Stock Prices of For-Profit Colleges Fall

Stocks in for-profit education companies aren’t doing so well lately. According to a piece in Reuters yesterday:

U.S. for-profit education stocks tumbled to 6-week lows on Thursday after sector bellwether Apollo Group withdrew its 2011 outlook amid regulatory uncertainty, and forecast sharp falls in new student enrollments.

Apollo shares slumped 25 percent to a near 4-year low, dragging down rivals such as Corinthian Colleges and Career Education.

Stock analysts apparently downgraded Appollo’s ratings. Some analysts had previously predicted that schools like the University of Phonenix are likely to do fine under the Department of Education’s new “gainful employment” rules, since most Phoenix graduates earn enough to service their student loans. The current critical attitude about for-profits has led many to question the quality of the whole industry and will likely lead to an enrollment reduction.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post Company—which gets the majority of its money from the chain of for-profit colleges it owns—saw its stock prices decline nine percent yesterday.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer