forprofit

University of Phoenix Closing 115 Locations

The Apollo Group on Tuesday announced that it was closing 90 of the University of Phoenix's satellite learning centers and 25 of its campuses, leaving 112 remaining locations. The closures are part of a "re-engineering initiative" that the company said will help the bottom line by 2014. About 13,000 students, or 4 percent of those pursuing degrees at Phoenix, will be affected by the shuttering of locations. But those students will continue to be served online and at alternative sites, according to the company.

The news accompanied the release of Apollo's disappointing fourth-quarter earnings, with a 10 percent decline in annual revenue and a 15 percent dip in enrollment at Phoenix. The company also announced the elimination of 800 jobs, but not faculty positions. Phoenix last week introduced a tuition freeze for current and incoming students.

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Justice Dept. Investigates Bridgepoint Admissions Practices

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Bridgepoint Education Inc. over the compensation of admissions staff members, the company announced Monday in a corporate filing. The for-profit is also facing a serious accreditation challenge for its Ashford University, which is scrambling to retain regional accreditation.

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University of Phoenix Freezes Tuition

The University of Phoenix on Thursday announced an immediate tuition freeze for all new and currently enrolled students. Tuition rates will be locked in for students as they work toward degrees, university officials said, as long as they meet eligibility requirements and stay enrolled. The university said the freeze was an effort to keep tuition levels affordable at Phoenix, which is the largest for-profit institution. Tuition rates vary at the university, but some bachelor's degree programs are $420 per credit.

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Enrollments fall for first time in 15 years

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The number of students enrolled in U.S. colleges declines in 2011, the first such drop in at least 15 years. For-profit colleges lose the most.

Grand Canyon uses online to pay for scholarships and campuses

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Looking like a nonprofit, Grand Canyon University pays for a thriving campus and generous scholarships with a big online program. Will other for-profits copy the model?

Two-year default rates for student loans increase again

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The two-year default rate for federal student loans increased again this year, but defaults at for-profit colleges fell. 

Kaplan to Close 9 Campuses

Kaplan's higher education division announced Friday that it will close nine campuses, The Washington Post (which owns Kaplan) reported. The company did not say why the campuses were being closed, but did recently disclose that an accreditor had recently warned that three campuses might lose recognition. Students currently enrolled in the campuses being closed will be permitted to finish their courses, but new students will not be enrolled.

 

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New Calif. Laws Promote Digital Textbooks, For-Profit Transparency

Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed legislation Thursday designed to give college students free digital access to textbooks in 50 popular lower-division courses offered by the state's public universities and colleges, and another bill Wednesday that requires significantly greater reporting of information by for-profit colleges in the state. The textbook legislation will, according to the Los Angeles Times, also make print copies of the key textbooks available for no more than $20.
 

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U.S. Audit Finds Student Aid Irregularities at Career Education Unit

Colorado Technical University improperly awarded financial aid dollars to dozens of students, the U.S. Education Department's inspector general said in an audit this month. The audit, whose findings were challenged by the for-profit college, a unit of Career Education Corp., recommended that the university be required to reimburse the government for $173,000 in improper payments and to examine the records of thousands of other students in its CTU Online unit to see if similar improprieties occurred.

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Bridgepoint Cuts 450 Jobs in Admissions

Bridgepoint Education Inc. announced Monday that its Ashford University has eliminated 450 positions in admissions and reassigned 400 other admissions employees, half to student services and half to a new department of "student inquiry." The moves are aimed at improving student success, the company said. Ashford is facing a two-pronged accreditation challenge. It is attempting to comply with compliance requests from its current regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, following a rejected bid for accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges senior college commission.

Ashford says the department of student inquiry will "work with prospective students to ensure they are sufficiently prepared for the demands of a university education."

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