From the Editor
February 24, 2015

Nonprofit Calif. College Adopts 'Benefit Corporation' Model

Heralding a potential new third way between nonprofit and for-profit education, Alliant International University in California has become a public benefit corporation, embracing the emerging model of businesses beholden to social aims as well as the bottom line, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Alliant, a regionally accredited university offering graduate and professional degrees in psychology, education, business, and other fields, is the first of an anticipated series of institutions expected to seek benefit corporation status and join Arist Education System, an emerging network financed by German media giant Bertelsmann with a goal of training health professionals.

Alliant President Geoffrey Cox said the university needs to make structural changes to expand programs while keeping tuition low, but that becoming a traditional business—as some nonprofit colleges have done—means "you have to give up a lot of the academic values that sustain most of us. This was a way of not having to give that up, but still getting access to public capital markets."