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For-Profit Colleges: Here to Stay

Last week, critics of for-profit colleges rejoiced at the news that University of Phoenix’s enrollment numbers have dropped by nearly 50 percent in the last five years. Revenues are down 14 percent, and last year the institution shut down 115 of its physical locations and laid off 800 employees. The university’s owners announced it will relocate staff from its San Francisco office in a consolidation effort.

The University of Phoenix is the largest for-profit university in the U.S. For-profit educations are mistrusted and harshly criticized for charging prices higher than those of public institutions, yet providing lackluster outcomes for their students. Worse are the reports about their questionable marketing and recruiting practices including reports of recruiters and admission officers misleading students.