash-basis revenues attributable to Title IV funds. If we are unable to develop new relationships, or if our existing relationships deteriorate or end, our efforts to seek these sources of potential working learners may be impaired, and this could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Our principal credit agreement limits our ability to take various actions, including paying dividends, repurchasing shares and acquiring and disposing of assets or businesses. Accordingly, to the extent we have outstanding borrowings under our credit agreement, we may be restricted from taking actions that management believes would be desirable and in the best interests of us and our shareholders. Our principal credit agreement also requires us to satisfy specified financial and non-financial covenants. A breach of any covenants contained in our credit agreement could result in an event of default under the agreement and allow the lenders to pursue various remedies, including accelerating the repayment of any indebtedness outstanding under the agreement, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Increasingly, prospective employers of students who graduate from our schools demand that their new employees possess appropriate technological skills and also appropriate “soft” skills, such as communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills. These skills can evolve rapidly in a changing economic and technological environment. Accordingly, it is important for our schools’ educational programs to evolve in response to these economic and technological changes. The expansion of existing programs and the development of new programs may not be accepted by current or prospective students or the employers of our graduates. Even if our schools are able to develop acceptable new programs, our schools may not be able to begin offering those new programs as quickly as required by prospective employers or as quickly as our competitors offer similar programs. In addition, we may be unable to obtain specialized accreditations or licensures that may make certain programs desirable to students. To offer a new academic program, we may be required to obtain federal, state and accrediting agency approvals, which may be conditioned or delayed in a manner that could significantly affect our growth plans. In addition, to be eligible for Title IV programs, a new academic program may need to be certified by the U.S. Department of Education. If we are unable to adequately respond to changes in market requirements due to regulatory or financial constraints, unusually rapid technological changes, or other factors, our ability to attract and retain students could be impaired, the rates at which our graduates obtain jobs involving their fields of study could suffer, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.
 
Establishing new academic programs or modifying existing programs requires us to make investments in management and capital expenditures, incur marketing expenses and reallocate other resources. We may have


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limited experience with the courses in new areas and may need to modify our systems and strategy or enter into arrangements with other educational institutions to provide new programs effectively and profitably. If we are unable to increase the number of students or offer new programs in a cost-effective manner, or are otherwise unable to manage effectively the operations of newly established academic programs, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.
 
We have invested and continue to invest significant resources in information technology, which is a key element of our business strategy. Our information technology systems and tools could become impaired or obsolete due to our action or failure to act. For instance, we could install new information technology without accurately assessing its costs or benefits, or we could experience delayed or ineffective implementation of new information technology. Similarly, we could fail to respond in a timely or sufficiently competitive way to future technological developments in our industry. Should our action or failure to act impair or otherwise render our information technology less effective, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
We are heavily dependent on the integrity of our data management systems. If these systems do not effectively collect, store, process and report relevant data for the operation of our business, whether due to equipment malfunction or constraints, software deficiencies, or human error, our ability to effectively plan, forecast and execute our business plan and comply with applicable laws and regulations, including the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, and the regulations thereunder, will be impaired, perhaps materially. Any such impairment could materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
 
 
Possession and use of personal information in our operations subjects us to risks and costs that could harm our business. Our educational institutions collect, use and retain large amounts of personal information regarding our students and their families, including social security numbers, tax return information, personal and family financial data and credit card numbers. We also collect and maintain personal information of our employees in the ordinary course of our business. Some of this personal information is held and managed by certain of our vendors. Although we use security and business controls to limit access and use of personal information, a third party may be able to circumvent those security and business controls, which could result in a breach of student or employee privacy. In addition, errors in the storage, use or transmission of personal information could result in a breach of student or employee privacy. Possession and use of personal information in our operations also subjects us to legislative and regulatory burdens that could require notification of data breaches and restrict our use of personal information. We cannot assure you that a breach, loss or theft of personal information will not occur. A breach, theft or loss of personal information regarding our students and their families or our employees that is held by us or our vendors could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and results of operations and result in liability under state and federal privacy statutes and legal actions by state attorneys, general and private litigants, and any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Postsecondary education in our existing and new market areas is highly competitive. We compete with traditional public and private two-year and four-year colleges, other for-profit schools and alternatives to higher education, such as employment and military service. Some of our competitors, both public and private, have greater financial and other resources than we have. Our competitors, both public and private, may offer programs similar to ours at a lower tuition level as a result of government subsidies, government and foundation grants, tax-deductible contributions and other financial resources not available to for-profit institutions. In addition, many of our competitors have begun to offer distance learning and other online


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education programs. As the online and distance learning segment of the postsecondary education market matures, the intensity of the competition we face will increase further. This intense competition could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
As part of our growth strategy, through Apollo Global, Inc., our consolidated majority-owned subsidiary, we have acquired additional universities outside the U.S. and we intend to actively pursue further acquisitions. To the extent that we make such acquisitions, we will face risks that are inherent in international operations, including:
 
  •  complexity of operations across borders;
 
  •  compliance with foreign regulatory environments;
 
  •  currency exchange rate fluctuations;
 
  •  monetary policy risks, such as inflation, hyperinflation and deflation;
 
  •  price controls or restrictions on exchange of foreign currencies;
 
  •  potential political and economic instability in the countries in which we operate, including potential student uprisings;
 
  •  expropriation of assets by local governments;
 
  •  multiple and possibly overlapping and conflicting tax laws;
 
  •  compliance with U.S. regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
 
  •  potential unionization of employees under local labor laws and local labor laws that make it more expensive and complex to negotiate with, retain or terminate employees;
 
  •  greater difficulty in utilizing and enforcing our intellectual property and contract rights;
 
  •  failure to understand the local culture and market;
 
  •  limitations on the repatriation of funds; and
 
  •  acts of terrorism and war, epidemics and natural disasters.
 
 
We acquired BPP in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. BPP faces several risks which may adversely impact our ability to successfully operate and grow its businesses, including:
 
  •  BPP’s success is strongly dependent on its reputation, which may be damaged by various factors including unfavorable public opinion in the United Kingdom regarding for-profit schools and ownership of BPP by a U.S. company;
 
  •  BPP’s Business School, is newly established and its future enrollment and success are currently unpredictable with any degree of certainty;
 
  •  the majority of BPP’s business, BPP Professional Education, is geared toward teaching for exams or to a syllabus set by external professional bodies (Test Preparation), and a change in the way in which subjects are examined, or a reduction in the size of the syllabus, could have a detrimental impact on BPP;
 
  •  BPP operates in markets where many of its competitors are charities or government sponsored colleges of higher education, which because of their legal classification do not have to charge sales tax (value added tax or “VAT”) to their students. BPP has legal structures in place that currently provide a similar status, and thus are able not to charge VAT for equivalent services or products. Any change in


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  interpretation of the existing tax or legal regulations could put BPP at a competitive disadvantage and could result in a material tax liability to BPP;
 
  •  BPP has a significant concentration of students in the professional sector, mainly accounting and legal, and adverse changes in the economic environment for these professions could reduce demand for BPP’s services and adversely affect its operations;
 
  •  BPP has a large fixed cost base and may not be able to effectively respond to decreases in revenue; and
 
  •  The BPP College of Professional Studies is the first proprietary postsecondary institution to be granted degree awarding powers in the U.K. and, as such, is likely to be the first to face reauthorization when its current authority expires in August 2013. The criteria for reauthorization have not yet been developed and therefore the nature of the process is uncertain at this point. Any impairment of the College’s degree awarding powers would materially and adversely affect BPP’s business.
 
 
We report revenues, costs and earnings in U.S. dollars. Exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the local currency in the countries where we operate are likely to fluctuate from period to period. Because consolidated financial results are reported in U.S. dollars, we are subject to the risk of translation losses for reporting purposes. When the U.S. dollar appreciates against the applicable local currency in any reporting period, the actual earnings generated by our business in that country are diminished in the translation.
 
