If you are considering becoming a 1M/1M premium member and would like to join our mailing list to receive ongoing information, please sign up here.

Subscribe to our Feed

Teaching 50,000 Students Online: APEI CEO Wally Boston (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, Sep 28th 2009

SM: Can you talk about the financials? When you came on board in 2002, what was the revenue level and what was your financial strategy to move the company ahead?

WB: In 2002 I believe we finished the year at $10 million in revenues. We raised $10 million through our private equity firm. In 2005 we raised another $17.5 million; we used most of that money to buy out the founder and some of his co-founders. That money was a bit of a wash.

SM: What happened on the revenue side between 2002 and 2005? What was the ramp like?

WB: In 2007 we finished the year right around $70 million. In 2008 we finished the year at approximately $106 million. This year we are projecting around $146 million and $150 million.

SM: When did you go public?

WB: We went public in November of 2007.

SM: What about profitability? What does the P&L of your university look like, and how has it progressed in the time that you came on board?

WB: In 2002 we were almost at break even. In 2003 we became profitable for the first time when we finished the year at around $18 million in revenues, and we probably made $1.2 million. In 2007 we were roughly $70 million in revenues and we were profitable. I am guessing that we were roughly $14 million in EBIT.

SM: Is your P&L starting to stabilize now?

WB: Our EBITA margins are around 27%, which is the highest we have ever had on our run rate of close to $150 million =.

SM: What is your strategy for curriculum development? How do you manage development and delivery of curriculum?

WB: Curriculum development can involve improving the existing curriculum or developing new curriculum. A couple of years ago we decided we wanted to add new degrees in information and technology. We went out and hired experts, people with academic backgrounds, to develop programs in information technology and education. In both cases the development of those programs was focused on developing degrees, not just courses.

In the case of education we developed three education degrees which involved 68 courses between the three degrees. We hired people to first map out the degrees. Once the degrees were designed we hired people to design the specific courses. That was academic design and involved the syllabus and the course material. We then hired people with IT backgrounds to actually build the electronic classroom for the course and insert the text, videos, and other materials needed to make the classes interactive.

The latest progression in online courses is that it is very important to have a course that is interactive between the professor and the student even though our teaching format is asynchronous.

We continue to add new degree programs. Many times we do not disclose what our new degree will be until we receive accreditation approval simply because we prefer to keep our competitors in the dark about what we have until we have added them.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Teaching 50,000 Students Online: APEI CEO Wally Boston
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Hacker News
() Comments

Featured Videos