September 27, 2021

The Old Guard Shut Down Ivy Bridge…


Paul we feel for you!  It’s a sad day when innovation gets thwarted because of success, fear & political Bull S%$@

Buzzfeed has a good article on the sorry state of our political system and how the publicly stated goals of our president’s administration are being blocked by the very same party pitching them.



Last Week, President Barack Obama was speaking to students in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“We’re going to encourage more colleges to innovate, try new things, do things that can provide a great education without breaking the bank,” he told the cheering kids, and the nation’s nervous college administrators. “For example, a number of colleges across the country are using online education to save time and money for their students.”

Across the country in San Francisco that same day, Paul Freedman, the founder of a company that had won a grant funded by the Gates Foundation to do roughly what the president described, got a FedEx package from the federal government.

This was not a letter of commendation. It was a notice from President Obama’s Department of Justice that his company, Altius Education, is under federal investigation. The notice was the culmination of a more than two-year battle between Altius and the Higher Learning Commission, one of two members of the 118-year-old North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which controls accreditation — the vital credential that gives college degrees value — for over 1,000 colleges and universities in 19 states. The HLC’s university backers have an obvious interest in avoiding the sort of low-cost competition that reformers, and now the president, seek. And commission documents that have not been released publicly, but were provided to BuzzFeed by Altius, paint a picture of a regulator that punished the company specifically for doing something — trying to reinvent a low-cost new college education — that are core goals of federal policy. And so even as Obama trumpeted innovation from the stage in Scranton, Freedman’s attempt to put it into practice seemed to have hit a wall.

For more

Read it:



Exclusive discount to Leadscon for ForProfitEDU Members





Join Us at LeadsCon and Save


Year after year, LeadsCon brings together the top names in vertical media and customer acquisition marketing.


LeadsCon East 2013 is no different. And, August 14 – 15, 2013 is your chance to interact with more than 1000+ different companies and 110+ exhibitors across two days of unparalleled industry insight.


What you might not know is that there is still time to get a special discount for members of For-Profit Education. 



See the Best. Meet the Best.


Education has played and continues to play an enormous role in vertical media. The benefit of LeadsCon is not only the opportunity to connect with fellow institutions and service providers but also to hear what those across other segments in vertical media face and how they solve them.


At LeadsCon East you from the biggest brands along with top agencies, including American Express, Autobytel, ADT,, Citi, EDMC, Empire Today, Kaplan, Leapfrog Online, Neo@Olgivy, Rosetta, Sapient, SelectQuote, Thumbtack, Travelzoo and More!



How Will TCPA Impact You?


In year’s past, it was Neg Reg and education specific rule making that companies in the space had to manage around. This year, the hot topic is broader and arguably bigger. Come to LeadsCon East to find out how TCPA will impact your business and what solutions exist.



Not (Yet) Too Late to Save


Here is your chance to save 45% off the on-site price. But, your special discount ends Wednesday, July 31st.


To lock in your pass and at the special group rate, you must use this link:


Don’t miss out. See for yourself why people say LeadsCon “absolutely, positively,

brings in the highest-end crowd of almost any event.”


We will see you in a few weeks.


Bill Gates Power point on our College Crisis

In a nutshell Bill Gates a prolific speaker about the importance and virtues of education speak out about the growing college education crisis in our country.  While he sites growing debt burdens on the average American relating to the one-two punch of  rising tuition and   shrinking state funding, he believes the real crisis is in the low graduation rates experienced across the board.  He believes technology may help lead to a solution.

To see the power point and view article on the Atlantic

Education Growth Summit: Finalists in the “EdGrowth Entrepreneur Open”

Attend the Education Growth Summit: A Reality Check
For the fourth year Education Growth Advisors will host the EdGrowth Summit, formerly known as the Venture Capital in Education Summit. Join a diverse group of entrepreneurs, investors, company and foundation executives and institutional leaders November 1 and 2 in NYC. Every year the event fosters a provocative set of conversations about driving and enabling the sector’s (r)evolution and with this year’s theme “Education:  A Reality Check”,  our hope is to have a realistic, practical view of all of the change and opportunity taking place across the K–20 landscape right now.

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Oct 18, 2012) – The Education Growth Summit 2012 (EdGrowth Summit) today announced the selection of 14 early-stage companies selected as finalists in the “EdGrowth Entrepreneur Open” competition. The selected companies offer innovative solutions for enhancing learning; improving the operational performance of education institutions; and facilitating workforce development and individuals’ employability. Each company will present their solutions to Summit attendees, which will include entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and private equity investors, company and foundation executives, and institutional leaders as they vie for a chance to win the grand prize of intensive mentoring and guidance from professionals in the field.

