Apollo group's position paper on Higher education

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August 26, 2010

The Current State of Higher Education in America and the Vital Role of Proprietary Colleges and Universities Gregory W. Cappelli Co-Chief Executive Officer of Apollo Group and Chairman of Apollo GlobalAmerica is at a crossroads with respect to how the nation’s higher education system will adapt to meet the needs of today’s learners.   At Apollo Group, we are concerned that the country will not meet the national education goals set forth by President Obama without an adaptable postsecondary system that operates differently than it has in the past–a system that embraces diversity and innovation. ■ More Americans than ever need a college degree and are seeking access to higher education.  Jobs today require higher education, yet out of 132 million people in the labor force, more than 80 million don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and 50 million adults have never even started college. These individuals are increasingly looking for ways to remain competitive and advance in their careers in today’s global economy. ■ Those seeking access to higher education are less prepared than in the past and require greater support. High school dropout rates are now approximately 55% in many major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Even more concerning, many students who do graduate cannot perform at the twelfth grade level in reading or math. ■ Over 70% of today’s students are now categorized as “non-traditional” students. Our colleges and universities must meet the needs of today’s learners who have families and professional obligations that make it incrementally challenging to pursue a college degree. ■ Traditional colleges and universities are the backbone of the U.S. higher education system, but they alone cannot meet the country’s needs. This system, which is exclusive by design, was built to meet the needs of a different era when only a small portion of the nation’s workforce needed a college degree. Today’s globally competitive, knowledgebased economy requires a more broadly educated society. ■ President Obama has set forth three important goals for the U.S. higher education system which are critical to the country regaining its standing as a global leader in education.  On a sobering note, we estimate that without proprietary schools, meeting these goals would cost U.S. taxpayers more than $800 billion over the next ten years. ■ Accredited, degree-granting proprietary institutions, which have been a strong source of innovation, play a critical role in the future of education. These institutions provide access to students who previously have been left behind by or excluded from the traditional higher education system. Well managed proprietary institutions can meet the demand for education at a significantly lower cost to society. Link to the complete white paper: http://www.apollogrp.edu/Investor/Reports/Higher_Education_at_a_Crossroads_FINALv2[1].pdf]]>