Educational Advisors

Industry News

A Deep(er) Dive Into OPM Relationships

A Deep(er) Dive Into OPM Relationships

On Ed Tech

Glenda Morgan
March 28, 2024
When many people think about universities partnering with Online Program Management (OPM) companies to take programs online, they typically think about large universities or at least universities with a large annual revenue. These are the kinds of stories we tend to read about in the news, like the University of Southern California. But, as I began to investigate what kinds of institutions were partnering with OPM’s, I noticed a different trend: they are primarily smaller institutions in terms of revenue, and the value of the contracts they hold with OPMs are relatively modest.
For our purposes, we define an OPM as a the primary partner of an institution to create and run a fully-online program, providing a bundle of services that include marketing and student recruitment, market research, course and curriculum design support, student services, and data infrastructure and analytics; or at least a significant portion of those services. By this definition, we include both companies using both tuition revenue-sharing models and fee for service models (or a hybrid). See this post for additional market information.
What kinds of institutions sign with an OPM?
To get a sense of what kinds of institutions work with an OPM, I cross referenced the list of institutions we have of OPM partnerships with public tax records of nonprofit private higher education institutions to get an idea of institutional revenue. I also looked at university enrollment, which gives a more intuitive sense of  institutional size than revenue does, at least for those who haven’t spent much of the last month poring over university tax documents.
For the purposes of this post, I limited myself to private institutions in part because the second part of my investigation covers the contract value of university-OPM deals where I again used tax data, which is available only for private nonprofits (thank you ProPublica!). This appears to be a valid strategy to provide a high-level overview, as those institutions represent close to 60% of the schools partnering with OPMs.
Continue Reading

We have worked with schools across the nation who are accredited by national and regional agencies such as:

National Association of Schools of Art and Design