Big news yesterday for Bridgepoint Education, the San Diego-based, for-profit higher education company that has burst into the local economy and faced the ire of federal regulators.

The company’s first quarter earnings grew 81 percent, far surpassing analysts’ expectations. Its stock jumped 8 percent to $19.87 at the close of trading yesterday. Enrollment at Bridgepoint’s schools, Ashford University in Iowa and University of the Rockies in Colorado, also rose 34 percent to 88,252.

Stories on Bridgepoint yesterday said the company’s continued growth came at a time when many other for-profit colleges are bowing to federal scrutiny about enrollment practices. From Dow Jones Newswires:

Bridgepoint is one of the few for-profit school operators that hasn’t reported declines in new-student enrollments. Many institutions are overhauling recruiting and tightening admissions standards in the face of new regulations aimed at ensuring students are being properly educated.

Yesterday was Bridgepoint’s biggest one-day gain since November.

Our reporting on Bridgepoint in March focused on the company’s astounding rise from startup to major private employer and its increasing influence in local philanthropy and politics.

Its political muscle continues to grow locally, too. Campaign finance reports released this week show that Bridgepoint gave $16,000 to the proposed ballot measure to give most new city workers 401(k)s instead of pensions.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter:

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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