The University of Phoenix, America’s largest for-profit university, has seen its enrollment drop from 460,000 students to 213,000 in the last five years. The University of Phoenix delivers education both online and on several campuses but now faces competition from traditional colleges that have launched their own online classes.
The University of Phoenix’s falling enrollment numbers reflect a wider decline in for-profit education. The college was forced to close 115 of its campuses in 2012. Last year, one of Phoenix’s major competitors, Corinthian Colleges, had to shut down operations.
For-profit universities have struggled to overcome criticism about the quality and costs of the education provided. Although only 12 percent of America’s college students enroll in for-profit universities, students at these colleges account for around 50 percent of student loan defaults.
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