The University of Phoenix grew to 400k students in its heyday, but the last couple of years have been tough; WSJ reported this week that Phoenix is now down to 328k, a 20% drop. As in any other business facing reduced demand, the for-profit university now is cutting back on capacity. Phoenix will close 25 of its main campuses and another 90 satellite learning centers. Share prices for the Apollo Group, which owns Phoenix, dropped 22% upon the announcement.
Why has enrollment dropped so much? The tough economy has to be part of the story; students are strapped budget wise and fewer companies are providing tuition benefits. For-profits also are dealing with unfavorable publicity as the public becomes more aware that completion rates are much lower than at not-for-profit schools.
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