As we continue to expand our international operations, we will conduct more transactions in currencies other than the U.S. Dollar. Additionally, the volume of transactions in the various foreign currencies will continue to increase. To the extent that foreign revenue and expense transactions are not denominated in the local currency and/or to the extent foreign earnings are reinvested in a currency other than their functional currency, we are also subject to the risk of transaction losses. Given the volatility of exchange rates, there is no assurance that we will be able to effectively manage currency transaction and/or translation risks. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could have a material adverse affect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Our success depends in part on our ability to protect our proprietary rights and intellectual property. We rely on a combination of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents, domain names and contractual agreements to protect our proprietary rights. For example, we rely on trademark protection in the U.S. and various foreign jurisdictions to protect our rights to various marks as well as distinctive logos and other marks associated with our services. We also rely on agreements under which we obtain intellectual property to own or license rights to use intellectual property developed by faculty members, content experts and other third-parties. We cannot assure you that these measures are adequate, that we have secured, or will be able to secure, appropriate permissions or protections for all of the intellectual property rights we use or claim rights to in the U.S. or various foreign jurisdictions, or that third parties will not terminate our license rights or infringe upon or otherwise violate our intellectual property rights or the intellectual property rights of others. Despite our efforts to protect these rights, unauthorized third parties may attempt to use, duplicate or copy the proprietary aspects of our student recruitment and educational delivery methods and systems, curricula, online resource material or other content. Our management’s attention may be diverted by these attempts and we may need to use funds in litigation to protect our proprietary rights against any infringement or violation, which could have a material adverse affect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
We may become party to disputes from time to time over rights and obligations concerning intellectual property, and we may not prevail in these disputes. For example, third parties may allege that we have infringed upon or not obtained sufficient rights in the technologies used in our educational delivery systems, the content of our courses or other training materials or in our ownership or uses of other intellectual property


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claimed by that third party. Some third party intellectual property rights may prove to be extremely broad, and it may not be possible for us to conduct our operations in such a way as to avoid violating those intellectual property rights. Any such intellectual property claim could subject us to costly litigation and impose a significant strain on our financial resources and management personnel regardless of whether such claim has merit. Our various liability insurance coverages, if any, may not cover potential claims of this type adequately or at all, and we may be required to alter the design and operation of our systems or the content of our courses or pay monetary damages or license fees to third parties, which could have a material adverse affect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
In some instances, our employees, including faculty members, or our students may post various articles or other third-party content online in class discussion boards or in other venues. We may incur liability to third parties for the unauthorized duplication, distribution or other use of this material. Any such claims could subject us to costly litigation and impose a significant strain on our financial resources and management personnel regardless of whether the claims have merit. Our various liability insurance coverages, if any, may not cover potential claims of this type adequately or at all, and we may be required to alter or cease our uses of such material (which may include changing or removing content from our courses) or pay monetary damages, which could have a material adverse affect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
 
Most of Insight Schools’ online public high schools have undergone or expect to undergo compliance audits by state regulatory authorities. Adverse audit findings could result in a reduction in the amount of state funding, repayment of previously received state funding or other economic sanctions. In extreme circumstances, adverse findings could result in termination of agreements with Insight Schools by governing authorities or by not-for-profit charter holders. Additionally, materially adverse findings could result in revocation or termination of a charter school’s charter. Each of these events could have a materially adverse effect on Insight Schools’ business.
 
We have made the decision to explore the disposition of our Insight Schools operations. There is no assurance that we can dispose of these operations on terms acceptable to us or at all, and we may experience a loss upon any such disposition or, in lieu thereof, discontinuation. If we are not successful in correcting Insight Schools’ compliance challenges, the value of Insight Schools may be diminished, perhaps substantially. The reduction in the value of Insight Schools or the disposition or discontinuation of Insight Schools at a loss could have a material adverse effect our financial condition.
 
 
We are subject to multiple types of taxes in the U.S., United Kingdom and various other foreign jurisdictions. The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax accruals involve various judgments, and therefore the ultimate tax determination is subject to uncertainty. We are currently subject to the following Internal Revenue Service audits:
 
  •  Audit relating to our U.S. federal income tax returns for fiscal years 2003 through 2005 commenced in September 2006. In February 2009, the Internal Revenue Service issued an examination report and proposed to disallow deductions relating to stock option compensation in excess of the limitations of Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m). Under Section 162(m), the amount of such deduction per covered executive officer is limited to $1.0 million per year, except to the extent the compensation qualifies as performance-based. Compensation attributable to options with revised measurement dates may not have qualified as performance-based compensation. The Internal Revenue Service examination report also proposed the additions of penalties and interest. The proposed adjustments, including


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  penalties and interest, are consistent with our prior accruals relating to this issue. In addition, we expensed an additional $2.4 million in fiscal year 2009 related to interest, for a total accrual of $50.0 million as of August 31, 2009 with respect to this uncertain tax position for the taxable years 2003 through 2006. On March 6, 2009, we commenced administrative proceedings with the Office of Appeals of the Internal Revenue Service challenging the proposed adjustments, including penalties and interest. We believe this matter will be settled within 12 months and the accrual is now classified as short-term. In October of 2009, we reached an agreement in principle subject to negotiation of final documentation with the Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals to settle this matter for less than the $50 million we have accrued at August 31, 2009. The settlement, when finalized, will result in a reduction in the amount currently accrued and a related decrease in our effective tax rate for a portion of that reduced accrual.
 
  •  An audit relating to our U.S. federal income tax returns for the years ended in 2006, 2007 and 2008 commenced in fiscal year 2009.
 
In addition to the above audits, we are subject to numerous ongoing audits by state, local and foreign tax authorities. Although we believe our tax accruals are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits in the U.S. or abroad and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. The results of an audit or litigation could have a material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
Changes in tax rules may adversely affect our future reported financial results or the way we conduct our business. In May 2009, President Obama’s administration proposed significant changes to the U.S. international tax laws, including changes that would limit U.S. tax deductions for expenses related to un-repatriated foreign-source income and modify the U.S. foreign tax credit and “check-the-box” rules. We cannot determine whether these proposals will be enacted into law or what, if any, changes may be made to such proposals prior to their being enacted into law. If these or other changes to the U.S. international tax laws are enacted they could have a material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
We are subject to the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies, and investigations by these agencies could divert management’s focus and have a material adverse impact on our reputation and financial condition.
 
As a result of this government regulation and oversight, we may be subject to legal and administrative proceedings. For example, during fiscal year 2007, we were the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry and a Department of Justice investigation related to our historical stock option grant practices. In addition, during October 2009, we received notification from the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that they had commenced an informal inquiry into our revenue recognition practices. We devoted a substantial amount of senior executive time and incurred significant legal costs in connection with the 2007 inquiry and, while the scope, duration and outcome of the current inquiry cannot be determined at this time, we may have to devote substantial time and incur substantial legal and other expenses in connection with the current inquiry. The costs of responding to, and the publicity surrounding investigations or enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Department of Justice, even if ultimately resolved favorably for us, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
Item 1B — Unresolved Staff Comments
 
None.


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Item 2 — Properties
 
As of August 31, 2009, we utilized 448 facilities, the majority of which were leased. As of August 31, 2009, we were obligated to lease approximately 7.6 million square feet and owned approximately 1.2 million square feet, as follows:
 
                                                         
            Leased     Owned     Total  
Reportable Segment
 
Location
  Type  
Sq. Ft.
    # of Properties     Sq. Ft.     # of Properties     Sq. Ft.     # of Properties  
 
University of Phoenix
  United States   Office     769,898       8                   769,898       8  
        Dual Purpose     5,308,562       260                   5,308,562       260  
                                                         
              6,078,460       268                   6,078,460       268  
    International   Office     3,455       1                   3,455       1  
        Dual Purpose     121,487       5                   121,487       5  
                                                         
              124,942       6                   124,942       6  
Apollo Global:
                                                       
BPP
  International   Office     1,068       2                   1,068       2  
        Dual Purpose     335,918       38       178,525       5       514,443       43  
                                                         
              336,986       40       178,525       5       515,511       45  
Other
  International   Office     3,557       1                   3,557       1  
        Dual Purpose     65,778       11       381,167       23       446,945       34  
                                                         
              69,335       12       381,167       23       450,502       35  
Insight Schools
  United States   Office     31,322       9                   31,322       9  
        Dual Purpose                                    
                                                         
              31,322       9                   31,322       9  
Other Schools
  United States   Office     35,192       2                   35,192       2  
        Dual Purpose     273,496       64                   273,496       64  
                                                         
              308,688       66                   308,688       66  
Corporate
  United States   Office     605,757       16       599,664       3       1,205,421       19  
                                                         
    Total         7,555,490       417       1,159,356       31       8,714,846       448  
                                                         
 
Dual purpose space includes office and classroom facilities. In some cases, classes are held in the facilities of the students’ employers at no charge to us. Leases generally range from five to ten years with one to two renewal options for extended terms. We also lease space from time to time on a short-term basis in order to provide specific courses or programs.
 
We evaluate current utilization of the educational facilities and projected enrollment growth to determine facility needs. We anticipate that an additional 0.7 million square feet will be leased in 2010.
 
Item 3 — Legal Proceedings
 
We are subject to various claims and contingencies which are in the scope of ordinary and routine litigation incidental to our business, including those related to regulation, business transactions, employee-related matters and taxes, among others. While the outcomes of these matters are uncertain, management does not expect that the ultimate costs to resolve these matters will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
 
When we become aware of a claim or potential claim, the likelihood of any loss or exposure is assessed. If it is probable that a loss will result and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated, we record a liability for the loss. The liability recorded includes probable and estimable legal costs associated with the claim or potential claim. If the loss is not probable or the amount of the loss cannot be reasonably estimated, we disclose the claim if the likelihood of a potential loss is reasonably possible and the amount is material. For matters where no loss contingency is recorded, our policy is to expense legal fees as incurred.


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A description of pending litigation, settlements, and other proceedings that are outside the scope of ordinary and routine litigation incidental to our business is provided under Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies, Pending Litigation and Settlements and Regulatory and Other Legal Matters, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, which is incorporated herein by reference.
 
Item 4 — Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders
 
None.
 
 
Item 5 — Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
 
Our Apollo Group Class A common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “APOL.” The holders of our Apollo Group Class A common stock are not entitled to any voting rights.
 
There is no established public trading market for our Apollo Group Class B common stock and all shares of our Apollo Group Class B common stock are beneficially owned by affiliates.
 
