The owner of Ashford University has abandoned efforts to sell the 36,350-student online college, opting instead to continue with plans to spin off Ashford into an independent, not-for-profit institution.

Zovio, formerly Bridgepoint Education, said Monday that it has entered into a letter of intent with an independent Ashford entity to pursue the conversion. Zovio expects the spinoff to be complete by June 1.

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