With profits on a sharp decline, University of Phoenix is doing what any publicly traded corporation would do–cutting its losses. Except the University of Phoenix is not just any company selling widgets and doodads. It’s the nation’s largest for-profit university, and it plans on closing 115 brick and mortar campuses, a move which the company’s owners estimate will affect some 13,000 students.
The news, announced Wednesday, comes on the heels of a dismal fourth quarter revenue report from the for-profit giant’s parent company, the Apollo Group. Revenue for that quarter dropped by 60 percent, the AP reported. The drop in revenue followed a parallel drop in enrollment. At its height the University of Phoenix had 400,000 students enrolled in programs offering everything from certificates to Ph.D.’s to students. Current enrollment is 328,000.
University of Phoenix President Bill Pepicello attributed the enrollment drop to the stagnating economy and students’ unwillingness to invest in their education at a time when their futures were so “uncertain.” But the enrollment drop has also coincided with the institution of federal regulations seeking to rein in the for-profit college industry.