The table below sets forth the high and low bid share prices for our Apollo Group Class A common stock as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
 
                 
    High     Low  
 
2008
               
First Quarter
  $ 80.75     $ 53.71  
Second Quarter
    81.68       60.77  
Third Quarter
    62.19       37.92  
Fourth Quarter
    65.89       43.54  
2009
               
First Quarter
  $ 76.95     $ 48.30  
Second Quarter
    90.00       70.17  
Third Quarter
    81.20       55.35  
Fourth Quarter
    72.50       59.49  
 
 
As of August 31, 2009, there were approximately 266 registered holders of record of Apollo Group Class A common stock and four registered holders of record of Apollo Group Class B common stock. A substantially greater number of holders of Apollo Group Class A common stock are “street name” or beneficial holders, whose shares are held of record by banks, brokers and other financial institutions.
 
 
Although we are permitted to pay dividends on our Apollo Group Class A and Apollo Group Class B common stock, subject to the satisfaction of applicable financial covenants in our principal credit facility, we have never paid cash dividends on our common stock. Dividends are payable at the discretion of the Board of Directors, and the Articles of Incorporation treat the declaration of dividends on the Apollo Group Class A and Apollo Group Class B common stock in an identical manner as follows: holders of our Apollo Group Class A common stock and Apollo Group Class B common stock are entitled to receive cash dividends, if and to the extent declared by the Board of Directors, payable to the holders of either class or both classes of common stock in equal or unequal per share amounts, at the discretion of the Board of Directors. We have no current plan to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. The decision of our Board of Directors to pay future dividends will depend on general business conditions, the effect of a dividend payment on our financial condition and other factors the Board of Directors may consider relevant.


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Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
 
None.
 
 
The information required by Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K is provided under Item 12, Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters, “Equity Compensation Plan Information,” which is incorporated herein by reference.
 
Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Our Board of Directors has authorized programs to repurchase shares of Apollo Group Class A common stock, from time to time depending on market conditions and other considerations. The share repurchases under these programs for the three months ended August 31, 2009 have been as follows:
 
                                         
                Total Number
             
                of Shares
             
                Repurchased as
             
                Part of
    Maximum
       
                Publicly
    Value of
       
    Total Number of
    Average
    Announced
    Shares
       
    Shares
    Price Paid
    Plans or
    Available for
       
(numbers in thousands, except per share data)   Repurchased(1)     per Share     Programs     Repurchase        
 
Treasury stock as of May 31, 2009
    34,809     $ 59.94       34,809     $ 55,618          
New authorizations
                      444,382          
Shares repurchased under repurchase program
                               
Shares reissued
    (26 )     59.94       (26 )              
                                         
Treasury stock as of June 30, 2009
    34,783     $ 59.94       34,783     $ 500,000          
New authorizations
                               
Shares repurchased under repurchase program
                               
Shares reissued
    (1,004 )     59.94       (1,004 )              
                                         
Treasury stock as of July 31, 2009
    33,779     $ 59.94       33,779     $ 500,000          
New authorizations
                               
Shares repurchased under repurchase program
                               
Shares reissued
    (33 )     59.94       (33 )              
                                         
Treasury stock as of August 31, 2009
    33,746     $ 59.94       33,746     $ 500,000          
                                         
 
 
(1) Shares repurchased in the above table excludes approximately 73,000 shares repurchased for $4.9 million during the three months ended August 31, 2009 related to tax withholding requirements on restricted stock units. These repurchase transactions do not fall under the repurchase program described below, and therefore do not reduce the amount that is available for repurchase under that program. Please refer to Note 14, Stockholders’ Equity, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for additional information.
 
On June 25, 2009, our Board of Directors authorized an increase in the amount available under our stock repurchase program of up to an aggregate amount of $500 million of Apollo Group Class A common stock. There is no expiration date on the repurchase authorizations and repurchases occur at our discretion. The amount and timing of future share repurchases, if any, will be made as market and business conditions warrant. Repurchases may be made on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, pursuant to the applicable Securities and Exchange Commission rules, and may include repurchases pursuant to Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b5-1 nondiscretionary trading programs.


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The following graph compares the cumulative 5-year total return attained by shareholders on Apollo Group Class A common stock relative to the cumulative total returns of the S&P 500 index and a customized peer group of five companies that includes: Career Education Corp., Corinthian Colleges Inc., DeVry Inc., ITT Educational Services Inc., and Strayer Education Inc. An investment of $100 (with reinvestment of all dividends) is assumed to have been made in our common stock, in the index, and in the peer group on August 31, 2004, and its relative performance is tracked through August 31, 2009.
 
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
Among Apollo Group, Inc.,
The S&P 500 Index and a Peer Group
 
(PERFORMANCE GRAPH)
 
*$100 invested on 8/31/04 in stock and index-including reinvestment of dividends.
Fiscal year ending August 31.
Source: Standard & Poor’s.
 
                                                             
      8/04     8/05     8/06     8/07     8/08     8/09
Apollo Group, Inc. 
      100         101         64         75         82         83  
S&P 500
      100         113         123         141         125         103  
Peer Group
      100         119         107         164         165         185  
                                                             
 
The information contained in the performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission nor shall such information be deemed incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
 
The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.


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Item 6 — Selected Consolidated Financial Data
 
The following selected consolidated financial data and operating statistics are qualified by reference to and should be read in conjunction with Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, and Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, to fully understand factors that may affect the comparability of the information presented below. The statement of income data for fiscal years 2009, 2008, and 2007, and the balance sheet data as of August 31, 2009 and 2008, were derived from the audited consolidated financial statements, included herein. Diluted income per share and diluted weighted average shares outstanding have been retroactively restated for stock splits. We restated the financial results of prior periods in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2006. Our annual report on Form 10-K for 2006 included a restated Consolidated Balance Sheet as of August 31, 2005 and related Consolidated Statement of Income for fiscal year 2005.
 
                                         
    As of August 31,  
($ in thousands)   2009     2008     2007     2006     2005  
 
Balance Sheet Data:
                                       
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities
  $ 987,825     $ 511,459     $ 392,681     $ 408,728     $ 458,646  
Restricted cash and cash equivalents
    432,304       384,155       296,469       238,267       227,102  
                                         
Total assets
  $ 3,263,377     $ 1,860,412     $ 1,449,863     $ 1,283,005     $ 1,281,548  
                                         
Current liabilities
  $ 1,755,278     $ 865,609     $ 743,835     $ 595,756     $ 566,745  
Long-term debt
    127,701       15,428                    
Long-term liabilities
    155,785       133,210       72,188       82,876       80,583  
Minority interest
    67,003       11,956                    
Total shareholders’ equity
    1,157,610       834,209       633,840       604,373       634,220  
                                         
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity
  $ 3,263,377     $ 1,860,412     $ 1,449,863     $ 1,283,005     $ 1,281,548  
                                         
 
                                         
    Year Ended August 31,  
($ in thousands, except per share data)   2009     2008     2007     2006     2005  
 
Statements of Income Data:
                                       
Net revenue
  $ 3,974,202     $ 3,140,931     $ 2,723,793     $ 2,477,533     $ 2,251,114  
                                         
Cost and expenses:
                                       
Instructional costs and services
    1,603,701       1,370,878       1,237,491       1,109,584       952,474  
Selling and promotional
    960,437       805,395       659,059       544,706       485,451  
General and administrative
    290,104       215,192       201,546       153,004       98,642  
Estimated litigation loss
    80,500                          
Goodwill impairment
                      20,205        
Share-based compensation(1)
                            16,895  
                                         
Total costs and expenses
    2,934,742       2,391,465       2,098,096       1,827,499       1,553,462  
                                         
Income from operations
    1,039,460       749,466       625,697       650,034       697,652  
Interest income
    12,591       30,079       31,172       18,465       17,109  
Interest expense
    (4,460 )     (3,450 )     (232 )     (326 )     (298 )
Other, net
    (7,776 )     6,759       660       (85 )     (24 )
                                         
Income before income taxes and minority interest
    1,039,815       782,854       657,297       668,088       714,439  
Provision for income taxes
    (445,985 )     (306,927 )     (248,487 )     (253,255 )     (286,506 )
Minority interest, net of tax
    4,489       598                    
                                         
Net income
  $ 598,319     $ 476,525     $ 408,810     $ 414,833     $ 427,933  
                                         
Diluted income per share
  $ 3.75     $ 2.87     $ 2.35     $ 2.35     $ 2.30  
                                         
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding
    159,514       165,870       173,603       176,205       186,066  
                                         
 
 
(1) Share-based compensation in fiscal year 2005 is related to the fiscal year 2004 conversion of the University of Phoenix Online stock options into Apollo Group Class A stock options.


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Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) is intended to help investors understand our results of operations, financial condition and present business environment. The MD&A is provided as a supplement to, and should be read in conjunction with, our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. The MD&A is organized as follows:
 
  •  Overview: From management’s point of view, we discuss the following:
 
  •  An overview of our business and the sectors of the education industry in which we operate;
  •  Key trends, developments and challenges; and
  •  Key highlights from the current period.
 
  •  Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates: A discussion of our accounting policies that require critical judgments and estimates.
 
