In the United States, college is a natural progression at the end of secondary education. This decision may be due to the fact a college degree increases earning potential. According to research published on College Board from Sandy Baum, an economist from Skidmore, college grads on average earn about $20,000 a year more than their counterparts with just a high school education. Factor in the rising cost of living and those are 20,000 reasons why a college degree is worth pursuing. Here are 5 of the largest private universities in the United States based on enrollment for the 2013 – 2014 school year:
With today’s current emphasis on technology and online education, it is not surprising that one of the largest private universities is based on distance learning model. Kaplan has 11 campuses located across the U.S. and has 3,600 professors instructing students in a wide range of degree programs at the bachelors and masters levels.
Liberty is the largest non-profit Christian university in the United States and has over 1,200 professors serving its over 90,000 students. It offers doctoral, masters, and bachelor degree programs also with high school programs as well.
APUS offers more than 180 degrees through the American Military University and the American Public University. As an online university, it is the very definition of distance learning, serving students in over 100 countries. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and prides itself on providing quality, affordable online education.
Ashford has one campus located in Clinton, Iowa with its headquarters in San Diego, California. However, it reaches students all over the world through its distance learning programs. Students can choose to either take classes on its campus or engage in the increasingly popular online learning. Due to its primarily non-traditional operation and flexibility of its programs, the usual four-year graduation rate does not apply. However, students are able to set their own schedules and complete degree programs at an individual pace.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, it has 112 campuses and learning centers located all over the United States. It once had a peak enrollment of nearly 600,000 students in 2010 but that number dropped sharply after it faced criticism of overwhelming debt by students and low job prospects. Despite criticisms, the University of Phoenix continues to provide undergraduate and post-graduate degrees to students all over the world.
The largest private universities in the United States all have an emphasis on distance based learning, which further supports the notion that the digital age is taking over. The ease and convenience of online learning is difficult to outmatch and traditional brick and mortar universities may have to play catch up very soon.