PHOENIX, Dec. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lawmakers Sunday successfully approved a bill that would protect critical higher education benefit programs used by veterans, active duty servicemembers, and their families. University of Phoenix, which has proudly served tens of thousands of active-duty and retired members of the United States military — praised lawmakers for improving opportunities for servicemembers and veterans by sending H.R. 4057 to President Obama for his signature. The legislation, Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012, includes a number of requirements that have successfully been implemented at University of Phoenix and have helped servicemembers and veterans make informed decisions about their chosen college degree programs. "H.R. 4057 is a testament to the leadership and bipartisan spirit of Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Rep. Jeff Miller, Rep. Bob Filner and Rep. Gus Bilirakis — along with many others. University of Phoenix will always honor our nation's longstanding commitment to provide military and veteran students and their families the opportunity to pursue a high-quality education and gain the skills they need to fill the jobs of tomorrow," said Mark Brenner, Chief of Staff of Apollo Group, and Senior Vice President of Communications and External Affairs. "Lawmakers came together not only in support of The Post-9/11 GI Bill, but to clarify what the government and all post-secondary institutions must do to protect military students while increasing their educational opportunities," said retired Col. Garland Williams, Ph.D., who leads the team of University of Phoenix Military Division advisors and counselors. " University of Phoenix is proud to build on the work of Congressional leaders. Our doors are always open to those who want to see our best practices in providing educational counseling services and transparency for veterans and members of the Armed Forces." University of Phoenix leaders commend the many Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), including Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Student Veterans of America, for their collaborative efforts to make sure this bill helped promote transparency and accountability. A coalition of VSOs and higher education institutions, including University of Phoenix, sent a letter on February 2 to President Obama and congressional leaders calling for legislation to foster responsible decision-making and protect veterans who seek to use their VA educational benefits. The letter asked for measures later included in H.R. 4057, including enhanced, upfront counseling services for all military students, and a formal complaint process within the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. On July 11, University of Phoenixsent a letter to House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller and Ranking Member Bob Filner in support of H.R. 4057. The University reiterated its support to Sens. Patty Murray and Richard Burr with a letter sent on December 18. " University of Phoenix is unique in the way we serve military students," said Col Williams. "Our military division is comprised primarily of advisors who have prior military experience. Every military student works closely with their graduation team of counselors and advisors — whether they're completing coursework online while deployed on active duty, or working toward a degree as a veteran back home — to help them reach graduation, and use career services within the University to enhance their career path upon their transition to civilian life." For more information regarding University of Phoenix's record of providing flexible, relevant and rigorous degree programs to our nation's military visit www.phoenix.edu/military. About University of Phoenix University of Phoenix is the largest private university in North America and is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship university of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.phoenix.edu. About Apollo Group Apollo Group, Inc. is one of the world's largest private education providers and has been in the education business for approximately 40 years. The Company offers innovative and distinctive educational programs and services both online and on-campus at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels through its subsidiaries: University of Phoenix, Apollo Global, Institute for Professional Development and College for Financial Planning. The Company offers programs and services throughout the United States and in Latin America and Europe, as well as online throughout the world. For more information about Apollo Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, call (800) 990-APOL or visit the Company's website at http://www.apollogrp.edu.