Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > Annual Portrait of Education Documents Swift Rise of For-Profit Colleges

Annual Portrait of Education Documents Swift Rise of For-Profit Colleges

By David Glenn

Today marks the release of “The Condition of Education 2011,” the latest in an annual series of data compendiums from the U.S. Department of Education. Like its predecessors, the report does not break new ground—it is mostly drawn from familiar federal data sources—but its hundreds of tables and graphs offer a rich portrait of American education. Just as David Foster Wallace forged a novel from the minutiae of the American tax code (his marked-up copies of federal tax statutes are now archived at the University of Texas), some future social novelist might want to spend a few weeks poring over today’s report.

One of the report’s chief themes is the rise of for-profit higher education during the last decade. In 1999 for-profit institutions accounted for 3.1 percent of the students enrolled in American undergraduate institutions. By 2009 their share had risen to 9 percent. The sector also quintupled its share of bachelor’s degrees: Only 1 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in 1999 came from for-profit institutions, but by 2009 the figure was 5 percent. (Public colleges and private nonprofit colleges each lost two percentage points of market share during the decade.)

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/Annual-Portrait-of-Education/127639/

Read the report: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/

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