The University of Phoenix Has Become a Major Bulwark of African-American Higher Education

Founded in 1976, the University of Phoenix is now the largest private university in North America. This fall there were 443,000 students enrolled in its more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. A large part of the university’s enrollment is made up of so-called nontraditional students. Many of these are working adults. While the university maintains 200 campus locations nationwide, a significant portion of University of Phoenix students conduct much of their college work online.

In a new report on its student demographics, the University of Phoenix reports that African Americans make up a whopping 30 percent of all university enrollments. This is up from 23 percent in 2007. Therefore, there are more than 130,000 African Americans who are students at the University of Phoenix. About 6 percent of all African Americans enrolled in higher education nationwide are University of Phoenix students.

Blacks make up 11 percent of the faculty of the University of Phoenix. This is more than twice the national average.