  •  Recent Accounting Pronouncements: A discussion of recently issued accounting pronouncements.
 
  •  Results of Operations: An analysis of our results of operations as reflected in our consolidated financial statements.
 
  •  Liquidity, Capital Resources, and Financial Position: An analysis of cash flows, contractual obligations and other commercial commitments, and discussion of federal and private student loans.
 
 
Apollo is one of the world’s largest private education providers and has been a provider of education services for more than 35 years. We offer innovative and distinctive educational programs and services at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels at our various campuses and learning centers, and online throughout the world. Our wholly and majority-owned subsidiaries include the following:
 
  •  University of Phoenix,
  •  Apollo Global:
  •  BPP Holdings, plc (“BPP”),
  •  Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación (“UNIACC”),
  •  Universidad Latinoamericana (“ULA”),
  •  Western International University,
  •  Institute for Professional Development (“IPD”),
  •  College for Financial Planning Institutes (“CFFP”), and
  •  Meritus University, Inc. (“Meritus”).
 
We also operate online high school programs through our Insight Schools, Inc. (“Insight Schools”) wholly-owned subsidiary, which is included in our Insight Schools reportable segment. Subsequent to our 2009 fiscal year end, we decided to explore the sale of Insight Schools.
 
Substantially all of our net revenue is composed of tuition and fees for educational services. In fiscal year 2009, University of Phoenix, which is focused principally on working learners, accounted for approximately 95% of our total consolidated net revenue. University of Phoenix generated 86% of its cash basis revenue for eligible tuition and fees during fiscal year 2009 from receipt of Title IV financial aid program funds, as calculated under the 90/10 Rule, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases.
 
We believe that a critical element of generating successful long-term growth and attractive returns for our stakeholders is to provide high quality educational products and services for our students in order for them to maximize the benefits of their educational experience. Accordingly, we are intensely focused on student success. We are continuously enhancing and expanding our current service offerings and investing in academic quality. We have developed customized computer programs for academic quality management, faculty recruitment and training, student tracking, and marketing to help us more effectively manage toward this objective. We believe we utilize one of the most comprehensive learning assessment programs in the U.S. We


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are also focused on improving student retention by enhancing student services, promoting instructional innovation and improving academic support. All of these efforts are designed to help our students stay in school and succeed. In 2008, University of Phoenix published its first Academic Annual Report which contains a transparent look at a variety of comparative performance measures related to student outcomes and university initiatives related to quality and accountability.
 
 
Our management team is focused on the following circumstances and trends that present opportunities, challenges and risks as we work toward our goal of providing attractive returns for all of our stakeholders:
 
  •  Evolving Domestic Postsecondary Education Market.  We believe domestic postsecondary education continues to experience a profound shift from traditional undergraduate students (those students living on campus and attending classes full-time) to non-traditional students who work, are raising a family, or are doing both while trying to earn a college degree. This trend continues to provide an opportunity for education providers such as University of Phoenix to provide quality academic programs and services that appeal to non-traditional students. We believe we are well positioned to capitalize on this trend.
 
  •  Economic Downturn.  The U.S. and much of the world economy have been in the midst of an economic downturn. Although not quantifiable, we believe these conditions have contributed to a portion of our recent enrollment growth as an increased number of working learners seek to advance their education to improve their job security or reemployment prospects. One of our primary challenges will be to adequately and effectively service our increased student population without over-building our infrastructure and delivery platform in a manner that might result in excess capacity when the portion of our growth related to the economic downturn subsides. Also, the economic downturn has negatively impacted our bad debt expense and allowance for doubtful accounts, as discussed below under Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.
 
  •  Regulatory Environment
 
  •  Compliance.  Our domestic business is highly regulated by the U.S. Department of Education, the applicable academic accreditation agencies and state education regulatory authorities. Compliance with these regulatory requirements is a significant part of our administrative effort. In August 2008, the U.S. Congress reauthorized the Higher Education Act through 2013 by enacting the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which resulted in a large number of new and modified requirements that ultimately will be implemented through the U.S. Department of Education rulemaking. Little formal or informal guidance is available for many of these requirements, and we are evaluating their implications and developing appropriate compliance procedures. Because our student body is large and we rely heavily on our computer systems, compliance with new or changed regulations can require significant time and effort on our part.
 
One requirement of the Higher Education Act, commonly referred to as the “90/10 Rule,” applies to proprietary institutions such as the University of Phoenix and Western International University. Under this rule, a proprietary institution will be ineligible to participate in Title IV programs if for any two consecutive fiscal years it derives more than 90% of its cash basis revenue, as defined in the rule, from Title IV programs. An institution that exceeds this limit for any single fiscal year will be placed on provisional certification for two fiscal years and will be subject to additional sanctions. In recent years, the 90/10 Rule percentages for the University of Phoenix have trended closer to 90% and the percentage was 86%, excluding the benefit from the temporary relief for loan limit increases, for fiscal year 2009. We expect the trend will continue in fiscal year 2010. University of Phoenix is focused on implementing various measures to reduce the percentage of its cash basis revenue attributable to Title IV funds, including emphasizing employer-paid and other direct-pay education programs, encouraging students to carefully evaluate the amount of necessary Title IV borrowing, and increasing the emphasis on professional development and continuing education. Although we expect that these measures will favorably impact the 90/10 Rule calculation in the future, there is no


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assurance that these initiatives will be effective or will be adequate to prevent the 90/10 Rule calculation from exceeding 90%. If this calculation exceeds 90% in fiscal 2010 or future fiscal years, we will need to increase our efforts to reduce the percentage of our cash-basis revenue that is composed of Title IV funding. These efforts, and our other long-term initiatives to impact this calculation, may involve taking measures which increase our operating expenses and/or reduce our revenue. Title IV eligibility is critical to the continued operation of our business. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate -U.S. Operations -Our schools and programs would lose their eligibility to participate in federal student financial aid programs if the percentage of our revenues derived from those programs is too high.”
 
  •  Certification.  The Higher Education Act, as reauthorized, specifies the manner in which the U.S. Department of Education reviews institutions for eligibility and certification to participate in Title IV programs. Every educational institution involved in Title IV programs must be certified to participate and is required to periodically renew this certification. University of Phoenix was recertified in June 2003 and its current certification for the Title IV programs expired in June 2007. In March 2007, University of Phoenix submitted its Title IV recertification application to the U.S. Department of Education. We have been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Education since that date and continue to supply additional follow-up information based on requests from the U.S. Department of Education. Our eligibility continues on a month-to-month basis until the U.S. Department of Education issues its decision on the application. We have no reason to believe that our application will not be renewed in due course.
 
In February 2009, unrelated to our recertification application, the U.S. Department of Education performed an ordinary course, focused program review of University of Phoenix’s policies and procedures involving Title IV programs. We have not yet received the program review report.
 
Western International University was recertified in October 2003 and its current certification for participation in Title IV programs expired on June 30, 2009. In March 2009, Western International University submitted its Title IV recertification application to the U.S. Department of Education and Western International University’s eligibility continues on a month-to-month basis until the U.S. Department of Education completes its review of the application and issues its decision. As with University of Phoenix, we have no reason to believe that the application will not be renewed in due course.
 
Title IV eligibility is critical to the continued operation of our business. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to the Highly Regulated Industry in Which We Operate — U.S. Operations — If we are not recertified to participate in Title IV programs by the U.S. Department of Education, we would lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.”
 
  •  Federal Direct Loan Program.  In President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget request delivered to Congress on February 26, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education proposed to eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and instead require all Title IV student loans to be administered through the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) commencing July 1, 2010. We expect to be able to fully transition from the FFELP program to the FDLP by the proposed July 1, 2010 phase-out date, if necessary. If this proposal is adopted, the transition would require us to develop and implement administrative capabilities and procedures for volume processing of loans under the FDLP. If we experience a disruption in our ability to process student loans through the FDLP, either because of administrative challenges on our part or the inability of the U.S. Department of Education to process the increased volume of direct loans on a timely basis, our results of operations and cash flows could be adversely and materially affected. During fiscal year 2009, we began participating in the FDLP for a small portion of our Title IV eligible students.
 
  •  Opportunities to Expand into New Markets.  We believe that there is a growing demand for high quality education outside the U.S. and that we have capabilities and expertise that can be useful in providing these services beyond our current reach. We believe we can deploy our key capabilities in student services, technology and marketing to expand into new markets to further our mission of


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  providing high quality, accessible education. We intend to actively pursue quality opportunities to partner with and/or acquire existing institutions of higher learning where we believe we can achieve long-term attractive growth and value creation. See discussion of BPP acquisition below in Fiscal Year 2009 Highlights.
 
  •  Focus on Integration.  We expect to strategically add value by integrating our acquisitions and leveraging our experience to enhance the quality, delivery and student outcomes associated with the respective curricula.
 
For a more detailed discussion of our business, industry and risks, refer to Item 1, Business, and Item 1A, Risk Factors.
 
