I recently came across an interesting post on Kay Steiger’s blog highlighting a publication from The National Bureau of Economic Research on for-profit colleges and universities.  This preliminary paper provides interesting and important data on the growing number of students enrolling in professional and career colleges across the United States. Here are some of my favorite findings from the study, which Steiger also highlights in her post:

•  During the 2008-2009 school year, for-profit colleges produced 5% of all bachelor’s degrees, 18% of associate’s degrees, 42% of professional certificates, and 10% of master’s degrees.

•  For-profits produce 33% of all associate’s degrees in business, management, and marketing; 51% of those in computer and information sciences; 23% of those in health professions; and 34% of those in security and protective services.

•  Enrollment in for-profit colleges has tripled in the past decade, from 4.3%  in 2000 to 10.7%  in 2009 while overall higher education enrollment increased by just 22 percent during that same time period.

•  Students at for-profit colleges are 9 percentage points more likely than their community college peers to obtain a certificate, and are also more likely to stick with their program beyond their first year. Steiger also includes this graph on her blog, which quantifies the for-profit shares of college majors discussed in The National Bureau of Economic Research’s study: For further reading, check out Steiger’s full post entitled “For-Profit Colleges By the Numbers.”

And if you are interested in learning how your for-profit institution can best leverage online learning, be sure to sign up for our upcoming webinar: Smart Steps to Online Learning – How to Grow Reach, Enrollment and Revenue.

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