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Online University Agrees to Settlement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa-based Ashford University and parent company Bridgepoint Education Inc. have agreed to a $7.25 million settlement following allegations that they misled students and misrepresented their program.

Attorney General Tom Miller announced the settlement Friday, capping a three-year investigation into complaints that alleged the for-profit online school used coercive recruitment efforts and omitted necessary information. The money will go toward a program to reimburse current and former Iowa students affected by the school's conduct.

Ashford and Bridgepoint are also required to change certain practices.

Pat Kean, a former Ashford student and military veteran from Madrid, says he used military funds to pay for online teaching classes, only to discover his degree wasn't valid and his credits weren't transferrable. He says the agreement makes a "world of difference" for students like himself.

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