Degreed enrollment at University of Phoenix declined 3.8% year-over-year to 438,100, though average enrollment during the quarter increased slightly, helping to boost Apollo's revenue.
Lower enrollment was attributed to changes in the way admissions personnel were compensated for acquiring and registering students. Commission-based recruiting practices at for-profit colleges has been a largely criticized practice by the Obama administration and others seeking regulatory reform in the sector.
New student enrollment at University of Phoenix fell 42% in Apollo's first quarter, a sharp reversal from growth of 14% in the year-earlier period."We would expect the year-over-year decline in new degreed enrollment in the second quarter to be about the same as the first quarter," CFO Brian Swartz said on a conference call with investors. "Because of a large decline in new enrollments, coupled with the graduation of some of our existing student population, we expect increasing declines in total enrollment as we move through the year," Swartz said. The company added that it does not expect materially unfavorable findings from the Department of Education's review of the education sector that began in December of last year, looking into for-profit school programs funded with federal aid. Monday's intraday declines across the education sector came after Strayer Education said late Friday that new student enrollments across its campus and online education system decreased by 20% for the 2011 winter term, which began Jan. 3, even as continuing student enrollments increased by 10%.
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