Another week in the world of for-profit education draws to a close, and it looks as if it will end on a few sour and a few triumphant notes.
A scandal concerning fluffed numbers haunted the for-profit higher education sector. "Career Education Corp.'s revelation that some of its for-profit schools cooked the books on job-placement rates delivers more bad news to an industry already under intense scrutiny for promises it makes to students," reports an August 5, 2011 Chicago Tribune article.
This latest bit of suspicious business comes close on the heels of earlier scuttlebutt involving "high-pressure sales tactics, low graduation rates, excessive profit margins and saddling students with crushing debt -- often from loans backed by U.S. taxpayers that students default on."
It appears that Career Education Corp.'s competitor Apollo Group Inc, which owns industry giant University of Phoenix, has run afoul of authorities in the First State. "Apollo Group Inc. says its University of Phoenix, the country's largest for-profit school chain, received a subpoena from the Delaware attorney general asking for information about Delaware students since January 2006," reports an August 4 Bloomberg Businessweek article.
This marks the third time that state authorities have investigated Apollo's practices. Similar action was taken by the attorneys general of Florida and Massachusetts>.
All this bad press hasn't prevented another for-profit giant from expanding its operations. Also from Bloomberg Businessweek comes word that DeVry Inc. "acquired a medical school in the Caribbean for $235 million as it builds its healthcare-related program offerings."
For its part, Grand Canyon University has been generating nice returns of late, posting "better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher operating margins despite a slowdown in student enrollment growth," an August 4, 2011 Reuters article reports.
Mixed news such as this is sure to be par for the course as private sector colleges and universities feel their way back to profits after the recent "gainful employment" rule debate.