The University of Phoenix reported an enrollment drop of 42 percent for the last quarter and expects a similar drop to follow, according to Jahna Berry of the Arizona Republic. The story attributes the decline to a September change, in advance of new federal rules, in how admissions counselors are paid—they don’t get bonuses based on the number of students enrolled. University officials blamed the economy and a new student orientation program—I do not know what that program is or how it keeps people from enrolling.
Let the reporting begin. Are we seeing, or will we see, similar drops at other for-profits? What do prospective students have to say about why they aren’t enrolling? Are they worried about the quality of the education? The cost (tuition increases don’t help, but then again, applications to expensive traditional universities are not declining, are they)? Is it just that nobody is proactively trying to get people to sign up?