 
During the fiscal year 2009, we experienced the following significant events:
 
  1.  Degreed Enrollment and New Degreed Enrollment Growth.  We achieved 20.8% growth in average University of Phoenix Degreed Enrollment in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008. University of Phoenix aggregate New Degreed Enrollment increased 23.5% in fiscal year 2009 compared to 2008. We believe the enrollment growth is primarily attributable to continued investments in enhancing and expanding University of Phoenix service offerings and academic quality, which has attracted new students and increased student retention, and to enhancements in our marketing capabilities. We also believe that a portion of the increase in University of Phoenix Degreed Enrollment and New Degreed Enrollment is due to the current economic downturn, as working learners seek to advance their education to improve their job security or reemployment prospects, and that this element of our growth will diminish as the economy and the employment outlook improve in the U.S.
 
  2.  Net Revenue Growth.  Our net revenue increased 26.5% in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008 primarily as a result of University of Phoenix Degreed Enrollment growth and selective tuition price increases.
 
  3.  Income from Operations Growth.  Our income from operations increased 38.7%, or $290.0 million in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008 primarily as a result of University of Phoenix net revenue growth described above and associated economies of scale from certain costs that remain relatively fixed.
 
  4.  Changes in Management and Addition of Directors.  The following changes in management and addition of directors occurred during our fiscal year 2009:
 
  •  On April 24, 2009, our Board of Directors promoted Gregory W. Cappelli to the position of Co-Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Cappelli had previously been serving as the Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Assistant to the Executive Chairman. Mr. Cappelli continues to serve as Chairman of Apollo Global and Director of Apollo Group.
 
  •  On March 26, 2009, our Board of Directors promoted Joseph L. D’Amico to President and Chief Operating Officer, Brian L. Swartz to Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and Gregory J. Iverson to Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller. Mr. D’Amico had previously been serving as President and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Swartz had previously been serving as Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, and Mr. Iverson had previously been serving as Vice President and Corporate Controller.
 
  •  On March 25, 2009, Frederick J. Newton commenced employment as Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
 
  •  On March 11, 2009, our Class B Shareholders reelected our existing ten incumbent directors to the Board of Directors and elected three additional directors: Terri C. Bishop, our Executive


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  Vice President of External Affairs, and independent directors, Stephen J. Giusto and Manuel F. Rivelo.
 
  5.  BPP.  On July 30, 2009, our majority-owned subsidiary, Apollo Global, acquired all of the outstanding shares of BPP, a United Kingdom-headquartered provider of education and training to professionals in the legal and finance industries, for a purchase price of $601.6 million. Refer to Note 3, Acquisitions, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for additional information.
 
  6.  Incentive Compensation False Claims Act Lawsuit Settlement Discussions.  In September 2009, the parties to the action, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, participated in a private mediation in which the parties reached an agreement in principle regarding the financial terms of a potential settlement. Significant other terms remain to be negotiated, and there is no certainty that a final agreement will be reached. During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009, based on the settlement discussions to resolve this matter, we recorded a pre-tax charge of $80.5 million which represents our best estimate of the loss related to this matter. The actual amount of this loss will not be known until a final settlement agreement, if any, is reached. Refer to Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for additional information.
 
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
 
Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires the use of estimates, judgments, and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the periods presented. Our critical accounting policies involve a higher degree of judgments, estimates and complexity, and are as follows:
 
Revenue Recognition
 
Our educational programs, primarily composed of University of Phoenix programs, range in length from one-day seminars to degree programs lasting up to four years. Students in University of Phoenix degree programs generally enroll in a program of study encompassing a series of five- to nine-week courses taken consecutively over the length of the program. Generally, students are billed on a course-by-course basis when the student first attends a session, resulting in the recording of a receivable from the student and deferred revenue in the amount of the billing. University of Phoenix students generally fund their education through grants and/or loans under various Title IV programs, tuition assistance from their employers, or personal funds.
 
Net revenue consists largely of tuition and fees associated with different educational programs as well as related educational resources such as access to online materials, books, and study texts. Net revenue is shown net of discounts. Tuition benefits for our employees and their eligible dependants are included in net revenue and instructional costs and services. Total employee tuition benefits were $90.5 million, $77.9 million and $63.8 million for fiscal years 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.


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The following table presents the most significant components of net revenue, and each component as a percentage of total net revenue, for the fiscal years 2009, 2008 and 2007:
 
                                                         
    Year Ended August 31,  
($ in millions)   2009     2008     2007        
 
Tuition and educational services revenue
  $ 3,835.7       96 %   $ 2,996.1       95 %   $ 2,553.1       94 %        
Educational materials revenue
    226.4       6 %     184.4       6 %     161.0       6 %        
Services revenue
    83.2       2 %     77.7       3 %     73.6       2 %        
Other revenue
    28.3       1 %     43.9       1 %     48.5       2 %        
                                                         
Gross Revenue
    4,173.6       105 %     3,302.1       105 %     2,836.2       104 %        
Less: Discounts
    (199.4 )     (5 )%     (161.2 )     (5 )%     (112.4 )     (4 )%        
                                                         
Net revenue
  $ 3,974.2       100 %   $ 3,140.9       100 %   $ 2,723.8       100 %        
                                                         
 
Tuition and educational services revenue encompasses both online and classroom-based learning. For our University of Phoenix and Western International University operations, tuition revenue is recognized pro rata over the period of instruction as services are delivered to students.
 
BPP recognizes tuition revenue as services are provided over the course of the program, which varies depending on the program structure. For our remaining Apollo Global operations, tuition revenue is recognized over the length of the course, which is typically over a period of a semester.
 
For Insight Schools, we generate the majority of our tuition and educational services revenue through long-term contracts with school districts or not-for-profit organizations. The term for these contracts ranges from 5 to 10 years with provisions for renewal thereafter. We recognize revenue under these contracts over the period during which educational services are provided to students, which generally commences in August or September and ends in May or June.
 
Educational materials revenue relates to online course materials delivered to students over the period of instruction. Revenue associated with these materials is recognized pro rata over the period of the related course to correspond with delivery of the materials to students. Educational materials also includes the sale of various books, study texts, course notes, and CDs for which we recognize revenue when the materials have been delivered to and accepted by students or other customers.
 
Services revenue consists principally of the contractual share of tuition revenue from students enrolled in IPD programs at private colleges and universities (“Client Institutions”). IPD provides program development, administration and management consulting services to Client Institutions to establish or expand their programs for working learners. These services typically include degree program design, curriculum development, market research, student recruitment, accounting, and administrative services. IPD typically is paid a portion of the tuition revenue generated from these programs. IPD’s contracts with its Client Institutions generally range in length from five to ten years, with provisions for renewal. The portion of service revenue to which we are entitled under the terms of the contracts is recognized as the services are provided.
 
Other revenue consists of the fees students pay when submitting an enrollment application, which, along with the related application costs associated with processing the applications, are deferred and recognized over the average length of time it takes for a student to complete a program of study. Other revenue also includes non-tuition generating revenues, such as renting classroom space and other student support services. Revenue from these sources is recognized as the services are provided.
 
Discounts reflect reductions in tuition or other revenue including military, corporate, and other employer discounts, grants, institutional scholarships and promotions.
 
Effective March 1, 2008, University of Phoenix changed its refund policy whereby students who attend 60% or less of a course are eligible for a refund for the portion of the course they did not attend. Under the prior refund policy, if a student dropped or withdrew after attending one class of a course, University of Phoenix earned 25% of the tuition for the course, and if they dropped or withdrew after attending two classes of a course, University of Phoenix earned 100% of the tuition for the course. Refunds are recorded as a


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reduction in deferred revenue during the period that a student drops or withdraws from a class. This new refund policy applies to students in most, but not all states, as some states require different policies.
 
Generally, net revenue varies from period to period based on several factors, including the aggregate number of students attending classes, the number of classes held during the period and the tuition price per credit hour.
 
Net revenue excludes applicable state and city sales taxes. Sales tax collected from students is excluded from net revenue. Collected but unremitted sales tax is included as a liability in our Consolidated Balance Sheets and is not material to our consolidated financial statements.
 
 
We reduce accounts receivable by an allowance for amounts that may become uncollectible in the future. Estimates are used in determining the allowance for doubtful accounts and are based on historical collection experience and current trends. In determining these amounts, we consider and evaluate the historical write-offs of our receivables. We monitor our collections and write-off experience to assess whether adjustments are necessary. When a student with Title IV loans withdraws from University of Phoenix or Western International University, Title IV rules determine if we are required to return a portion of Title IV funds to the lenders. We are then entitled to collect these funds from the students, but collection rates for these types of receivables is significantly lower than our collection rates for receivables for students who remain in our educational programs. Management periodically evaluates the standard allowance estimation methodology for propriety and modifies as necessary. In doing so, we believe our allowance for doubtful accounts reflects the most recent collections experience and is responsive to changes in trends. Our accounts receivable are written off once the account is deemed to be uncollectible. This typically occurs once we have exhausted all efforts to collect the account, which include collection attempts by our employees and outside collection agencies.
 
For the purpose of sensitivity, a one percent change in our allowance for doubtful accounts as a percentage of gross student receivables as of August 31, 2009 would have resulted in a pre-tax change in income of $3.8 million. Additionally, if our bad debt expense were to change by one percent of total net revenue for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2009, we would have recorded a pre-tax change in income of approximately $39.7 million.
 
