Latest News

How 2U, Pearson, and Other Companies Are Profiting Off of Online Learning at Top Colleges

Selling the dream of a college education is big, profitable business. In 2014, four companies that own and run for-profit colleges collected in excess of $1 billion each. To boost their enrollments and profits, many for-profit schools pioneered modern marketing tactics such as websites that collect information to generate marketing leads, text message follow-ups to inquiries, and phone banks with ambitious “career counselors” ready to help students complete financial-aid requirements and enroll. As a 2011 Senate report found, “[for-profit college] recruiting managers at some companies created a boiler-room atmosphere, in which hitting an enrollment quota was the recruiters’ highest priority … [and] recruiters’ salaries at many for-profit colleges were tightly tied to enrolling a certain number of new students.”