NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Bridgepoint Education Inc. dropped Friday, a day after the company said it expects a federal audit to result in proposed fines and "corrective action." The San Diego-based company's shares fell $3.90, or 21 percent, to $14.33 in morning trading. Bridgepoint offers online college degrees and operates two traditional college campuses. Thursday, the company said that the Education Department's Office of Inspector General is expected to present findings from its compliance audit of Ashford University, based in Clinton, Iowa, within the next 30 days. The audit focuses on compensation of enrollment advisers, Title IV issues, student authorizations to retain credit balances and maintenance of supporting documentation for students' leaves of absence. The audit began in May 2008 and covered the period of March 2005 to June 2009. Bridgeport said it expects the "report will assert findings of noncompliance and include draft recommendations to the Office of Federal Student Aid with respect to fines and corrective action." Ashford University will have an opportunity to resolve any findings and recommendations, the company said. "We intend to cooperate fully with regulatory authorities and will respond appropriately once we have had an opportunity to review the...draft audit report," said Andrew Clark, CEO of Bridgepoint Education.
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