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A University of Phoenix billboard in Chandler, Ariz. (AP Photo)

PHOENIX -- The parent company of the University of Phoenix is laying off hundreds of employees, including about 20 in the Valley, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

The Valley-based Apollo Group announced the downsizing of 500 nonfaculty employees across the country on Tuesday.

The for-profit education group has been struggling with declining enrollment for nearly three years.

Apollo Group was founded in 1973 by John G. Sperling,

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