In 2010, the University of Phoenix had about 460,000 students enrolled. Over the past five years, that number has dropped by more than 50 percent to just 213,000 students, CNN Money reported.
The school’s parent company, Apollo Education Group, also announced earlier this week that both its revenues and enrollment dropped by 14 percent last quarter compared to a year ago. Once pulling in revenues nearing $5 billion annually, “this year it will be lucky to take in $2.7 billion,” CNN said.
In 2012, the University of Phoenix closed 115 campuses, and last July, Corinthian Colleges, another for-profit system, shut down completely.
These losses show that, finally, Americans have realized the for-profit model of college education is a scam.
According to federal data, for-profit colleges only enroll about 12 percent of the country’s students, but those students account for almost half of all the student loan defaults.
These for-profit schools also heavily recruit veterans — trying to get as much of their GI Bill money as possible.
“For-profit colleges bill themselves as flexible job-training programs, but their costs can outweigh the benefits,” said Mother Jones. “At 8 of the 10 for-profits that take in the most GI Bill cash, more than half of students drop out within a year of matriculation. Many students find that prospective employers and graduate schools won’t take their coursework seriously since most for-profits lack accreditation from legitimate academic bodies.”
The University of Phoenix and other for-profit schools have also faced criticism for targeting the homeless, exploiting their hardships to get the often more than $10,000-a-year tuition from them.
Colleges should exist to educate students and prepare them for the workforce, not to defraud and profit from them. While the entire student-loan system is in need of an overhaul, getting rid of these worthless for-profit schools will go a long way towards fixing the problem.
Watch John Oliver explain just how awful these schools are on Last Week Tonight.