Big Cutbacks for University of Phoenix

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The University of Phoenix will apparently close 115 branches, about half of them.

For profit education behemoth Apollo Group has announced plans to close many low-performing branches across the United States. According to a piece in The Daily Republic:

Apollo Group Inc. said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income tumbled 60 percent, hurt by higher costs and declining enrollment at the University of Phoenix. To cope, the for-profit education company plans to close 115 of the university’s locations, a move that will affect 13,000 students.

Shares in the Phoenix-based company tumbled nearly 8 percent in after-hours trading.

The company, which will eliminate about 800 jobs by this move, expects to save $300 million.

There will be 112 braches, in 36 states, after Apollo implements the change. Because the vast majority of Phoenix customers take classes online, only 4 percent of enrolled students will be impacted by the closures. They can take courses at other locations or move to online programs.

According to the Wall Street Journal Phoenix currently enrolls about 339,000 people, though it had more than 400,000 a few years ago.

For-profit colleges in general are seeing enrollments fall. Registrations at such institutions declined 2.9 percent in 2011. [Image via]

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