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.

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