The Ripple Effect of the Growth of For-Profits

The rise of for-profit colleges continues to reverberate across higher education. The impact takes many forms; consider the following:
Franklin University is a private university in Ohio. University President, David Decker, recently announced a very ambitious growth plan. His motivation: “We need to grow in order to successfully compete with for-profit schools such as the University of Phoenix and DeVry University and to help the state meet its aggressive target of adding 230,000 new college students by 2017 . . . ”
Such explicit recognition of the growing centrality of large for-profit universities is uncommon. Rather, it was.
The second news item concerns Quest University in British Columbia. In order to enroll more students, Quest is partnering with a private, for-profit college – Sprott-Shaw College – which operates in the same market – British Columbia. Sprott-Shaw College will provide marketing support and access to a large pool of foreign (Asian) students for Quest. Notably, the president of Sprott-Shaw will assume Presidency of Quest for the upcoming year.
In the first case, the traditional university competes with the for-profits. In the second case, they choose to work with them. But both cases reflect the growing importance of for-profits to the larger post-secondary market.

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