For-profit colleges seeing steep rise in valuations
This year, for-profit colleges and universities are seeing a rise in stock worth, as well as revenue, according to a CNN Money report. Strayer Education is perhaps the biggest success, with its shares rising 75 percent in 2014 so far. Strayer provides a variety of accreditation, bachelor degree and master’s degree options through programs that are set up at 100 other colleges and universities across the country. DeVry Education Group and Capella have also seen rising stocks, at 20 percent and 13 percent respectively.
It’s really no secret that more people are seeking out alternative forms of higher education, and that non-traditional students are more commonplace as a result. But what’s interesting in these numbers is that the schools are seeing financial strength despite a heightened regulations from the government and the failures of other alternative schools, like Corinthian Colleges, in recent years.
While I’m all for fair education for all, and providing plenty of opportunities for those who need more flexibility due to jobs, family or health issues — we need to keep an eye on these for-profit arenas in order to keep them honest. In the past, for-profits have been accused of overpromising on career results later on while taking the money of vulnerable students. That’s just one of the reasons that Corinthian Colleges were shut down — for providing false records and exaggerating the success of former students in its marketing materials.
Like for-profit K-12 setups, we have to remember that the best interests of the students are not always the first priority. So while these financial successes rise, so should our scrutiny.