Enrollment plummeting at for-profit schools
- According to the Los Angeles Times, enrollment at for-profits DeVry University and the University of Phoenix is down by more than 20% at both institutions, a signal of trouble in the wake of the closure of Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute.
- The proliferation of online degree offerings at traditional universities, paired with the federal crackdown on fraudulent recruiting and false job placement data promotion, have siphoned more than 70% of students away from DeVry in the last six years.
- Community colleges and other institutions are beginning to see enrollment benefits as a result of the for-profit closures.
The enrollment declines at for-profits are no surprise given the aggressive and very public actions of the federal government to close what they describe as 'predatory institutions.' But what should emerge from the past, and future closures of these schools, is how other institutions will work to enroll and prepare thousands of students who otherwise would not have been admitted to most traditional programs, and those not originally convinced about the value of community college.
Given that the federal government is clicking on legislative and administrative cylinders to take accreditation from schools with low postgraduate outcomes, community colleges should aggressively focus on job training programs that provide direct pathways to mechanical or service careers, while traditional institutions develop credentialing programs for niche industries seeking rapid workforce expansion, like tech manufacturing and clean energy plants.