- For-profit Apollo Education Group has been in a steep decline for five years as the University of Phoenix loses enrollment and shrinks in response, but CEO Greg Cappelli believes the future is bright.
- In a sprawling piece for the Arizona Republic, Ronald J. Hansen writes that net revenues have fallen 47% since its peak in 2010, the stock price is down 82% in the same time period, and student enrollment is expected to be down 70%, comparing next year to 2010.
- The company is still profitable, however, and Cappelli has reminded investors the profit margins were favorable in 2002 before the University of Phoenix entered its heydey.
The University of Phoenix saw explosive growth through the Great Recession as more adults returned to school to avoid the bad labor market or improve their skills to get an edge over competitors. With its online, flexible offerings and federal aid eligibility, students flocked to it.
The for-profit college industry as a whole has since been attacked for preying on lower-income and military students for their aid and providing them sub-par programs. Traditional colleges, too, have caught up in the online game, offering their own flexible degrees. Where the University of Phoenix will fit in the higher education landscape of the future is certainly not obvious, though Apollo and other for-profits have shown interest in investing in the growing coding bootcamp market.