Can Aspen University Survive?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Randy Miller, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

  2. major56

    major56 Active Member

  3. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Why do people refer to .com schools when even online-only schools usually manage to get a .edu address?
  4. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    Its is to associate these Online-Only schools to the .COM companies of the era when most of those companies with bad business models naturally went out of Business. Also they are just easy money making Businesses.
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Note also that traditional B&M schools sometimes own a .com address.
    For example, try -- it works just as well as

    Apparently people who use the term ".com school" mean it like this:

    - is a .com school
    - is not a .com school

    How could anyone be confused ?
  6. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    Yep. When I heard about Aspen's $3,500 DETC MBA I thought it was a good deal, until I heard about Eastern New Mexico University's RA ACSBSP approved MBA for under $6,000 ($190.27 per credit for a 30 credit hour degree).

    I think that they would be better served focusing on the international market. Perhaps they could convert some of their programs into Spanish and market to the growing professional class in Latin America.
    I think that they may want to consider
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Well, in my case, I chose a non-AACSB MBA because (a) I did not know much about accreditation issues at the time; (b) I wanted to have an entrepreneurship degree; and (c) I probably was not going to get into the AACSB school even had I applied.
  8. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    ^^^^ Yet another comment that makes me think there's an anti- online DL bias.

    Logic goes:
    1. Only MBAs costing $50K or more are worth attending;
    2. Few of these highly valued MBAs are offered online, therefore
    3. All other online MBAs are worthless
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    You forget number 2.5. Even less of them are AACSB
  10. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    NCU is going this route big time and not just Spanish-speaking countries.
  11. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    You've been here since '01, and didn't notice the gazillions of threads re: cheap AACSB MBAs?

    Jacksonville State has been mentioned around here so much and for so long, you'd almost think their original textbooks were on stone tablets.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    May be because I finished my AACSB accredited MBA in 1992 and never bother to look for price tags for these degrees again.
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

  14. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I was thinking the same thing.

  15. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    It's worse than the original poster stated. They had a $2 million loss with only $4 million in revenue (not $6 million revenue).

    12 Months ended Dec 31, 2011

    4,477,931 Revenue
    6,593,593 Total costs and expenses
    -2,115,662 Operating loss

    Here's the costs and expenses:
    Instructional costs and services 2,493,341
    Marketing and promotional 1,181,558
    General and administrative 2,654,612
    Depreciation and amortization 264,082

    I don't know much about Aspen, but $4 million in revenue is a tiny operation. I wouldn't risk going to a tiny school like this one especially for a NA degree.
  16. Michael Mathews

    Michael Mathews New Member

    Good morning Randy, thanks for your post. This is Michael Mathews, Chairman & CEO of Aspen University. Allow me to respond to your questions, which should convince you Aspen is far from being "in deep trouble."

    Based on the Form 8-K you reference, our University is now a publicly traded company (Bulletin Board: ELIT.OB), which we certainly wouldn't have just implemented if we didn't have a well thought out financial plan. If you study the balance sheet, the answer to your question should become clearer. Aspen University raised ~$3.4mm of equity in 2011, while our operating loss was ~$2mm, so we raised significantly more cash than our planned loss (in fact, 70% more cash than our loss.) Also note that the University ended the year with $776K cash on the balance sheet. Additionally, please refer to footnote #1 of the Financial Statements, in which the University discloses that since 2012 began, we raised an additional $450K of capital. Finally, we have engaged an investment bank to raise an additional $6 million of capital over the next 2 quarters.

    Separately, auditors are required to express what’s called a 'going concern opinion' for any company that suffers an operating loss -- that’s standard practice.

    I would welcome anyone on this forum, should you have any questions about Aspen University, to contact me directly at [email protected] or call my office at 800-571-8917.

    Thank you.

    Michael Mathews
    Chairman & CEO
    Aspen University
  17. geoffs

    geoffs Member


    I think you missed the issue

    Instructional costs went from 58% of sales to 55% (cost saving!)
    Marketing and promotional went from 8% to 26%
    General and administrative went from 33% to almost 59%

    read the notes: items like a consulting agreement for $150K ran the costs up like crazy. The strategy of the organization needs to be rethought based on the competitive advantage: one part mentioned the value of a CPA getting an MBA. Well I pitched a similar proposal to a past Aspen President on what was not a marketing campaign but a partnership. Of Course in 2010 Aspen entered into an agreement with Knoxville: was there profit?

    The key is to find a core market and push through, but at this cost structure the auditor is bang on!

  18. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Hey Randy!

    I have seen some pretty dire posting about Aspens "death". I think it is pretty early to begin making assumptions since Aspen was recently taken over by a well heeled investor. From what I understand, yes they do (new investors) have the funds, and they do have a plan. The info. in your post/link was checked out by their people for sure. You don't make serious investments without checking such things. Schools rarely die, they are to valuable. For example Ellis University lost regional accreditation, has not enrolled any new students for a year, but just found an investor and got reaccredited by DETC.

    So, am I worried? No. Aspen is a good school, and I predict they will do fine. The new players are just getting started.

    Have a good one!

    Abner :smile:
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Walden University is owned by Laureate Education Inc. At present, Laureate is privately held, so info about their finances is limited. However, they are preparing go public, so more info is coming out. It was recently reported that half of Laureate's revenue now comes from universities in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.

    Some people think that the US market is saturated with for-profit schools, and that growth here has stalled. If this is the case, then the opportunities for expansion, growth, and profit may be better overseas.
  20. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    Middle East is one of the areas I was told about.

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