- The University of Phoenix plans to close approximately 20 of its brick and mortar campuses around the country, according to Phoenix New Times.
- The university "will continue to service current students at these locations, at other approved University locations or through our online programs, until they graduate," and students will be able to choose in-person or online instruction. No new students will be admitted, however.
- Faculty members speculate declining enrollment led to the decision. University of Phoenix parent company Apollo Education Group sold to private investors for $1.1 billion earlier this year, and the university had been plagued by high profile lawsuits, an Federal Trade Commission investigation and accusations of predatory recruitment practices.
Many speculated the Trump administration would bring relief — and revival — to the embattled for-profit sector. But relief has not come yet, though U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos halted the Borrower Defense Repayment Plan for students who had fallen victim to predatory recruitment practices before it was set to take effect in July. And in the cases of now-shuttered ITT and other institutions impacted by the loss of their accrediting body, any attempts to save the industry may come too late.
The model moving forward appears to be more collaboration between for-profits and traditional nonprofit institutions, which allows both institutions to balance their strengths against each other. The traditional institutions often gain a solid infrastructure to offer online courses and a stronger marketing capacity, while the for-profits gain the trust associated with the traditional school's brand and a stronger academic infrastructure.