San Diego Business Journal

Bridgepoint Reports Earnings, Lays Out Changes

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the San Diego for-profit provider of online college courses, reported third quarter net income of $31.4 million, down from $43.8 million for the like quarter of 2011.

For the nine months, Bridgepoint reported net income of $112 million, down from $150 million for the like period of 2011.

The parent firm to Ashford University updated its efforts to obtain accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which denied its application in July.

Bridgepoint said it anticipates a visit from WASC to discuss its new application in April.

The company is also working with the Higher Learning Commission, the entity that currently accredits Ashford, which has its campus in Clinton, Iowa. HLC is asking the college to comply with rules covering a “substantial presence policy.”

Among the changes that Bridgepoint is implementing is adding an undisclosed number of faculty, and providing greater support to new students to increase retention rates.

It’s also restricting new admission of students to those above 22 years old and who have already obtained an associate degree. It’s also expanding a student orientation program, and broadening a refund policy that lets students take courses for three weeks without paying.

The company also said it’s expanding the level of career support services to graduating students.

Bridgepoint said total student enrollment as of Sept. 30 was 91,358, up by about 750 from the same date last year.

Revenue for the quarter was $252 million, up from $243 million for the like quarter of 2011.

For the nine months, revenue was $759 million, up from $712 million in the like period of last year.

Traded under BPI on the New York Stock Exchange, shares closed up 20 cents Nov. 6 to $9.85. Its 52 week range is $8.11 to $27.26.

— Mike Allen