Education Companies Use Pricing, Niche Programs to Differentiate Themselves: A Wall Street Transcript Interview with Jeffrey Y. Volshteyn, Vice President at J.P. Morgan

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - September 5, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Education Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Gainful Employment Clarification - Enrollment and Retention Trends - Economic Recovery and Enrollment Trends - Growth Drivers in Chinese Education Sector

Companies include: American Public Education, Inc (APEI), Apollo Group Inc. (APOL), Capella Education Co. (CPLA), Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (BPI), DeVry, Inc. (DV), ITT Educational Services Inc. (ESI), Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE), Strayer Education Inc. (STRA) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Education Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: To what extent are these companies able to grow at all? Are there areas where growth makes sense? Where there are growth drivers, and are they likely to grow organically or by acquisition?

Mr. Volshteyn: There are surely areas of growth. What we've seen over the last couple of years is each company has been trying to find its own niche. They have been more sophisticated about highlighting their value proposition, their areas of expertise, their strong points.

The value proposition is not necessarily just about the tuition, it's also about other services that schools offer: small class sizes, for example, higher graduation rates, relationships with employers. All those things play an important role in students' enrollment decisions. But at the end of the day, if students don't feel that a particular school provides a good value for their dollar, they're not going there.

I think some of the strategies have been very powerful in marketing and in brand awareness, as far as highlighting the end result, such as successful job placements and career advancement. Those are the kinds of messages that resonate with prospective students who are, again, working adults who are looking to advance in their careers or change their careers.

We can look at specific examples. American Public Education focuses on degrees that are of interest to military students, and those who are civilian students but in law enforcement or the criminal justice system or firefighters, nurses - very structured environments. They've been very successful in highlighting their value proposition for that and also offering low tuition.

I mentioned Grand Canyon Education, where there's an element of a Christian education. There's a certain segment of population that is looking for that kind of environment, and the company has been able to successfully stand out in that segment...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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