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ERIC Number: ED536282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 60
Abstractor: ERIC
For-Profit Higher Education: Growth, Innovation and Regulation
Bennett, Daniel L.; Lucchesi, Adam R.; Vedder, Richard K.
Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1)
During the 2008-2009 academic year, there were nearly 1.8 million students enrolled at more than 2,800 for-profit institutions of higher learning in the United States. Students in for-profit colleges and universities accounted for over 9% of all students enrolled in postsecondary education. The numbers have continued to grow, and today (2010) the number is rapidly approaching two million, about 10 percent of total student enrollments. The recent growth of the for-profit education industry has aroused some criticism and concerns about the place of profit in an educational setting and practices within the industry. Critics argue that for-profit universities are simply diploma mills that push students through programs of dubious quality with the primary goal of increasing the firm's bottom line. Supporters of the industry assert that it provides educational opportunities to traditionally underserved students in areas of study that directly increase students' employability. While neither extreme view is likely to be completely accurate, there is no doubt that for-profit educational institutions are becoming a much more prominent part of the higher education landscape. The primary purposes of this report are to provide an objective overview of the industry and its students, to discuss operational differences between the traditional educational sector and for-profits, to assess the regulatory environment facing the industry, and to examine the economics of education as a profit-making enterprise. (Contains 21 figures, 2 tables, and 227 notes.)
Center for College Affordability and Productivity. 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street NW Suite L 26, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-621-0536; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A