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The merger of for-profit institutions Strayer Education Inc. and Capella Education Company was completed Wednesday.

The merged companies are now Strategic Education Inc. and will continue to operate Strayer and Capella Universities as separate entities. The two for-profit universities are regarded as the industry's most respected and successful, and they serve about 85,000 students nationally.

“We are delighted to announce the completion of a merger that brings together two best-in-class academic institutions,” said Robert Silberman, executive chairman of SEI, in a news release. “Capella’s expertise in online advanced degree programs, combined with Strayer’s 125-year heritage, uniquely positions us to provide first-rate educational experiences to working adults.”

The companies announced the merger in October and received approval from accreditor the Higher Learning Commission in July. The new combined company is worth an estimated $1.9 billion.