“The companies selected for the Entrepreneur Open represent a microcosm of the innovation and dynamism taking root across the education sector. The finalists’ solutions run the full gamut of a learner’s lifecycle and are exploring both institutional and consumer-oriented channels,” said Adam Newman, Managing Partner at Education Growth Advisors, host organization of the EdGrowth Summit along with Education Growth Partners. “Every year the depth and quality of candidates expands. We’re thrilled to be hosting these finalists at this year’s Summit, as well as dozens of other up-and-coming entrepreneurs and companies seeking to support and enhance opportunities for learners, teachers, and institutions.”

The 14 finalists are:

  • BrightBytes
  • CareerMotivations
  • College Portfolio
  • Conceptua Math
  • Edshelf
  • Educurious
  • Gather Education
  • Houlton
  • InstaGrok
  • LearningGames Studio, Inc.
  • myEDGPS
  • Mytonomy
  • RecoVend
  • Silverback Learning

Further details about the companies participating in the EdGrowth Entrepreneur Open can be found at the EdGrowth Summit website.

Finalists for the Entrepreneur Open were selected through an open application process judged by representatives of the Summit’s hosts, partners, and sponsors. Summit attendees will determine the ultimate winner during a crowd-funding-style investment competition during the first evening of the two-day Summit. The winner of the Entrepreneur Open will receive a tailored package of custom services from premier providers of marketing, legal and consulting services, as well as meetings with relevant investors and corporate development executives.

“We founded the Summit four years ago to provide investors the chance to meet early-stage companies as a means of promoting industry growth. These types of connections drive the needed development of sustainable solutions in the global education marketplace. In a sector like education where market and mission converge, it’s important to take the long view; the finalists selected this year are doing just that,” said Chris Curran, Managing Partner at Education Growth Advisors.

The EdGrowth Summit will be held at the IAC HQ in New York City on November 1 and 2. This year’s overarching theme, “A Reality Check,” will drive exploration of the complexities of investing and innovating in an industry in which market and mission converge and examine the risks and opportunity across the global education marketplace. In addition to the insightful panels and discussions that are a hallmark of the Summit, this year’s event will include remarks from featured speaker Bill Bennett, former Secretary of Education.

Sponsors of the Education Growth Summit 2012 include Cengage Learning, ECMC Group, and EducationWeek. For more information about the event, visit

If you’d like more information about the Summit, you’ll find it at the conference website

Need to check 90/10 ratio for a school, use this tool

We are sure many of you already know about this 90/10 tool, but we get questions about the 90/10 ratio for schools every week so we want to provide you with a link to the government tool to check out the ratio’s.  Remember if a for profit schools ration of government funding is 90% or greater during a year they go on probation, if they are 90% or greater for 2 years they can loose Title IV eligibility like 3 did this year.

Click Here to use tool:

Community colleges not up to the challenge!

community colleges

Calling the American dream basically doomed, the American Association of Community Colleges report issued on Saturday intended to challenge college leaders to transform their institutions for the 21st-century needs of students and the economy.

Released on the opening night of the group’s annual conference, the report acknowledges the sector’s historic growth and success but also argues that even so, far too many community-college students do not graduate. The study also found employment preparation inadequately connected to the needs of the job market, and a need for two-year colleges to work more closely with high schools and baccalaureate institutions.

“As they currently function, community colleges are not up to the task before them,” it says.

While shocking to many most inf the proprietary EDU sector have know this for some time…

For article on the Chronicle click here:

For the report itself Click Here!


EDU PE conference packed & mood optimistic !

Yesterdays Capital Round Table conference for PE investing in EDU was a full house.  It was good to see some many of the industry’s players together in one room discussing current issues & trends facing Education.  In addition, Anthony Miller Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating officer at the U.S. Department of Education was there to answer questions regarding current and pending legislation.  Tony was refreshingly honest when he said the the Department understands and acknowledges that for profit education providers are critical to reach America’s goal of education attainment.  He praised the continued innovation provided by the industry and welcomes more of the same.

