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As enrollment drops, University of Phoenix parent for sale

Facing declining enrollment at its online chain of colleges and heightened scrutiny by regulators, Apollo Education Group -- parent of the University of Phoenix -- is exploring options including a possible sale, the for-profit company said on Monday.

"The Board is currently in discussions that could potentially lead to a change of control of the company," Apollo Education said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the company declined further comment.

News that the company was exploring a possible sale came as the for-profit educator reported a fiscal first-quarter loss of $60.8 million and revenue of $586 million, short of Wall Street's expectations.

Shares of the company have plummeted 76 percent over the last 12 months, and are down 14 percent since the start of the year. On Monday, however, its shares rallied, up more than 5 percent.

Apollo Education in October said the Defense Department had put the University of Phoenix on probation from its tuition assistance program for active military personnel due to a Federal Trade Commission inquiry into the company's advertising and marketing tactics.

Apollo also said on Monday that new degree enrollment at the University of Phoenix had declined further, this time by 38 percent to 176,900 for the quarter ending Nov. 30.

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