December 12, 2019

PBS frontline piece on for profit colleges not as bad as most expected!

Last nights front line piece was not as one sided as expectst expected.  To view the segment visit: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/#

Clearly there were some negative comments made from former employees of a few schools, but overall the segment appeared not completely biased.  What is clear is the necessity and role the for-profit play in helping America again reach the goal of being the nation with the highest college graduation rate.  For-profits spend much more on marketing and utilize more aggressive admissions tactics, but clearly it is what’s needed to gain the attention and help drive the decision to go to college for a growing sector of the population which are not well suited to traditional institutions. 

Other than a few bad employees, some questionable tuition cost benefit equations at a few institutions and some programs of questionable value,  the industry as a whole is providing a beneficial service to the under-served segment of our population. 

I would hope that what comes out of the Govt. sessions addresses only the problems specifically and helps pave way to increased growth opportunity for the majority of the quality institutions.  Using a machete instead of a pair of pruning sheers would be a huge mistake, which would backfire on the educational goals we all share…

Milken-PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition

UPenns has asked ForProfitEDU.com  to post the following:

In a knowledge economy, nothing is more important than people being able to maximize their potential.  And yet, collectively we have not figured out how to reach every person – regardless of where they are intellectually, emotionally, financially, and geographically – to help them realize their potential.  Effective learning is important for individual learners, their families, their employers, their communities and their countries.  There is an urgent need to find ways to reach and educate every person.

Education – from toddlers through baby boomers – is also big business in the United States. Depending on how one counts it, education mirrors healthcare in terms of spending or falls just below it. The United States is the largest exporter of education in the world, and education is our country’s fifth largest export.  By some accounts we have the most robust system of higher education in this country, a rich diversity of K-12 education, innovative pre-K and educational entertainment industries, and over 50% of adult Americans learning on the job on any given day.

Despite the size and import of learning, we have immense challenges; many hold out the hope of entrepreneurship to help solve some of these challenges. That said, until now there hasn’t been a single education business plan competition in the world and while entrepreneurship in bio tech, software, engineering and medicine is quite robust with clusters of start ups surrounding some of the world’s great universities, nothing similar exists in education.

To address this issue, the Milken Family Foundation and Penn have come together to be a joint catalyst for innovation in education, to help “create a space” for education entrepreneurs.  To begin this process, we have put together a business plan competition and we hope –if you have an idea to change the world, that you will enter the competition.

Why Penn? Since its founding by Ben Franklin, Penn has prided itself on its ability to combine theory and practice. We have the country’s first school of medicine and school of business.  At PennGSE, this spirit has manifested itself in a rich array of entrepreneurial activities all designed to foster change in education. Our faculty, staff, and students are all committed to the teleology of change and this competition is just one manifestation of a broad and aggressive agenda – framed by real world needs and sound theory and research.

Why Milken? The Milken family – who are Penn graduates – embody the Franklin spirit and through Knowledge Universe have demonstrated successful educational entrepreneurship – from pre-K services through college education for working adults. And in their philanthropic activities, the Milken family have made education – particularly innovation in education – a cornerstone of their work.

We hope that you will enter the competition, and look forward to hearing your ideas.

Visit: http://www.gse.upenn.edu/entrepreneurcomp/

Good luck!

Best,

Gregory Milken

Doug Lynch

Is the growth in EDU demand starting to slow?

Some very interesting data coming in which may lead to the conclusion that the growth rates may be slowing.  While the industry is still growing and at rates which would make most extremely happy, the percentage growth may be showing some signs that it’s leveling out a bit.

BMO Back to School conference was a full house!

It was great to see the crowded halls & conference rooms at the BMO Back to School conference in NYC yesterday.  Jeffrey Silber & group attracted a full house of who’s who from both the EDU crowd & the financials who are interested in them.  Over 800+ people registered for this event and it sure packed the conference with plenty of energy.  Lots of great sessions & speakers all of which couldn’t have been more positive on what’s going on within the industry.  One of the best comments was when a panel was asked “what scares you” in connection with compliance and the growth of the industry.  Dr. Michael Clifford answered:  He mentioned that the experienced operators are not the problem.   What scares me is that there are just so many firms and so much money looking to go into this industry that he feared an inexperienced operator funded by one of the many firms looking to get into the industry, could besmirch the image of the industry as a whole.  Overall the conference was a hit, and clearly a strong indication of how the industry is doing.

August search volume still strong, but not as expected

August search volume was strong, but it did not exceed expectations.  August, which for the last 4 years was the strongest volume month YTD did not deliver on that expectation.  While the volume was still strong  as for year over year growth, it did not top the previous months of 2009.  August usually tops Jan thru July as it has for the last 4 years.

BMO Back to School Conference..dont miss it!

Senior Research Analyst Jeff Silber will lead this annual investor conference, showcasing leading companies in the for-profit education industry.  It’s a whose who in ForProfit EDU, in NYC Sept. 17th

click here to register: http://www.bmocm.com/conferences/2009backtoschool/default.aspx

LeadsCon East very strong this year, sold out early

For those of you who didn’t get into this years leadscon East, it was a solid show.  Lost of EDU folks from the school side, the vendor side as well as financial types.  It sold out early this year, hopefully next year they will find a bigger arena for the conference.  It’s a solid sign of the power and strength of the EDU space when shows like Leadscon, continue to show strength.

House Committee on Education and Labor passed The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

The House Committee on Education and Labor passed The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) of 2009, H.R. 3221, this included the increase of the 90/10 rule to three years.

Maybe all of the fear mongers hovering over the industry should start to realize there is lots of good and that while some minor changes may come down, there is not much likelihood that any major overhaul will occur.

New faculty subgroup on the for-profit edu group

We had received many requests to create a new faculty subgroup within the forprofit edu group on linkedin.  So here it is: http://www.linkedin.com/e/vgh/2111792/  The group is for any & all current, former or those who want to get a job as faculty.

June search volume strong, just not as strong as May

Finally some sense of reality, nothing can go up & up & up without ever settling down.  June search volume for edu terms remains very strong, but for the first time this year did not top the previous months activity.  Still, very strong signs of continued growth for the sector as compared to year over year trends.  It will be interesting to see August’s volume, as August is generally one of the strong turnaround months when dealing with the slower summer seasonality of edu lead volume in normal times that is…

June Search Volume

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