 
  •  Goodwill — Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price of an acquired business over the amount assigned to the net assets acquired and assumed liabilities. At the time of an acquisition, we allocate the goodwill and related assets to our respective reporting units. Please refer to Note 19, Segment Reporting, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further discussion. Our goodwill by reportable segment is summarized in the table below:
 
                     
    Annual
  August 31, 2009
    August 31, 2008
 
    Impairment
  Goodwill
    Goodwill
 
Reportable Segment Goodwill Balance is Recorded in
  Test Date   Balance     Balance  
($ in thousands)                
 
University of Phoenix
  May 31   $ 37,018     $ 37,018  
Apollo Global — BPP(1)
  July 1     421,836        
Apollo Global — Other
                   
UNIACC
  May 31     11,197       1,635  
ULA
  May 31     22,674       17,682  
Insight Schools
  May 31     12,742       12,742  
Other Schools
                   
CFFP
  August 31     15,310       15,310  
Western International University
  May 31     1,581       1,581  
                     
        $ 522,358     $ 85,968  
                     
 
 
  (1)  As BPP was recently acquired on July 30, 2009, we did not perform an annual goodwill impairment test for BPP during fiscal year 2009.


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Goodwill is tested annually for impairment unless events occur or circumstances change between annual tests that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the respective asset below its carrying amount. We test for goodwill impairment by applying a two-step test. In the first step, the fair value of the reporting unit is compared to the carrying value of its net assets. If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds the carrying value of the net assets of the reporting unit, goodwill is not impaired and no further testing is required. If the carrying value of the net assets of the reporting unit exceeds the fair value of the reporting unit, then a second step must be performed in order to determine the implied fair value of the goodwill and compare it to the carrying value of the goodwill. An impairment loss is recognized to the extent the implied fair value of the goodwill is less than the carrying amount of the goodwill.
 
During fiscal year 2009, we completed our annual goodwill impairment tests for each of our reporting units, with the exception of BPP which was recently acquired on July 30, 2009. To determine the fair value of our reporting units, we rely primarily on using discounted cash flow valuation methods which requires management to make subjective judgments relating to future cash flows based on our knowledge of the business and current plans to operate the business, growth rates, economic and market conditions, and applicable discount rates. Changes in these estimates could materially affect the determination of fair value or goodwill impairment, or both. Generally, our goodwill impairment tests used discount rates ranging from 15.0% to 15.5%, perpetuity growth rates ranging from 1% to 3% and if applicable, terminal values that were calculated based on discounted cash flows. The discount rates were determined based on Apollo Group’s weighted average cost of capital, adjusted for company specific and macro-economic risks inherent in the specific reporting unit. An increase of 100 basis points in the discount rates used in these analyses, with the exception of BPP, would result in an approximate $20 million decrease in the estimated aggregate fair value of those reporting units. We consider the use of this level of sensitivity in the discount rate reasonable considering the strength of Apollo Group’s sustained operations and the probability weighting methodology used in our impairment tests.
 
For certain of our goodwill impairment tests, we used a combination of the discounted cash flow analysis and market-based approach, and applied a 75%/25% weighting factor to the respective approaches. To assess the reasonableness of our fair value analysis, when appropriate, we may evaluate our results against other measurement indicators such as comparable company public trading values, analyst estimates and values observed in private market transactions.
 
At the time of the respective reporting unit’s annual impairment test date, the fair value of each of these reporting units exceeded the carrying value of their respective net assets resulting in no goodwill impairment charges recorded. Additionally, for all of our reporting units, the fair value exceeded the carrying value by a sufficient margin, with the exception of CFFP as discussed below. The results of the annual impairment tests indicate that the current economic downturn has not had a significant long-term adverse impact on the fair value of these reporting units, although we observed a narrowing of the margin between fair value and carrying value for certain of our reporting units.
 
Insight Schools has encountered a number of administrative challenges in its compliance activities in the course of expanding its business. These challenges and start-up expenses have limited its growth rate and resulted in decreased revenue and increased operating expenses. We considered this factor in our annual goodwill impairment test of Insight Schools and determined that the goodwill balance is not impaired. Subsequent to our 2009 fiscal year end, we decided to explore the sale of Insight Schools.
 
With the exception of CFFP, Apollo Group was not required to perform interim goodwill impairment tests for its other reporting units, including BPP, during fiscal year 2009. We consider certain triggering events when evaluating whether an interim impairment analysis is warranted, including, among others, a significant decrease in the market capitalization of Apollo Group based on events specific to Apollo Group’s operations; adverse changes in the accreditation, regulatory or legal environments and overall business climate; unexpected competition; loss of key management personnel and changes in the market acceptance of our educational programs.


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At August 31, 2009, our CFFP reporting unit had goodwill of approximately $15.3 million. The economic downturn has caused the demand for CFFP’s financial planning education programs and materials to diminish throughout fiscal year 2009 because CFFP’s primary customers come from the financial services industry. Accordingly, we performed interim goodwill impairment tests as of November 30, 2008, February 28, 2009 and May 31, 2009 and evaluated and determined that the CFFP goodwill balance was not impaired. As of August 31, 2009, we performed our annual goodwill impairment test of CFFP using a consistent methodology as our previous interim tests and determined that the fair value of the CFFP reporting unit continued to exceed the carrying value of its net assets by a narrow margin.
 
  •  Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets — Indefinite-lived intangible assets are recorded at fair market value on their acquisition date and primarily include trademarks and foreign regulatory accreditations and designations as a result of the BPP, UNIACC and ULA acquisitions. At August 31, 2009 and 2008, our indefinite-lived intangible asset balances were $145.5 million and $6.6 million, respectively.
 
We assign indefinite lives to acquired trademarks, accreditations and designations that we believe have the continued ability to generate cash flows indefinitely; have no legal, regulatory, contractual, economic or other factors limiting the useful life of the respective intangible asset; and when we intend to renew the respective trademark, accreditation or designation and renewal can be accomplished at little cost. Indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized, but rather are tested for impairment at least annually, unless events occur or circumstances change between annual tests that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the respective asset below its carrying amount. The impairment test for indefinite-lived intangible assets involves a comparison of the estimated fair value of the intangible asset with its carrying value. If the carrying value of the intangible asset exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess. To determine the fair value of these intangible assets, we use various valuation models, such as discounted cash flow analysis or the relief-from-royalty method. We perform our annual indefinite-lived intangible asset impairment tests for each reporting unit on the same dates that we perform our annual goodwill impairment tests for the respective reporting units.
 
During fiscal year 2009, we completed our annual impairment tests for our indefinite-lived intangible assets at ULA and UNIACC totaling $13.3 million and determined there was no impairment. Apollo did not perform an annual impairment test of the indefinite-lived intangible assets recently acquired in the BPP acquisition on July 30, 2009 nor were we required to perform interim impairment tests for any of our indefinite-lived intangible assets during fiscal year 2009.
 
  •  Finite-Lived Intangible Assets — Finite-lived intangible assets that are acquired in business combinations are recorded at fair market value on their acquisition date and are amortized on either a straight-line basis or using an accelerated method to reflect the economic useful life of the asset. The weighted average useful lives range from 2 to 15 years.
 
At August 31, 2009 and 2008, our finite-lived intangible asset balances were $58.2 million and $16.5 million, respectively. As further discussed in Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, we will adopt SFAS No. 157, “Fair Value Measurements” (“SFAS 157”), with respect to using fair value measurements in the valuation techniques associated with our annual goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets impairment tests effective September 1, 2009.
 
 
We evaluate the carrying amount of our major long-lived assets, including property and equipment and finite-lived intangible assets, whenever changes in circumstances or events indicate that the value of such assets may not be fully recoverable. At August 31, 2009, we believe the carrying amounts of our long-lived assets are fully recoverable and no impairment exists.


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We are subject to various claims and contingencies which are in the scope of ordinary and routine litigation incidental to our business, including those related to regulation, litigation, business transactions, employee-related matters and taxes, among others. When we become aware of a claim or potential claim, the likelihood of any loss or exposure is assessed. If it is probable that a loss will result and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated, we record a liability for the loss. The liability recorded includes probable and estimable legal costs incurred to date and future legal costs to the point in the legal matter where we believe a conclusion to the matter will be reached. If the loss is not probable or the amount of the loss cannot be reasonably estimated, we disclose the claim if the likelihood of a potential loss is reasonably possible and the amount of the potential loss could be material. For matters where no loss contingency is recorded, our policy is to expense legal fees as incurred.
 
 
The objectives of accounting for income taxes are to recognize the amount of taxes payable or refundable for the current year and deferred tax liabilities and assets for the future tax consequences of events that have been recognized in an entity’s financial statements or tax returns. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in earnings in the period when the new rate is enacted.
 
We evaluate and account for uncertain tax positions using a two-step approach. Recognition (step one) occurs when we conclude that a tax position, based solely on its technical merits, is more-likely-than-not to be sustained upon examination. Measurement (step two) determines the amount of benefit that is greater than 50% likely to be realized upon ultimate settlement with a taxing authority that has full knowledge of all relevant information. Derecognition of a tax position that was previously recognized would occur when we subsequently determine that a tax position no longer meets the more-likely-than-not threshold of being sustained. We do not use a valuation allowance as a substitute for derecognition of tax positions.
 
