Category Archives: For-Profit Education


New Adjunct-Focused Venture Wins Approval to Offer Courses

A new for-profit education organization, designed to give more academic and financial control to the adjunct instructors who teach its online courses, has just won approval from the state of Vermont to operate.

The Vermont State Board of Education’s approval of Oplerno (the company’s name stands for “open learning organization”) means that its courses can qualify for credit at colleges and universities, at the institutions’ discretion.

Robert Skiff, the entrepreneur behind Oplerno, says he plans…


For-Profit Colleges Add $20-Billion to Economy, Trade Group Says

Washington — The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities has released an analysis that says for-profit colleges have a direct impact of about $20-billion on the United States economy.

The analysis was released as some 200 officials of for-profit colleges, students, and employers of the colleges’ graduates are gathering here for a three-day lobbying push on Capitol Hill against tighter regulation. The analysis, prepared by John Dunham and Associates, also includes localized repor…


Government Investigations and Suits Against For-Profit Colleges: the Grid

With the announcement on Wednesday by New Mexico’s attorney general, Gary King, that his office was suing ITT Educational Services over alleged misrepresentations to nursing students, a total of 22 state attorneys general are now known to be investigating or suing for-profit-college companies.

Several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which also announced a lawsuit against ITT this week), and t…


Fake Infomercial for ‘For Profit Online University’ Satirizes Higher Ed

At first blush, it might seem like an ad for another online university you haven’t heard of. But “Let’s Profit Off Each Other” is, in fact, the slogan of the fictional “For Profit Online University”—the subject of an 11-minute parody infomercial that, according to the blog Splitsider, was created by former writers for The Onion, a satirical website, and has been airing at 4 a.m. recently on the cable-television channel Adult Swim.

And it’s quite brutal. Some of the gags: FPOU is “proudly una…


For-Profit Colleges’ Winter Meeting Focuses on Employment

In the winter months of years past, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities has held swanky meetings at resort destinations like Lake Tahoe or Beaver Creek, Colo., and its annual symposium in Washington was more inwardly focused. As policy makers and the public began to scrutinize the debt, default rates, and poor employment prospects of students coming out of some prominent colleges in the for-profit sector, however, the setting and the tone of the meetings didn’t play well …


For-Profit Ashford U. Forms Alliance With Forbes

Kaplan University allied its business school with Newsweek magazine seven years ago and then scrapped the deal after just two years. Now Bridgepoint Education’s Ashford University has announced a branding alliance with the Forbes magazine company.

Ashford said on Tuesday that it would pay Forbes Media LLC $15-million upfront, plus a minimum $30-million over the initial 12-year term of the deal, for the rights to the company’s online content for use in bachelor’s and master’s programs in business…


Even After Its Demise, Ivy Bridge College Raises Questions About Accreditation

Paul Freedman, the former chief executive of Altius Education, says it and Tiffin U. were following the rules at the time, but then the regulatory environment changed. (Noah Berger for The Chronicle)

Paul Freedman, the former chief executive of Altius Education, says it and Tiffin U. were following the rules at the time, but then the regulatory environment changed. (Noah Berger for The Chronicle)

Accreditation matters played heavily into Altius Education’s dashed ambitions for Ivy Bridge College.

A document trail, annotated by The Chronicle, highlights the key events in the seven-year saga, which began with an entrepreneur’s dream and wound down under the cloud of a continuing federal invest…


Higher-Education Company to Sell Its European Operations

The Career Education Corporation has struck a deal to sell its European operations to Apax Partners, a private-equity group, for $267-million in cash, the higher-education company announced on Thursday.

The sale includes a chain of business, communications, and health-care colleges based in Paris, the Inseec Group, that Career Education bought 10 years ago for about $20-million. It also includes the International University of Monaco, which it acquired in 2010 for $6.3-million.

Career Education …


Business Model for Education Venture Calls for ‘Empowering Adjuncts’

So much of the innovation in higher education today seems based on structures that treat faculty members as an afterthought, and a low-paid one at that. A fledgling online-education venture called Oplerno, however, aims to do just the opposite.

It’s based on a business model ensuring that 80 to 90 percent of what students pay will go directly to the people teaching the courses.

There are “phenomenal professors making poverty wages” right now, says Oplerno’s founder and chief executive offi…


Inspector General Says Financial Data on For-Profits Makes Oversight ‘Nearly Impossible’

For-profit colleges rely heavily on federal grants and loans for their revenues, but a new report by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General says the financial information those colleges give to the department is generally not useful enough for it to know how much of those billions of dollars are being spent on marketing, compared with instruction or other purposes.

That, the inspector general’s report says, makes it “nearly impossible”  for policy makers, the depar…