American Public Education, Inc. (APEI - Free Report) has been providing innovative assistance to military and public service communities over the past several years. Its desire to help students in their current occupation, prepare them for their next job, and develop competency so that they can meaningfully contribute to their profession as well as society is commendable. In this respect, one of its institutions, American Public University System (APUS) has launched an innovative, custom-built online resource — APUS CareerLink.
This easy-to-navigate interface is designed specifically for APUS’ 100,000-plus alumni and 82,000 students, of which approximately 88% are working professionals. Also, it is easily accessible from a student's e-campus and enables users to build profiles that can be viewed by select recruiters.
Through APUS CareerLink, jobseekers will be able to search jobs based on location, degree program, certifications and security clearances. Moreover, the portal will show jobs from various vetted employers globally, across several different experience levels and industries. Notably, it is accessible to all certificate and degree-seeking active students.
American Public’s Initiatives to Aid Enrollment
American Public’s leading position in online education is proving to be highly beneficial for the company in the current situation. Also, a strategic shift to the new cloud-based next-generation online campus and increased demand owing to the competitive job market as well as historically high unemployment are adding to the positives.
The recent launch of the online job-search platform will help it drive favorable student outcomes at APUS.
American Public — which shares space with Laureate Education, Inc. (LAUR - Free Report) , Career Education Corporation (PRDO - Free Report) and K12 Inc. (LRN - Free Report) in the same industry — has undertaken several initiatives to improve enrollment trends and students’ persistence. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has improved the quality of student mix, introduced new tools for students, and taken measures to increase students’ engagement as well as classroom interactivity. Also, it has launched competency-based programs under an initiative called APUS Momentum. The company believes that greater students’ persistence will lead to improved online learning experience, increased graduation rates and higher referral rates.
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During second-quarter 2020, total and new student net course registrations in APEI jumped 18% and 30% year over year, respectively, backed by the ongoing transformation that has been taking place at the segment. It projects APUS’ net course registrations by new students to grow 10-14% year over year in the third quarter. Total net course registrations are expected to rise 8-12% year over year.
Shares of American Public Education have declined 18.7% in the past month compared with the industry’s 1.2% fall. The downside was primarily due to persistent uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company expects general economic slowdown to reduce the number of available jobs for graduates and lower the salaries being offered in connection with the available employment, which will affect its placements and persistence. Also, the slowdown will compel students to repay their loans, which could increase its institutions’ student loan cohort default rates, ultimately increasing bad debt expense. Higher default rates may also adversely impact the company’s eligibility to participate in some Title IV programs, in turn affecting its operations and financial condition.
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