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August 12, 2010 12:00 PM A Great Quarter for One Higher Education Company

By Daniel Luzer

Education Management Corporation, the company that owns for-profit colleges including Argosy University, Brown Mackie College, and Fullerton, California’s Western State University College of Law, is apparently having a bang-up fiscal quarter.

According to an article by Joan Solsman in the Wall Street Journal:

[The company’s] fiscal fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled as the for-profit higher education company’s results beat expectations.
For the quarter ended June 30, Education Management—which offers a broad range of academic programs—posted a profit of $47.9 million, or 33 cents a share, from $21.3 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier. In May, the company predicted 29 cents to 31 cents, above analysts’ then-expectations.

That’s great. One might think that the company is doing a really great job managing education, right? Well that’s debatable.

EMC was one of the 15 corporations found to be committing recruiting fraud in the scathing GAO report about for-profit colleges issued last week. EMC schools also have trouble with graduation rates, job placement, and student loan defaults.

So what’s driving the company’s success anyway?

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer