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Ashford U’s parent corporation spends more on marketing than teaching
The corporation that owns for-profit Ashford University in Clinton has consistently spent more on marketing than on teaching over the last three years, according to the company’s financial statements obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Since at least 2007, “marketing and promotional” expenses at Bridgepoint Education Inc have been larger than “instructional cost and services” each year. In 2009, the most recent data available, the corporation spent $120.1 million on instructional costs and $145.7 million on marketing. The rest of the company’s expenses were composed of “general and administrative” items.
|Instructional cost and services||34.8 %||28.8 %||26.4 %|
|Marketing and promotional||42 %||37.1 %||32.1 %|
In 2009, expenses totaled $372.5 million while revenues reached $454.3 million. The California-based corporation also owns University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colo. Total enrollment between the two schools totals 65,788, but less than 1,000 of those students attend the schools’ physical campuses.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin has called for increased scrutiny on for-profit colleges and universities. A report from Harkin’s office revealed for-profit schools generate huge revenues while their students default on federal loans much more frequently than students at nonprofit or public schools.