U of Arkansas to acquire for-profit Grantham U for $1

by Jeremy

Dive Brief:

  • The University of Arkansas System’s governing board approved plans Wednesday to acquire Grantham University, an online for-profit institution based in Kansas, for $1 to build out the system’s virtual offerings.
  • The system will gain around 4,000 Grantham students through the deal. The purchase will more than double the number of unique credentials offered by U of Arkansas’ online platform, called eVersity, to 60.
  • The acquisition will help the system “reach beyond the borders of Arkansas” and diversify its educational offerings and revenue sources, U of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt said in a statement.

Dive Insight:

The acquisition will help expand the U of Arkansas’ eVersity platform, attracting students who left college before earning their degrees. The system joins the ranks of other higher education institutions that have bought for-profit universities to bolster their online offerings amid nationwide enrollment declines.

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The number of traditional-age students is expected to decline sharply after 2026 due to lower birth rates during the Great Recession. Colleges have been preparing for this enrollment cliff by looking to recruit other types of students.

“With the declining number of traditional-age students — 18- to 22-year-olds — we need to find additional markets to be successful,” Michael Moore, the system’s vice president for academic affairs, said during a board meeting Wednesday. “The adult student market is the most attractive market.”

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