Private investments in higher education nearly doubled from 2003 to 2004, when they reached $161 million, according to a new report from Eduventures.
The report is an annual examination of investments and mergers in the education industry. Eduventures advises colleges and investors on strategy and trends.
The report said that interest in for-profit higher education continues to be the driving force behind new investments and purchases of existing companies.
Among notable buys in 2004 were Kaplan Higher Education's purchase of Sawyer College, Texas School of Business, and Total Technical Institute.
Some other higher education businesses are not seeing the same level of activity as for-profit higher education, the report said. There were very few purchases or mergers in the textbook or digital content industries. However, Eduventures noted a strong investment year for companies that provide technology infrastructure or software to colleges. Blackboard, for example, pulled off an IPO, while Jenzabar had a $35 million investment package.