With increasing scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators, consumer advocates and the general public, the past five years have been hard on a for-profit college industry that had enjoyed years of happily feeding at the federal student aid trough. There have been changes to schools’ often excessive advertising budgets, damning reports of abuse, and soon-to-be-implemented rules requiring for-profit programs to demonstrate their effectiveness. The fractures in a business model that has attracted some of the biggest names in investment have become more evident, especially when comparing previously robust enrollment numbers with the most recent figures. [More]
This past Sunday — and for the second time in seven years — the Super Bowl was played at a stadium carrying the University of Phoenix name. The for-profit online school paid more than $150 million to slap its brand on the stadium, with much of that money coming from taxpayers. Some groups say that for-profit schools should not be allowed to make such splashy marketing investments at a time when there are so many questions about the quality of education provided by for-profit institutions. [More]
From diet pills to dating websites, it’s not hard to find someone offering a “risk-free” trial membership, and thanks to the University of Phoenix, that “try before you buy” model now applies to college courses. But while one might admire the idea of giving potential students a taste of the school before committing to an expensive education at the for-profit online university, consumer advocates are concerned about the program’s benefits. [More]
With enrollment and revenue declining, the University of Phoenix announced yesterday that it will close about half of its physical locations around the country in an effort to save $300 million.
The closed locations includes 90 learning centers and 25 campuses, accounting for a total of 13,000 students. This will leave 112 Phoenix locations in 36 states. [More]
As the economy (sorta) bounces back and would-be students are able to find jobs, colleges trying to make money to teach business or technical skillsare having a harder time convincing new students to enroll and pay them the big bucks. [More]
If you’re planning on getting ahead in life with a degree from a for-profit college, consider this: a new report says that only 9% of students there graduate within 6 years. Ah, so that’s the reason why you don’t see too many University of Phoenix degrees hanging on the walls of high-powered execs. [More]
What do you do when the University of Phoenix, your credit card company, and now-conjoined entity of Chase/Bank One can’t figure out where your $828 tuition refund went? We have no idea, and neither does reader Stefan M. But writing us is probably a pretty decent start.