Some of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges are suffering steep declines in enrollment amid growing competition, new regulation and government pressure that led to the recent collapse of one of the industry’s biggest players, ITT Technical Institute .
The industry has been losing students for the last six years, but the crisis appears to be deepening with alarming speed. Some schools, in their latest corporate filings, reported a pronounced drop. Enrollment at the University of Phoenix chain fell 22% this year, to 171,000 students, marking a 70% loss since 2010. DeVry University reported a 23% drop this year, to about 26,500. Hondros College, a chain of nursing schools, slid 14%. Meanwhile, community colleges are reaping the benefits.