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San Diego's extremely controversial for-profit college operation, Bridgepoint Education, reported disappointing first quarter sales and earnings; twenty minutes from today's (May 1) close, the stock is down 5.2% to $20.44. First quarter earnings per share of 71 cents failed to reach analysts' expectations of 76 cents. Sales were also down from analysts' forecasts. New enrollment fell 12%.

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Comments

dwbat May 1, 2012 @ 1:17 p.m.

Good to hear. Hope it keeps going down and down, until they go bankrupt.

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Don Bauder May 1, 2012 @ 3:19 p.m.

Tough regulatory enforcement would do justice to Bridgepoint and most of the other for-profit colleges, which are draining the U.S. treasury, are responsible for much of the student debt crisis, are not providing adequate education, and are overcharging students, among many things. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 1, 2012 @ 3:39 p.m.

You think they're doing bad today-wait until the taxpayers pull the plug on these for profit "schools" and the federal loan money (which will never be paid back) dries up.

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Don Bauder May 1, 2012 @ 5:02 p.m.

I would like to think taxpayers will pull the plug on these for-profit colleges living off the government, but I doubt it will happen. They have very rich and powerful lobbyists. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 1, 2012 @ 4:27 p.m.

Maybe one contributing factor is that Bridgepoint has to actually pay its instructors, and what with paying commissions and bonuses to its recruiters (sorry, admissions counselors and officers) just can't clear a profit.

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Don Bauder May 1, 2012 @ 5:05 p.m.

Oh, Bridgepoint has huge profits, even though it disappointed Wall Street with its most recent results. It has fat margins and a clean balance sheet. That's why some commentators for Motley Fool and other tout sheets are so bullish on it. The fact that it is in a thoroughly corrupt business doesn't bother Wall Street. Best, Don Bauder

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conanthequasilibertarian May 3, 2012 @ 1:07 p.m.

For-profit education companies should not be allowed to have their students get federal aid of any kind, loans or grants.

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Don Bauder May 3, 2012 @ 3 p.m.

I would agree with that, Conan, but as I have said, these for-profit colleges have rich lobbyists and heavy support in Congress. Also, some phonies, such as Jack Welch, tout for-profits because they supposedly represent free enterprise. Free enterprise, when they get almost all their funds from the federal government? Ha! Best, Don Bauder

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conanthequasilibertarian May 4, 2012 @ 9:32 a.m.

That's Carl DeMaio's kind of free enterprise.

As you assert (or imply, or as I infer), there's a cadre a self-labeled free marketeers who seem to believe that government's job is to step out of the way when private business finds it can do for a profit something the government has traditionally done. Or even worse than merely step out of the way, pay private contractors more than it would cost the government to do the job itself.

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Don Bauder May 4, 2012 @ 11:50 a.m.

You are so right. The so-called conservatives want government to step out of their way until they want a big government subsidy or a huge industry tax cut. Best, Don Bauder

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conanthequasilibertarian May 4, 2012 @ 4:11 p.m.

I like to point out to self-labeled free marketeers that Fed Ex and UPS are happy to deliver packages overnight, and then ask "But are they willing to deliver first-class mail to Jacumba for $.45, six days a week?"

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Don Bauder May 4, 2012 @ 6:03 p.m.

Good point. Fed Ex and UPS are very good companies, but they are working for a profit and wouldn't deliver mail to Jacumba six days a week for the price of a stamp. Some industries work well in a market system. Real estate is a classic one. But other industries such as the post office and medicine don't fit so well into the so-called free market model. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell May 4, 2012 @ 7:17 p.m.

The major problem is that veterans leave the military with few job skills and no way to support themselves as they transition to civilian life. So they enroll in diploma mill colleges not for an education, but merely to obtain GI Bill money to pay living expenses for a few years. The wife usually winds up sitting in front of the computer screen doing the course work to keep the money coming while the husband sits in front of the TV watching sports and drinking beer. The military should start offering transition assistance so that those who leave the military receive "severance pay" for a few years without having to enroll in a diploma mill.

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Don Bauder May 5, 2012 @ 8:30 a.m.

You have touched on several problems of these for-profit mills. Is the person behind the computer actually a student? Are the so-called "students" just enrolling to rake in federal bucks? Another problem: some governments automatically raise the pay of an employee -- say, a firefighter -- if he/she gets a college degree. So what if the degree is worthless? It leads to higher pay. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister May 8, 2012 @ 4 p.m.

Most (all?) for-profit "universities" are just part of the giant shakedown racket that is facilitated by the politicians who (along with their PAC's) are the same ones who buy the most advertising.

With all the hand-wringing over "standards" in public education, why not standards for these pickpockets-on-steroids? It should be easy to track the "graduates" who actually get jobs compared to private and public universities. No performance, no money, Capiche?

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Don Bauder May 8, 2012 @ 7:33 p.m.

The Department of Education is doing research on these topics. There is no question that graduates of the for-profits are not doing well getting jobs after they get out. Thus far, though, Department of Education reform efforts have been pusillanimous. Best, Don Bauder

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