Purdue Global FY20 Financials Show Online School Getting Closer to Break Even

7 replies
  1. Geoffrey Witham
    Geoffrey Witham says:

    Phil, love your coverage of PG. Might PG have seen enrollment increases with lower Admissions costs because they’ve updated their enrollment platform? Some solutions have easy to use self service options, particularly for the less prestigious programs or programs that are not supported by the endowment. (Exec Ed, Liberal Studies programs, workforce development classes, etc)? It strikes me that those programs would have been popular during the pandemic. But: the schools make a lot less on a 3 course certificate than they do on a Bachelors.

    • Phil Hill
      Phil Hill says:

      Good questions, and I probably should have included a broader “improved admissions pipeline operations” along with Purdue brand and lower-cost Indiana options.

  2. Steven Rutt
    Steven Rutt says:

    The item that intrigues me the most is the marketing expense – as a percent of revenue that equates to about 30%. I haven’t seen too many universities push marketing that high, even if they are “re-branding.” The pressure on revenue per student seems to be impacting it slightly, but only by a few percentage points. Any additional insights into what is happening there or the thought process?

    • Phil Hill
      Phil Hill says:

      I suspect the issue is more one of anchoring than re-thinking of marketing approach. In other words, they bought Kaplan U, it is mostly run by the same organization (KHE), and the emphasis is on modifying those numbers while not jeopardizing the enrollment and financial turnarounds. The assumption is that $100m is the baseline of marketing, with a bump to $130m+ for rebranding, and an ongoing shift back to baseline. This is speculation, but it at least aligns with last year’s misleading statements about “$28.5 million marketing investment”.

  3. Dahn Shaulis
    Dahn Shaulis says:

    Phil, it certainly helps Purdue University Global to use false advertising, at least in the short run. Let’s see how long they can get away with it. If anyone would like to blow the whistle on Purdue University Global please let me know.

  4. Glen McGhee, Dir.
    Glen McGhee, Dir. says:

    We may be missing the significance of this information.
    You may recall that the Indiana legislature, in its great wisdom, provided Purdue Global an exemption from public record disclosure. This was supposed to prevent exactly the sort of thing that just happened — Kaplan’s confidential metrics are now the talk of the town. But, as noted, even this leak is 11 months old. I can only imagine internal efforts to find the mole.

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