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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

For-Profit Colleges Add $20-Billion to Economy, Trade Group Says

03/04/2014

The Chronicle of Higher Education. Mar 4, 2014.

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities has released an analysis that says for-profit colleges have a direct impact of about $20-billion on the United States economy.

The analysis was released as some 200 officials of for-profit colleges, students, and employers of the colleges’ graduates are gathering here for a three-day lobbying push on Capitol Hill against tighter regulation. The analysis, prepared by John Dunham and Associates, also includes localized reports that show the economic impact of the colleges, state by state.

Based on data from the 2011-12 year, the analysis says the colleges “trained 855,562 graduates in technical fields with midlevel skills” and provided the equivalent of 242,650 full-time jobs that produced tax revenues of more than $3.47-billion. The association, the sector’s main trade group, said that was the latest year for which data were available. Enrollments and employment in the for-profit-college sector have each shrunk somewhat since then. The analysis also estimated the sector’s indirect economic benefits at more than $47-billion.

The Dunham firm is no stranger to the political arena. As it tells potential clients on its website, it “can help you respond to threats and opportunities in the policy arena by providing strong analysis, as well as unique, credible messages and tools for use in lobbying, stakeholder engagement, communications, and litigation support” (emphasis is in the original).