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June 17, 2013, 3:07 pm
At the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities’ convention in Las Vegas last year, a vendor’s booth in the exhibit hall featured a scantily clad woman in a mermaid costume who was dangling her tail into a giant water tank. In 2011, when Apscu held its convention outside Dallas, attendees could get their photographs taken with a real steer.
The most extravagant it got in the exhibit hall for the 2013 annual convention was a golf-swing simulator. The de-glitzing of the convention hall was all part of the tone that Apscu’s president, Steve Gunderson, is trying to foster…
May 7, 2013, 3:03 pm
With enrollments still falling and costs for recruiting students still rising, companies that run for-profit colleges continue to scramble: Some are offering bigger scholarships, some are instituting selectivity in admissions so they enroll students more likely to graduate, and some are holding the line on tuition increases for current students to deter them from dropping out.
For Strayer Education, the approach seems to be “all of the above.”
As it reported last week that its new-student enrollments were down 14 percent from the same period a year ago, the company also announced the creation of a new Graduate Completion Fund, which will allow Strayer undergraduates who complete three-quarters of their courses to receive the final quarter of their courses free. The company also announced that it would freeze tuition for all current undergraduates (at $1,700 a course, its charges a…
February 14, 2013, 12:02 am
On the same day that President Obama released his College Scorecard to help students and their families compare institutions, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities unveiled a data-packed scorecard of its own to show how favorably public higher education stacks up against its private nonprofit and for-profit counterparts.
The 12-page report compares the average list prices of public universities ($8,655), for-profit institutions ($15,172), and private universities ($29,056), and describes what public-university leaders are doing to control costs at a time of declining government support and rising tuition.
The report also compares the average debt of students who borrowed money to attend public universities ($22,000) and private, four-year institutions ($28,100), and touts the economic advantages of a college diploma.
The most startling assertion of the chart- and…
February 6, 2013, 3:12 pm
“I am a Phoenix” is no more. The once-ubiquitous TV commercials touting student and faculty pride in the University of Phoenix have been replaced by a new ad campaign that its marketers hope will “project a hopeful, positive message for America.” It’s also designed to lay the ground for what one university executive called “a massive repositioning” of the institution.
The new ad push is hardly surprising. As The Chronicle reported this week, Phoenix and just about every other major for-profit college are scrambling to reverse more than a year and a half of enrollment declines.
Phoenix’s new “Let’s Get to Work” campaign, showcased here on the university’s YouTube feed, reflects market research that found that many Phoenix students don’t enroll for a degree per se. “They come,” said Barry Feierstein, the university’s chief operating officer, “for what the degree will do for them.”
January 23, 2013, 3:04 pm
Laureate Education, a company that operates a network of 65 universities in 29 countries, has received a $150-million investment from the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank.
A Laureate spokesman, Matthew Yale, said the company, with about $3-billion in annual revenues, will use the money to continue its expansion, possibly to locations in Africa (Laureate has a campus in Morocco) and Latin America, where the company has an extensive presence. ”Their mandate to us is ‘emerging markets,’” said Mr. Yale.
More than 750,000 students attend institutions that make up the Laureate International Universities, a network that includes the all-online Walden University and several campuses in the United States.
Officials at International Finance said the investment was the largest of its $550-million education portfolio. With the deal, the corporation becomes…