Business Commentary for Rational Individuals

Grand Canyon University

Dr. Bill Belew

Issue II - June 18, 2006

Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov: The acquisition of Grand Canyon University by Significant Education -- a for-profit organization -- led to the university's preservation and financial turnaround. In this article, Dr. Belew further illustrates that it is possible for universities to make money and deliver quality education at the same time.

Grand Canyon University might be a school for ultramarathoners (super marathoners) -- guys and gals who run multiple marathons in one day. I know of one race that goes from rim to rim of the Grand Canyon and back all in one day. But that is not relevant here. Sorry.

Grand Canyon School was a traditional University with an annual shortfall of $12 million to $15 million as late as 2004. It broke even last year and is now turning a profit.

The difference is, it was bought by a significant other -- Significant Education -- and turned into a fopro school.

It now has about 9200 students nationwide with roughly 70% of them online.

How long can a school continue to operate in the red?

How long can a school continue to ask alumni, states, and the government for money?

How long can a school sit and wait for someone to ask, "Hey, can I donate $20 million to you right off so you can spend that in one year?"

How long will it be before the traditional schools learn that they can operate like businesses without compromising their (the schools') bottom line -- delivering a quality education?

Schools can make money and deliver quality education is what I think.

What do you think?


Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he started a language school for Japanese ECS. Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a national university.

See Dr. Belew's blog, PanAsianBiz, for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and Asia. See ZhongHuaRising for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China, RisingSunofNihon on business in Japan, and TheBizofKnowledge on business education.

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