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University of Phoenix to cut locations in half

The biggest for-profit college in the country, the University of Phoenix, is about to close half of its locations.

The biggest for-profit college in the country is about to get a lot smaller -- at least physically. The University of Phoenix says it will close half of its locations. The university’s parent company Apollo Group announced yesterday its fourth quarter profit fell almost 60 percent.

Enrollment in for-profit colleges has been falling amid concerns about high costs and low graduation rates. Last week the University of Phoenix announced it would freeze tuition.

Analyst Trace Urdan at Wells Fargo Securities says it’s also recruiting better-qualified students: "Some of these declines are self-imposed. They’re simply not enrolling students that are less prepared to benefit."

Though more than 100 locations will shut down, the closures will affect just four percent of the university’s students.

University spokeperson Ryan Rauzon says that’s because so many of them attend online. Rauzon says, "for those locations that are phasing out, the overwhelming majority of our students there, they want to go online. Accordint to Rauzon, students who still want to go to a physical classroom will have that option until they graduate.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

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