Sunday, March 31, 2019

College Meltdown: Where’s the Bottom?

How long will this continue? Judging by surveys, and national, local, and business news, it doesn't look good. Further analysis of the terrain reinforces my opinion that the College Meltdown will continue for the foreseeable future.
Some investors in higher education may be hoping for an economic downturn, because the industry has typically been counter-cyclical. But this time, there may be no guarantee that a recession will improve the financial condition of the industry. Elite schools, for example, rely heavily on investments rather than student enrollment, for capital, and a stock market decline could damage their bottom lines.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

University of Phoenix Collapse Kept From Public Scrutiny, As Ads Continue

Public information about University of Phoenix has been kept under wraps since 2016, when the school was sold to Apollo Global Management, a large private equity firm where Apollo Education is one of more than 50 assets under management.
While the University of Phoenix still advertises nationally on television shows such as God Friended Me*, its workers and former workers continue to talk off the record about their school's dire situation, and the lengths that the company will take to keep the numbers up.

Behind the scenes at UoPX, enrollment has continued to drop, teachers and enrollment reps have been fired, and campuses continue to shutter. 

University of Phoenix campuses will be closing in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Columbia, South Carolina, Detroit, El Paso, Honolulu, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Tucson, Virginia Beach, and several locations in California and Florida.

But there is no story, so far, in the news about the collapse of America's largest university, because confirmable information is difficult to obtain. The University of Phoenix media room does not return calls or emails. And the culture of silence at the school prohibits the truth from coming out.

*University of Phoenix advertisement appeared during a new episode of God Friended Me, 3-17-2019.

Related links:

The Slow-Motion Collapse of America’s Largest University

Observations of the College Meltdown in Real Time

Higher Learning Commission: Accreditation Is No Sign Of Quality

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IPEDS Trend Generator illustrates lower enrollment, less revenues, fewer jobs at for-profit colleges

NCES data show that jobs at for-profit colleges have declined every year since 2012

The newest US Department of Education IPEDS data show that enrollment, revenues, and jobs have decreased dramatically in the for-profit college sector. 

Enrollment at for-profit colleges dropped from a peak of 2.4 million in Fall 2010 to 1.3 million in Fall 2017.  That's an enrollment drop of 1.1 million.  

This, in turn, has led to less revenue and fewer workers. 

Revenues at for-profit colleges peaked in 2011 at $29.6B and dropped to $19.4B in Fall 2017. That's a drop of more than $10B a year from its peak. 

For-profit college employees peaked at 295,887 in 2012 and the number dropped to 176,441 by Fall 2017. That's a loss of more than 120,000 jobs.
Decline in enrollment, revenues, and employees (2010-present)

Fall/Year    Enrollment    Revenues              Employees
2010           2,430,657      29,603,059,000     295,476
2011           2,368,440      33,889,758,000     288,882
2012           2,174,457      32,196111,000      295,887
2013           2,000,883      29,643,714,000     258,098
2014           1,883,199      27,310,167,000     241,134
2015           1,629,393      24,007,022,000     214,656
2016           1,437,452      20,804,128,000     191,083
2017           1,345,633      19,446,382,000     176,441 

You can create graphs and tables yourself using the updated data at the IPEDS Trend Generator.

Current conditions in the for-profit college industry may actually be worse, judging by the Fall 2018 assessment by National Student Clearinghouse, which had reported an additional 15 percent decline.  However, NSC's original press release has been removed.  

The data also do not consider more recent losses, such as the collapse of Education Corporation of America (which includes Brightwood College and Virginia College) or Dream Center Education Holdings (which includes Argosy, Art Institutes, and South University

One confounding issue is that for-profit colleges Grand Canyon University and Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan) have moved to the non-profit side.  Ashford University is also working on having its tax status changed from for-profit to non-profit.