During the 2008-2009 academic year, there were nearly 1.8 million students enrolled at more than 2,800for-profit institutions of higher learning in the United States. Students in for-profit colleges and universities accounted for over 9% of all students enrolled in postsecondary education. The numbers have continued to grow, and today (2010) the number is rapidly approaching two million, about 10 percent of total student enrollments. The industry has also grown significantly in recent decades. Enrollment in for-profits has increased nearly six-fold since 1986, a time when the sector only enrolled about 2% of all students. Once an insignificant part of the higher education landscape in the United States, for-profit institutions now command a substantial portion of the market and have established themselves as legitimate and viable participants in the postsecondary education arena.
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