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ERIC Number: EJ952765
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Too Big to Fail: The Role of For-Profit Colleges and Universities in American Higher Education
Tierney, William G.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v43 n6 p27-32 2011
Although for-profit colleges and universities have had a long history in the United States, they have garnered significant attention only in the last decade. In the early 20th century, career colleges existed primarily in urban areas to provide training for specific trades or professions--plumbing, restaurant management, art and design, cosmetology, paralegal work, and the like. These institutions were largely small institutions that offered a few classes in rented buildings. They charged relatively low fees to their customers, who in turn learned specific skills that led directly to jobs. As profit-seeking enterprises, the for-profits represent a business model that fundamentally differentiates them from traditional colleges and universities. They seek the profitability that results from a combination of growth in both volume and unit margins (the difference between expenditures and revenues). The result is that their incentives and measures of success differ from those of traditional colleges and universities. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the number of students enrolled in for-profit degree-granting institutions had increased to nearly 1.2 million, or approximately 6.5 percent of the total. If non-degree, certificate-granting, for-profit institutions and their students are included in these statistics, the market share of for-profit institutions is estimated to be approximately 12 percent. These institutions also offer more online course offerings than their public and private non-profit counterparts. This is the fastest-growing sector in postsecondary education. (Contains 4 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States