 
We measure and recognize compensation expense for all share-based awards issued to faculty, employees and directors based on estimated fair values of the share awards on the date of grant. We record compensation expense for all share-based awards over the vesting period.
 
We calculate the fair value of share-based awards on the date of grant. For stock options, we typically use the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model to estimate fair value. The Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model requires us to estimate key assumptions such as expected term, volatility, risk-free interest rates and dividend yield to determine the fair value of stock options, based on both historical information and management judgment regarding market factors and trends. We generally use the simplified mid-point method to estimate expected term of stock options. The simplified method uses the mid-point between the vesting term and the contractual term of the share option. We have analyzed the circumstances in which the use of the simplified method is allowed, and we have opted to use this method for stock options granted to management in fiscal years 2009 and 2008 because the options granted in prior fiscal years had different terms, such as contractual lives and acceleration provisions. Thus, historical data is not comparable in order to determine the expected term of awards. We expect to continue to use this method until sufficient reliable historical data is available that will enable us to estimate expected term by a more precise method
 
We amortize the share-based compensation expense over the period that the awards are expected to vest, net of estimated forfeiture rates. We estimate expected forfeitures of share-based awards at the grant date and recognize compensation cost only for those awards expected to vest. We estimate our forfeiture rate based on several factors including historical forfeiture activity, expected future employee turnover, and other qualitative factors. We ultimately adjust this forfeiture assumption to actual forfeitures. Therefore, changes in the forfeiture assumptions do not impact the total amount of expense ultimately recognized over the vesting period. Rather, different forfeiture assumptions only impact the timing of expense recognition over the vesting


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period. If the actual forfeitures differ from management estimates, additional adjustments to compensation expense are recorded.
 
We used the following weighted average assumptions in the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model for stock options granted in each fiscal year:
 
                         
    Year Ended August 31,
    2009   2008   2007
 
Expected volatility
    47.7 %     44.2 %     32.7 %
Expected life (years)
    4.2       4.2       4.2  
Risk-free interest rate
    2.2 %     2.9 %     4.9 %
Dividend yield
    0.0 %     0.0 %     0.0 %
 
The assumptions that have the most significant affect on the fair value of the grants and therefore, share-based compensation expense, are the expected life and expected volatility. The following table illustrates how changes to the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model assumptions would affect the weighted average per option fair values as of the grant date for grants made during fiscal year 2009:
 
                         
    Expected Volatility
Expected Life (Years)
  42.9%   47.7%   52.5%
 
3.7
  $ 23.57     $ 25.72     $ 27.83  
4.2
    25.07       27.32       29.52  
4.7
    26.48       28.81       31.09  
 
 
Please refer to Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for recent accounting pronouncements.
 
 
We have included below a discussion of our operating results and significant items which explain the material changes in our operating results during the fiscal years ended August 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007. Our operations are generally subject to seasonal trends. We experience, and expect to continue to experience, seasonal fluctuations in our results of operations as a result of changes in the level of student enrollments. While University of Phoenix enrolls students throughout the year, our net revenue generally is lower in the second quarter (December through February) than the other quarters due to holiday breaks in December and January. Most of our other subsidiaries experience more significant seasonality, as they have limited enrollment during their respective summer breaks.
 
We categorize our operating expenses as instructional costs and services, selling and promotional, and general and administrative.
 
  •  Instructional costs and services — consist primarily of costs related to the delivery and administration of our educational programs and include costs related to faculty and administrative compensation, classroom and faculty administration lease expenses and depreciation, bad debt expense, financial aid processing costs and other related costs. Tuition costs for all employees and their eligible family members are recorded as an expense within instructional costs and services.
 
  •  Selling and promotional costs — consist primarily of compensation for enrollment counselors, management and support staff and corporate marketing, advertising expenses, production of marketing materials, and other costs directly related to selling and promotional functions. Selling and promotional costs are expensed when incurred.
 
  •  General and administrative costs — consist primarily of corporate compensation, occupancy costs, depreciation and amortization of property and equipment, legal and professional fees, and other related costs.


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For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2009 compared to the fiscal year ended August 31, 2008
 
Analysis of Consolidated Statements of Income
 
The table below details our consolidated results of operations. For a more detailed discussion by reportable segment, refer to our Analysis of Operating Results by Segment.
 
                                         
                % of Net Revenue        
    Year Ended August 31,     Year Ended August 31,     %
 
(in millions, except per share data)   2009     2008     2009     2008     Change  
 
Net revenue
  $ 3,974.2     $ 3,140.9       100.0 %     100.0 %     26.5 %
                                         
Costs and expenses:
                                       
Instructional costs and services
    1,603.7       1,370.9       40.3 %     43.6 %     17.0 %
Selling and promotional
    960.4       805.4       24.2 %     25.6 %     19.2 %
General and administrative
    290.1       215.2       7.3 %     6.9 %     34.8 %
Estimated litigation loss
    80.5             2.0 %           *
                                         
Total costs and expenses
    2,934.7       2,391.5       73.8 %     76.1 %     22.7 %
                                         
Income from operations
    1,039.5       749.4       26.2 %     23.9 %     38.7 %
Interest income
    12.6       30.1       0.3 %     1.0 %     (58.1 )%
Interest expense
    (4.5 )     (3.5 )     (0.1 )%     (0.1 )%     28.6 %
Other, net
    (7.8 )     6.8       (0.2 )%     0.2 %     *
                                         
Income before income taxes and minority interest
    1,039.8       782.8       26.2 %     25.0 %     32.8 %
Provision for income taxes
    (446.0 )     (306.9 )     (11.2 )%     (9.8 )%     45.3 %
Minority interest, net of tax
    4.5       0.6       0.1 %           *
                                         
Net income
  $ 598.3     $ 476.5       15.1 %     15.2 %     25.6 %
                                         
Diluted income per share
  $ 3.75     $ 2.87       *     *     30.7 %
                                         
 
 
* not meaningful
 
 
Our net revenue increased $833.3 million, or 26.5%, in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008. University of Phoenix represented approximately 95% of our net revenue during this period, and contributed the majority of the increase primarily due to growth in Degreed Enrollment and selective tuition price and other fee changes. Net revenue also increased $54.0 million primarily from Apollo Global earning a full year of revenue from acquisitions completed in fiscal year 2008. For a more detailed discussion, refer to our Analysis of Operating Results by Segment.
 
 
Instructional costs and services increased $232.8 million, or 17.0%, in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008, but represents a 330 basis point decrease as a percentage of net revenue. The decrease as a percentage of net revenue is primarily due to University of Phoenix continuing to leverage its fixed costs, such as certain employee wages, classroom space and depreciation expense, and a decrease in financial aid processing costs from the favorable renegotiation, effective September 2008, of our contract with our outsourced financial aid processing vendor. This was partially offset by increases in expense as a percentage of net revenue at Apollo Global associated with its start-up, development and other infrastructure and support costs, as well as an increase as a percentage of net revenue in bad debt expense. Our bad debt expense was 3.8% of net revenue in fiscal year 2009 compared to 3.3% of net revenue in fiscal year 2008.
 
 
Selling and promotional expenses increased $155.0 million, or 19.2%, in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008, but represents a 140 basis point decrease as a percentage of net revenue. The decrease as a


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percentage of net revenue is primarily due to University of Phoenix improved enrollment counselor effectiveness. Additionally, investments we have made in our corporate marketing function have resulted in more effective advertising.
 
 
General and administrative expenses increased $74.9 million, or 34.8%, in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008 representing a 40 basis point increase as a percentage of net revenue. The increase as a percentage of net revenue is primarily due to (a) administrative expenses to support our strategic growth initiatives and enhance our corporate governance, (b) increased legal costs in connection with defending ourselves in legal matters described elsewhere in this report, and (c) the write-off of $9.4 million of information technology fixed assets that resulted primarily from our rationalization of software.
 
 
In connection with the Incentive Compensation False Claims Act Lawsuit, we recorded an accrual of $80.5 million in fiscal year 2009 based on settlement discussions to resolve this matter. See Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further discussion.
 
 
Interest income decreased $17.5 million in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008. The decrease is primarily due to lower interest rate yields, which was partially offset by increases in average cash and cash equivalents balances (including restricted cash) during the respective periods. When the Federal Reserve Bank lowers the Federal Funds Rate, it generally results in a reduction in our interest rates. The reduction of the Federal Funds Rate in December 2008 to the range of 0.0% — 0.25% has lowered our average interest rate yield for fiscal year 2009 below 1%.
 
 
Interest expense increased $1.0 million in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008 due to an increase in average borrowings during the respective periods, principally due to debt incurred by subsidiaries of Apollo Global and borrowings on our syndicated $500 million credit agreement (the “Bank Facility”). Subsequent to August 31, 2009, we repaid the U.S. dollar denominated debt on our Bank Facility of $393 million that was outstanding at August 31, 2009. Refer to Liquidity, Capital Resources, and Financial Position for further discussion.
 
