It seems the days of blockbuster new enrollments are drawing to a close for private sector colleges and universities (PSCUs). A rebounding economy has created enough new job opportunities that many would-be career-college matriculants are having second thoughts about pursuing further education.
An August 25, 2011 Consumerist article reports that "new-student enrollments at for-profit colleges have dipped, by as much as 45% in certain cases. This could be due to a retreat from aggressive recruiting, as well as students actually just thinking through the rewards vs. the cost for enrolling in an expensive school."
Some PSCUs have been hit harder than others by the recent enrollment slow-down. DeVry University's numbers dipped some 25.65 percent, while Corinthian College's plummeted a dramatic 72 percent.
PSCUs were still regrouping from the legislative tussle in which it had only months ago been engaged when these enrollment drops began to happen.
Though these enrollment figures no doubt come as unwelcome news, it's premature to think that the sun has set on for-profit higher education's profitability. Postsecondary education, for-profit or otherwise, has long been countercyclical with respect to the larger economy, waxing as the latter wanes and vice versa. Happy day will assuredly come again, with PSCUs leaner and meaner for having endured their temporary reversal of fortune.