The conference call transcript and 10Q were not very enlightening.
Management avoided analyst questions if they involved giving “guidance”, with the exception of new enrollment starts. Management made a vague statement that both new enrollments and total enrollments would be negative for the next 4 quarters as a result of new admission policies. Further, the negative enrollments would in part be somewhat offset by higher retention rates.
In response to questions on other new accreditation initiatives, management was unable to estimate the financial impact (i.e. full time faculty hiring, more concentrated retention efforts, the ‘Ashford Promise’ of allowing students to withdraw within in the first three weeks of attending class, etc).
The big unanswered questions are how much enrollments will decline and costs increase?