 
The loss in fiscal year 2009 was primarily attributable to $6.9 million of expense incurred for the purchase of a call option to hedge against foreign currency fluctuations related to the BPP acquisition. The remaining loss primarily relates to net foreign currency losses related to our international operations. The income in fiscal year 2008 was primarily attributable to other income of $9.5 million from the forfeiture of an escrow deposit provided in connection with a now cancelled agreement to sell and leaseback our headquarters, which was partially offset by net foreign currency losses related to our international operations
 
 
Our effective income tax rate for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2009 was 42.9% compared to 39.2% for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2008. The increase was primarily attributable to the following items:
 
  •  The estimated tax impact on the estimated litigation loss;
  •  An increase in state taxes due to the allocation of our online operations income amongst various U.S. state and local jurisdictions;
  •  A reduction in our tax exempt interest income;


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  •  An increase in net operating losses for which we cannot currently take a tax benefit; and
  •  Certain compensation that may not meet the requirements for deductibility under Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m).
 
 
The minority interest increased in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008 due to an increase in Apollo Global’s net losses in fiscal year 2009. For a more detailed discussion, refer to our Analysis of Operating Results by Segment.
 
Analysis of Operating Results by Segment
 
                                 
    Year Ended August 31,     $
    %
 
($ in millions)   2009     2008     Change     Change  
 
Net revenue
                               
University of Phoenix
  $ 3,766.6     $ 2,987.7     $ 778.9       26.1 %
Apollo Global:
                               
BPP
    13.1             13.1       *
Other
    54.3       13.4       40.9       305.2 %
                                 
Total Apollo Global
    67.4       13.4       54.0       403.0 %
Insight Schools
    20.6       7.5       13.1       174.7 %
Other Schools
    116.8       122.5       (5.7 )     (4.7 )%
Corporate(1)
    2.8       9.8       (7.0 )     (71.4 )%
                                 
Total net revenue
  $ 3,974.2     $ 3,140.9     $ 833.3       26.5 %
                                 
Income (loss) from operations
                               
University of Phoenix
  $ 1,131.3     $ 817.6     $ 313.7       38.4 %
Apollo Global:
                               
BPP
    (6.6 )           (6.6 )     *
Other
    (11.5 )     (1.9 )     (9.6 )     (505.3 )%
                                 
Total Apollo Global
    (18.1 )     (1.9 )     (16.2 )     (852.6 )%
Insight Schools
    (28.6 )     (18.9 )     (9.7 )     (51.3 )%
Other Schools
    7.0       20.3       (13.3 )     (65.5 )%
Corporate(1)
    (52.1 )     (67.7 )     15.6       23.0 %
                                 
Total income from operations
  $ 1,039.5     $ 749.4     $ 290.1       38.7 %
                                 
 
 
(1) The Corporate caption in our segment reporting includes adjustments to reconcile segment results to consolidated results, which primarily consist of net revenue and corporate charges that are not allocated to our segments.
 
* not meaningful


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The $778.9 million, or 26.1%, increase in net revenue in our University of Phoenix segment was primarily due to enrollment growth as detailed below:
 
                                                   
    Degreed Enrollment       Combined New Degreed Enrollment(1)  
    Quarter Ended August 31,     %
      Year Ended August 31,     %
 
(rounded to the nearest hundred)   2009     2008     Change       2009     2008     Change  
Associate’s
    201,200       146,500       37.3 %       191,700       143,400       33.7 %
Bachelor’s
    163,600       141,800       15.4 %       108,900       92,400       17.9 %
Master’s
    71,200       67,700       5.2 %       51,900       49,400       5.1 %
Doctoral
    7,000       6,100       14.8 %       3,300       3,000       10.0 %
                                                   
Total
    443,000       362,100       22.3 %       355,800       288,200       23.5 %
 
 
(1) Calculated as the sum of each quarter’s New Degreed Enrollment during the fiscal year.
 
Enrollment growth in Degreed Enrollment and New Degreed Enrollment is in part the result of investments in enhancing and expanding University of Phoenix academic quality and service offerings, which has attracted new students and increased student retention. Enhancements in our marketing effectiveness have also contributed to the increases. Also, we believe that a portion of the increase is due to the current economic downturn, as working learners seek to advance their education to improve their job security or reemployment prospects, and that this element of our growth may diminish as the economy and the employment outlook improve in the U.S.
 
In addition to the growth in Degreed Enrollment, net revenue increased due to selective tuition price and other fee changes implemented in July 2009 and July 2008, depending on geographic area, program, and degree level. In the aggregate, the July 2009 selective price and other fee changes, including increases in discounts for military and veteran students, averaged approximately 4%. The July 2008 selective tuition price and other fee changes included an approximate 10% increase in associate’s degree tuition price and increases averaging 4% to 5% for bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The impact of these price and other fee changes on future net revenue and operating income will continue to be impacted by changes in enrollment, changes in student mix within programs and degree levels, and changes in discounts. The increase in net revenue was partially offset by a continued shift in our student body mix to a higher percentage of students enrolled in associate’s degree programs, which have tuition prices generally lower than other degree programs. Associate’s Degreed Enrollment represented 45.4% of Degreed Enrollment during the quarter ended August 31, 2009, compared to 40.5% during the quarter ended August 31, 2008. In addition, associate’s Degreed Enrollment increased 37.3% in the quarter ended August 31, 2009 compared to the quarter ended August 31, 2008.
 
Income from operations in our University of Phoenix segment increased $313.7 million, or 38.4%, during fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008. The increase in income from operations was positively impacted by the following:
 
  •  Economies of scale associated with the 26.1% increase in University of Phoenix net revenue as many costs remain relatively fixed such as certain employee wages, classroom space and depreciation when University of Phoenix grows its net revenue. Additionally, variable employee headcount has grown at a lower rate than the increase in net revenue;
 
  •  A decrease in financial aid processing costs from the favorable renegotiation, effective September 2008, of our contract with our outsourced financial aid processing vendor;
 
  •  Investments in our corporate marketing function that have produced more effective and efficient advertising resulting in a decrease in advertising expense as a percentage of net revenue; and
 
  •  An increase in enrollment counselor effectiveness as a result of internal initiatives to assist enrollment counselors in their jobs, as well as an increase in the average tenure of enrollment counselors.


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Income from operations was negatively impacted by the $80.5 million estimated litigation loss recorded in connection with the Incentive Compensation False Claims Act Lawsuit. See Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies, in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further discussion. Income from operations was also negatively impacted by increased bad debt expense as a percentage of net revenue resulting from the continued economic downturn, the continuing increase in enrollment in our associate’s degree programs and lower collection rates on aged accounts receivable.
 
 
Apollo Global net revenue increased $54.0 million during fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008. The net revenue was generated by BPP, which was acquired on July 30, 2009 and UNIACC and ULA, which was acquired in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2008, respectively.
 
The $18.1 million loss from operations for Apollo Global during fiscal year 2009 was primarily due to the following:
 
  •  General and administrative expenses associated with the pursuit of opportunities to partner with and/or acquire existing institutions of higher learning where we believe we can achieve long-term attractive growth and value creation;
  •  Investment in BPP, UNIACC and ULA including, but not limited to, initiatives to expand offerings and enhance academic quality and marketing.
 
 
The $13.1 million increase in net revenue in our Insight Schools segment during fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008 was primarily due to an increase in the number of schools served in fiscal year 2009 and an aggregate increase in enrollment in the schools that were in operation during fiscal years 2009 and 2008.
 
The increase in the loss from operations was primarily due to increased regulatory compliance costs and additional start-up costs for items such as faculty, office space and depreciation, and other infrastructure and support costs to grow this business.
 
Insight Schools has encountered a number of administrative challenges in its compliance activities in the course of expanding its business. These challenges resulted in a decrease in the number of states in which Insight Schools serves students during fiscal year 2009. These challenges have limited the growth rate of the Insight Schools business and increased its operating expenses. We believe Insight Schools will continue to generate operating losses in the near term.
 
Subsequent to our 2009 fiscal year end, we decided to explore the sale of Insight Schools. There is no assurance that we will be able to sell these operations on terms acceptable to us or at all. In addition to the costs incurred in connection with such a disposition, we may realize a loss on sale. As of August 31, 2009, the goodwill balance of Insight Schools was $12.7 million. If we are unable to dispose of these operations on terms acceptable to us, we may decide to continue providing some or all of the services now provided by Insight Schools under its service contracts for the remainder of the terms of such contracts, which have remaining terms of 1 to 9 years.
 
 
The $5.7 million decrease in net revenue in our Other Schools segment was primarily due to Western International University associate’s degree program students graduating or withdrawing from the program. In April 2006, we began offering associate’s degree programs at University of Phoenix instead of Western International University; however, we have continued to service the existing associate’s degree students at Western International University until graduation, withdrawal or transfer to University of Phoenix. Additionally, CFFP’s net revenue declined due to a decrease in demand for CFFP’s financial planning education programs and materials as a result of the current economic downturn.


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The decrease in income from operations in our Other Schools segment was primarily due to our investments in developing Meritus University and the decrease in net revenue discussed above.
 
For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2008 compared to the fiscal year ended August 31, 2007
 
Analysis of Consolidated Statements of Income
 
                                         
                % of Net Revenue        
    Year Ended August 31,     Year Ended August 31,     %
 
(in millions, except per share data)   2008     2007     2008     2007     Change  
 
Net revenue
  $ 3,140.9     $ 2,723.8       100.0 %     100.0 %     15.3 %