Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) is the world's largest private education provider. Its University of Phoenix is the largest for-profit university by enrollment. The University of Phoenix offers associate, bachelor's and doctoral degree programs to more than 355,800 enrolled students, at 102 campuses and 157 learning centers in forty states. 95% of Apollo's revenue comes from tuition paid to The University of Phoenix, the group's largest subsidiary. Apollo has benefited from an gradual increasing trend in university enrollment as well as increased enrollment due to the sluggish US economy. In a slow economy where jobs are hard to come by, many choose to go back to school to further their education. As a result, more people are attending schools like the University of Phoenix. In 2009, the company generated $3.9 billion in revenue and $598 million in net income.
Historically, enrollment at for profit educational institutions has increased during economic downturns as poorer job prospects cause prospective students to view continuing eduction more favorably. People of all ages are going back to school to get a better job and increase their job prospects. Apollo Group has been no exception from this trend. The global economic slowdown has increased their number of students and thus raised revenues. The number of students at the University of Phoenix increased by 24% in 2009. As a result, the company's net revenue grew by 26.5% in 2009.
The post-secondary education market is extremely competitive and not dominated by any single player. The United States has approximately 6,550 post-secondary education institutions:
In addition to this extreme market fragmentation, the extensive accreditation process acts as a significant barrier to entry for new companies.
Of the other private, for-profit schools that target non-traditional students, Apollo Group (APOL) , DeVry University (DV), and ITT Educational Services (ESI) pose the greatest competition to Career Education.
Career Education (CECO) is a global for-profit university that offers associate, master's, bachelor's and doctoral degree programs in vocational areas such as business, communications and IT. The company had an enrollment of 116,000 students on 90 campuses in the the US, France, Italy, and UK.
DeVry (DV) served approximately 130,000 students through its four subsidiary institutions - DeVry University, Ross University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, and Becker Professional Review. DeVry University is an undergraduate institution with more than 80 locations and the Keller Graduate School of Management. Ross University operates the Ross University School of Medicine and the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Dominica.
ITT Educational Services (ESI) operates 124 campuses in 38 states serving approximately 80,000 students.