It isn't exactly Ivy League, but DeVry is in the big leagues of technical, health care, and business schools. The for-profit educational company offers professional, undergraduate, and graduate degrees through subsidiary schools. Flagship DeVry University, with about 100 US locations in roughly 25 states and Canada, specializes in business and technology education. Its Keller Graduate School of Management unit offers MBA and other graduate programs while its Ross University offers medical and veterinary school training. The company also offers health care education through Chamberlain College of Nursing and Carrington College. In all, DeVry has more than 70,000 students through campus and online enrollment.
The company's Becker Professional Education subsidiary offers professional exam review and continuing education courses in accounting, finance, and project management. It operates in the US and several international markets.
In addition to its business, healthcare, and technical education services, DeVry offers middle school and high school programs online through its Advanced Academics unit. It is also laying the groundwork to expand into elementary education through its K-12 program.
Internationally, the company operates DeVry Brasil which offers business, law, and engineering programs from about a half-dozen campuses in Brazil. In the West Indies DeVry operates Ross University. Ross students take academic coursework at the university campuses in the Caribbean, then complete their degrees with clinical training at US teaching hospitals and affiliated veterinary colleges.
DeVry University's student population is generally older than those at traditional colleges. More than half of its students are older than 25 and represent the school's fastest-growing demographic; many are working adults. The school boasts an enrollment of more than 55,000 undergraduate students and some 18,000 graduate students.
Acquisitions to add to or expand upon its offerings are a key part of the company's growth strategy. Part of its acquisition strategy is to diversify its holdings by purchasing schools in different geographic regions, as well as in different educational arenas. By diversifying its offerings, DeVry hopes to attract a broader student base and up its enrollment numbers. Focusing on international growth, DeVry expanded its medical training offerings through the $235 million purchase of American University of the Caribbean, a physician training school located on St. Maarten, in 2011. Then, in 2012 the company acquired two schools in northeastern Brazil (Faculdade Boa Viagem and Faculdade do Vale do Ipojuca) to extend its presence in that country.
Its strategy seems to be working and DeVry enjoyed a boost in enrollments during the economic recession -- many unemployed workers took the opportunity to seek new technical training, and at the same time federal student loan purse strings loosened up, giving those workers access to loans for tuition. However, the rapid growth in the entire private education industry, including DeVry, drew attention from lawmakers during 2010, who were concerned that people were adding to their debt with student loans but receiving incomplete or low-quality education services. Still, even attention from lawmakers didn't hurt revenues, which were up about 15% between 2010 and 2011.
Even as the economy began to recover and people started going back to work (instead of school) DeVry in 2011 still delivered an increase in revenue compared and a net income of nearly 20% in 2011.
Company co-founder and former chairman Dennis Keller, now a director emeritus, owns about 10% of DeVry. – less