Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Darren Filson

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© 2012 Kevin R. Krier

Abstract

For-profit postsecondary education rapidly expanded in the decade preceding the 2008 financial crisis. For-profit institutions enrolled 9% of undergraduate students in 2009, up from 3% in 2000. This growth that was promising is now troubling. Significant enrollment declines in 2010-2012, in light of regulatory risk, recent GAO reports, and public scrutiny of recruiting and lending practices, suggest the foundations are not stable. This paper will analyze recent strategic decisions in the for-profit postsecondary education market using the framework developed by Brewer, Gates, and Goldman (2002) and make predictions about firm strategies and the future of the industry.

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