I was not expecting this to be true, but for-profits are actually not doing very well, no matter what DeVos and friends would like.
There are likely a number of factors contributing to the continued decline of the for-profit industry, not the least of which is increased scrutiny under the Obama administration. The nation’s low unemployment rates also mean fewer students are going back to school or looking to re-skill for new careers, and those who are look increasingly to traditional institutions, which have seen tremendous growth in their online education offerings.
Increasingly, for-profit institutions are seeking nonprofit status, either on their own or through partnerships or acquisitions involving traditional institutions. Former University of Phoenix President Bill Pepicello said in a recent conversation, “Ultimately, I think that there won’t be for-profit universities or institutions as we know them today.”
As you can see in the piece, the real reason is that public and other traditional schools have fought back with nimble online offerings. It’s encouraging and suggests that education will always find a way to adapt to new challenges. Here’s hoping it continues.