2012 Issues to remember:


The Change

  • A change in the President will result in a new DOE
  • A change in the Senate will result in a new head of the Senate Sub-Committee
The Result
  • A favorable shift in regulations will lift the entire industry
The Caution
  • The momentum to outcomes is already underway and will not change.  Broadly, this is good for the industry


MOST Important The three rules – #1 Student Success, #2 Student Success, #3 Student Success

Long-term strong demographics and demand create a solid base for growth

Regulatory changes are largely complete in post-secondary while valuations remain at historic lows

Dramatic changes in traditional schools are underway

Real opportunities exist to build world-class companies

Great outcomes=Great businesses

The next conference for PE in EDU I believe is in June or July, it’s worthwhile to attend!

Moneycollege: Where is the Billy Beane of Higher Education?

Interesting article from University Ventures Fund:

If you’ve seen Moneyball, the new baseball film about the unlikely success of the Oakland A’s and their out-of-the-box-thinking General Manager Billy Beane, you may have already drawn parallels to the current state of higher education. If not, we’re pleased to do it for you!

Like baseball ten years ago, higher education is focused on what’s easy to measure. For baseball it may have been body parts, batting average and the number on the radar gun. For higher education, it’s the 3Rs: research, rankings and real estate. Each of these areas is easily quantified or judged: research citations or number of publications in Nature and Science; U.S. News ranking (or colleges choose from a plethora of new entrants to the ranking game, including the international ranking by Shanghai Jiao Tong University); and in terms of real estate, how much has been spent on a new building and how stately, innovative and generally impressive it appears.

Unfortunately, the 3Rs correlate about as closely to student learning and student outcomes as batting average or fastball velocity, which is to say, not at all. Buildings are the “ugly girlfriend” of higher education.

Universities that continue to focus on the 3Rs in the wake of the seismic shifts currently roiling higher education (state budget cuts, increased sticker shock, technology-based learning) are either not serious about improving student learning and student outcomes, or they’re like the baseball fan who has lost her car keys in the stadium parking lot at night: Where does she look for them? Not where she lost them, but under the light because that’s where she can see.

To read the entire article:

Is For Profit Education Dead?

for profit education dead?

New article by Michael Clifford on significant Ventures

Some would say that the for-profit postsecondary sector is on its last legs… DOA. Capitalism.” He calls this framework for success his Four Gospels of Higher Education:

Fifteen publicly traded education companies have seen their stocks decline by 33% on average since December 2009 versus a 5% increase for the S&P 500. Media accounts abound of allegations regarding improper practices at publicly traded companies, including marketing misrepresentation and fraudulent reporting of placement rates. Twenty state attorneys general are investigating for-profit institutions. No other sector has been as demonized as the for-profit sector has among state and federal politicians over the past several years.

to read the article in its entirety:


A call with an industry short fund


Last week we spent some time on the phone with a well-known industry short fund.  We discussed the industry as a whole, as well as specific issues facing the industry which were behind their premise that shorting the industry was a good play for the next few years. Topics such as gainful employment, new compensation rules, default rates and the power of non-profit brands extending into the online education were the main points.  Gainful employment in conjunction with 90/10 is in our opinion a biased illogical political move to hinder the growth of one industry segment for profit schools to the benefit of another nonprofit schools.  If the rule is sound & logical, why wouldn’t it

be industry wide, the answer is clear, it’s not a well thought out rule.  If the traditional colleges had to live within gainful employment you would see far fewer lawyers, doctors, economists, political scientists (maybe that’s a good thing) philosophers, literary scholars, teachers, artists, theorists etc.  Who’s going to fill the entry level positions?  Aren’t they stepping stones?  We guess they will be filled by graduates of traditional colleges with English, Liberal Arts & Art history degrees whose $200,000+ education clearly provided them with such a solid and relevant foundation.  Default rates, well they need to be managed, schools need to ensure that the engagement & value their student receive from the education provided them is compelling.  We need to utilize assessment to make sure students enter program they have real interest and a likelihood of success in.  And we need to screen for and provide the remedial assistance necessary for students to be able to be successful in their education.  Will the industry be able to manage them successfully, YES.  As for the value of brands, this is a topic which has been discussed for many years.



We all know a brand is valuable.  We all know having a brand is a huge advantage and can significantly reduce the marketing costs of student recruitment.  But the big caveat is “can”.  Most traditional colleges significantly lack the admissions infrastructure and wiliness to adapt as necessary to be competitive to succeed in the fast paced world of online  education.  The partnerships between traditional colleges and for profit enterprises have proven that they can work and achieve fast growth, but those are still few in number.  The real questions is when will we see an influx of these partnerships, and how much of an effect will they have on the for-profit EDU industry>