Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

The World's Biggest For-Profit College Company Is Going Public

Laureate Education has more than 1 million students spread across the world, and nearly $5 billion in debt.

Posted on October 5, 2015, at 4:02 p.m. ET

PRNewsFoto/Laureate Education

Laureate Education, the world's largest for-profit college company, filed for an initial public offering Friday, offering a glimpse into a global higher education machine that has been private since 2007.

Until this year, the honorary chancellor of Laureate was former US president Bill Clinton.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

More than 1 million students are enrolled in schools owned by Laureate Education — four times as many students as were enrolled at the for-profit giant University of Phoenix in 2014.

Laureate Education

A 2014 meeting of the Laureate Global Fellows at the Laureate-run Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas in Peru.

The vast majority of Laureate's business — more than 77% — comes from outside the US.

Its biggest revenue source is Latin America, where it does more than half of its business.


Unlike the vast majority of for-profit college companies, Laureate doesn't rely on government aid for its revenue.

Laureate says 80% of its revenue comes from private sources, not the government. By contrast, most for-profit colleges in the US struggle to meet the "90/10 rule," which requires them to derive at least 10% of their revenue from private sources.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, joined by other women of the Senate, holds a news conference on her bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act.

Laureate is planning to go public as a "benefit corporation," a new class of corporation that is legally obliged to consider its social impact in addition to profits.

Laureate will be the country's first legally certified benefit corporation to be publicly traded. Nasdaq-listed Etsy is certified as a B-Corp by the nonprofit B Lab, but is not legally a benefit corporation.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Laureate has made a business out buying schools and then growing enrollment, fast.

It grew its major American school, Walden University, from 2,000 students in 2001 to 50,000. Its international universities often double or triple in size in the space of a decade.

Laureate Education / Via

Laureate brings in much less money per student than the University of Phoenix.

Laureate, with 1 million students, had revenues of $4.4 billion in 2014, while the University of Phoenix, with a quarter the enrollment, brought in $2.6 billion.

Rick Scuteri / AP

Laureate is losing money and has taken on lots of debt.

It posted a net loss of $169 million in 2015, and has a staggering $4.7 billion in debt, compared to assets of $8 billion.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.