Dear Shareholder:

Over the past several years, Bridgepoint’s institutions, both Ashford University and University of the Rockies, have implemented numerous initiatives to raise academic quality, enhance student outcomes, and communicate brand identity as a means of attracting qualified students. We remain confident that these steps are in the best long-term interests of students and shareholders alike.

In 2015, we set forth a three-part turnaround plan for the business which has yielded good interim results. Our turnaround plan includes (i) stabilizing and restarting enrollment growth, (ii) improving admissions and marketing efficiency, and (iii) increasing shareholder value. While we have been focused on executing our turnaround plan, we have not departed from our operating principles of product differentiation and strong operational excellence, which we believe will lead to market share gains over the long term. Many of the steps we are taking in our turnaround process are complementary to these operating principles.

We are making good progress towards our first goal of stabilizing and restarting enrollment growth. We achieved new enrollment growth in the fourth quarter of 2015, which exceeded the same period in the prior year by low single digits. While total enrollment at our institutions was down by 12% from the end of 2014, the decline in total enrollment for the last half of 2015 was only 3.7%, and the decline from the third quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2015 was just 1.6%.

Our institutions have launched a number of programs in order to help achieve our goal of stabilizing and growing our enrollment. These initiatives include the Leadership Development Grant program, as well as adding new degree programs to our portfolio.

We continue to see strong performance from our Leadership Development Grant program, which is making a positive contribution to new enrollments. This program provides our corporate partners with the opportunity for their employees to pursue and complete a college degree without incurring any student debt. While this program is relatively small in comparison to our total enrollment, it continues to expand. In 2015, we added 29 additional corporate partners. We now have over 1,600 students participating in the Leadership Development Grant Program compared with approximately 400 students at the end of 2014. We are hearing positive feedback from our corporate partners indicating that students are enjoying their learning experience, and employers see this program as a benefit that improves retention of their employees.

We believe that an important component of our enrollment stabilization and growth is to improve and expand our program offerings. Beginning in 2015, we outlined a plan to develop and launch new programs that are in high demand. Our combined institutions successfully launched six new programs in 2015 and are developing 11 additional programs expected to be launched in 2016, with another 12 new programs scheduled for launch in 2017.

To achieve our second objective of improving admissions and marketing efficiency, we have implemented a number of various initiatives. We were able to decrease our spending from 2014 to 2015 by 15% in the area of admissions advisory and marketing, all while making substantial progress in stabilizing our enrollment during 2015 as discussed earlier. We continue to explore and test ways to improve our marketing efficiency and believe further improvements are possible.

The third objective in our turnaround plan is to increase shareholder value. Our goal here is focused on a number of initiatives. Our core objectives in this area include stabilizing and growing revenues along with improving efficiency and controlling costs. During 2015, we continued to focus on aligning our cost structure with current enrollment levels. Our costs for 2015, excluding restructuring and impairment charges, declined by approximately 12%. We implemented a number of cost reduction programs that helped streamline our operations and generate positive cash flows. We began the year with $356.5 million of cash and investment resources and ended the year with approximately $374.0 million of cash and investments on our consolidated balance sheets. We generated approximately $26.7 million of cash from operations, and invested $2.5 million in property and equipment and another $2.2 million in intangible assets. We are constantly reviewing our cash requirements and areas to invest in order to improve our shareholder return. This area of continued focus is a priority for us, and it is a topic of discussion with our Board of Directors on a quarterly basis.

While ensuring our cost structure is properly aligned, we plan to make targeted strategic investments throughout 2016 in areas that we believe will enhance the student experience and improve retention and student learning outcomes. Specifically, investment has been made in developing next generation learning experiences for new programs. Elements within new programs will include enhanced media, simulations, leveraging adaptive learning experiences, and the application of real-world authentic projects. Furthermore, we will continue to build on studies that indicate the student interventions that have the greatest impact on student success. Lastly, we are investing in a mobile experience that is seamless across platforms, optimized for the web, and provides a consistent user interface across all devices.

We have previously shared with you some of the initiatives that Ashford University has taken to ensure student preparedness, raise academic quality, and improve student outcomes. These include our orientation program before entering the University, the Ashford Promise during the first class, smaller class sizes, and higher faculty-to-student ratios. We’ve also launched a number of initiatives focused on supporting graduate students and alumni.

While we believe these initiatives are exactly what is needed to better support our students and alumni, we are always interested in what our students and alumni think about their experience. On an annual basis, we ask our alumni to participate in a survey to understand how they have benefitted from completing their degree at Ashford University. I’d like to share these results with you, which we believe demonstrate the University’s success at delivering these important outcomes to Ashford graduates.

The following results reflect over 6,500 alumni responses to the 2015 Alumni Survey. Of the 75% of alumni who reported having previously attended a traditional institution, 90% feel the quality of education at Ashford is the same as or higher than at a traditional college or university. Of those who responded, 89% said they would recommend Ashford to others. In addition, 86% of our graduates indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their Ashford experience. Of the survey respondents, 86% agreed that earning their degree from Ashford gave them the confidence to pursue new job opportunities. And finally, 88% of alumni who responded agreed that earning their Ashford degree was worth the time commitment required to fulfill their educational goals.

These survey results continue to reaffirm that an Ashford education is creating a positive change in the lives of our alumni, and we continue to be pleased with the value proposition offered by an Ashford degree and the benefit it is bringing to the lives of our alumni and their families.

In closing, we are very encouraged by the results that we achieved in 2015 towards our goals. We continue to stay focused on our strategic priorities of new program diversification and reducing costs to align with the current business environment while maintaining focus on our priorities of student learning, academic quality, and regulatory compliance. It is our belief that these priorities will benefit our shareholders over the long term.

Andrew S. Clark
President and Chief Executive Officer
March 2016


Andrew S. Clark

President and
Chief Executive Officer

Chris Henn

Executive Vice President,
Chief Operating Officer

Thomas Ashbrook

Executive Vice President,
Chief Information Officer

Marc Brown

Senior Vice President,
Chief Human Resources Officer

Kevin Royal

Executive Vice President,
Chief Financial Office

Jane McAuliffe

Executive Vice President
of External Affairs,
Chief Academic Officer

Vickie Schray

Senior Vice President of
Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy

Diane L. Thompson

Executive Vice President,
Secretary and General Counsel

Ross L. Woodard

Executive Vice President,
Chief Marketing Officer

Corporate Address

Bridgepoint Education
13500 Evening Creek Drive North
San Diego, CA 92128-8125

Ticker Symbol


Transfer Agent

Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
Telephone: 800.468.9716
Fax: 651.552.6942


Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
PO Box 64854 St. Paul, MN 55164-0854


Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
1110 Centre Pointe Curve, Suite 101
Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Contact Us

Kevin Royal
Chief Financial Officer
866.475.0317, ext.11120


Andrew S. Clark

President and Chief Executive Officer
Bridgepoint Education

Ryan Craig

Founding Partner
University Ventures

Dale Crandall

Founder and President
Piedmont Corporate
Advisors, Inc.

Patrick T. Hackett

Chairman of the Board
Bridgepoint Education
Managing Director and
Co-Head of the Technology, Media
and Telecommunications Group
Warburg Pincus LLC

Robert Hartman

Former President, Chief Executive Officer
and Chairman of the Board
Universal Technical Institute

Victor Nichols

Chief Executive Officer

Adarsh Sarma

Managing Director in the Technology,
Media and Telecommunications Group
Warburg Pincus LLC