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Apollo rises as Phoenix accreditation is renewed

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Apollo Group Inc. advanced in aftermarket trading Wednesday after the for-profit education company said the accreditation of its University of Phoenix subsidiary was renewed.

Apollo Group said The Higher Learning Commission reaffirmed the school's accreditation through the 2022-23 academic year. The company said it was placed on "notice" status for two years, meaning the commission is still concerned about Apollo's administrative structure and governance. Apollo said it will have to demonstrate to the commission that is meets those standards.

In February Apollo said the commission was considering placing the University of Phoenix on probation because of alleged deficiencies involving its administrative structure and governance. An advisory panel later recommended renewing the accreditation and placing the company on notice status because of the governance problems and concerns about its student assessment and faculty scholarship and research for doctoral programs.

Apollo said a sanction from the commission could have adversely affected its business, including restricting its qualifications for operating in some states and potentially limiting its eligibility for student financial aid.

Losing accreditation would also have limited the recognition of its employees and the degrees and credits earned by its students, which would make its schools less appealing to both faculty and students.

Shares of Apollo Group picked up $1.11, or 6.2 percent, to $19 in aftermarket trading. The stock gained 34 cents to $17.09 during the regular session.