Domestic, For-Profit, Investors, Required, University & College - Written by on Thursday, July 14, 2011 8:29 - 0 Comments

Grand Canyon Inc. to Focus on Brick & Mortar Enrollment


Bricks and Mortar


Online classes are good, but brick and mortar is better, at least for Grand Canyon Inc. says Robert Wetenhall, Analyst at RBC Capital. Shares of LOPE have risen 6% in the last seven days of trading. Shares attracted some renewed interest after Wetenhall upgraded shares of LOPE to outperform, raising price target from $1 to $15. Wetenhall thinks Grand Canyon’s fresh push to work on enrollments at their physical location, which only account for 9% of enrollments currently, will drive future growth.

It costs the school less to sign up students for its Phoenix campus than for online classes, he said. That’s because the school is well known in the greater metropolitan area and gets more applications than it has spots available, he said. Potential students think the conventional campus offers higher-quality education than online courses, he said. Meanwhile, Grand Canyon has to pay other companies to help it recruit online students.

Uphill Battle

The inward focus is a marked change from years of explosive growth at Grand Canyon. The search for growth required a tactic change because of new regulatory pressure and increasing questions about the quality of online education.

Wetenhall expects total enrollment growth to shrink to 3 percent in 2012 from 7.7 percent this year. That’s down markedly from the recent past: In 2008, enrollment growth had shot up 67 percent.


Read the full piece over at Forbes.

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