- Broadview University recently bought several Globe University schools in Wisconsin. The Obama administration penalized Globe late last year for misrepresenting job opportunities in one of its programs, but the Trump administration is proving to be more sympathetic to the for-profit chain and its owners, according to Inside Higher Ed.
- The Wythe family, which ran the Wisconsin Globe campuses, also owns Broadview and will resume the helm of the re-opened schools. Broadview's CEO argues that an investigation conducted by Minnesota's attorney general into Globe University does not have bearing on its Wisconsin campuses. In December, the Department of Education blocked Broadview's bid to buy the campuses, but the Trump administration reversed that decision.
- The bid received surprising support from the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, which has been in tense conflict with Gov. Scott Walker. The board holds regulatory power over many for-profit schools in the state, and Walker has been trying to weaken the power of the board after several failed attempts to do so.
The for-profit industry looked to be suffering a collapse of the business model in the second half of the Obama administration. Last autumn, the Department of Education stripped the nation's largest for-profit accreditor of its power because of questionable financial aid disbursement. Although the Trump administration and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are more sympathetic to the industry than their predecessors, it remains to be seen whether there is a path to revival for a significant number of schools which already closed their doors.
It remains to be seen if DeVos would be willing to submit for-profit institutions to financial sanctions of the kind which crippled ITT Tech and others in the past. In April the Education Department restored Pell grant eligibility for students whose schools had closed, which leaves an opportunity for nonprofit institutions to take advantage and recruit these students to campus. However, it is incumbent upon these institutions to recognize the things which make for-profits attractive to students to begin with, namely flexible scheduling and often online courses, and to ensure the proper supports exist on campus to get these students through to graduation. If non-profit institutions want to be similarly attractive, they could invest more robustly and quickly in offering accelerated degree programs and more online opportunities to let students craft the kind of academic schedule they may require due to other commitments.