Capella University Named One of America’s 500 Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies by Inc. Magazine for the 5th Year in a Row

October 6, 2003

Capella Education Company, the parent company of Capella University, today was named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies for the fifth year in a row. The company was ranked 179th in a field of 500.

“We’re thrilled that Capella has been chosen as one of America’s Fastest- Growing Private Companies for the fifth year in a row,” said Steve Shank, Chairman and CEO of Capella. “The fact that we’ve been experiencing the type of growth that we have in the midst of an economic downturn means that our goal of creating a user-friendly online learning environment for adult learners continues to evolve and thrive.”

Founded in 1993, with a vision of creating new educational opportunities for working adults, Capella University is an accredited online university that offers more than 80 degree programs and specializations. The university serves more than 7,000 enrolled learners located in all 50 states and in more than 40 countries. Capella’s state-of-the-art learning model is designed to build upon the experience and maturity of its learners — and to provide immediate value to their work. Capella leverages the power of the Internet to create vital and direct connections between learners and faculty to overcome institutional and logistical barriers.

“Since its inception Capella has been a pioneer in providing online education to learners. As an organization, we remain attentive to keeping our learners satisfied, and we continue to look at how we can offer a highly personalized approach to online learning so learners get as much value, training and feedback with their coursework as possible,” said Shank.

Capella has numerous agreements in place with national companies such as AT&T, U.S. Bank and the Coca Cola Company to offer tuition assistance to employees and their family members. Over the four-year period ending in 2002, Capella’s revenues increased by more than 922 percent, with 2002 revenue at $49.5 million.

To keep up with its growth, Capella is in the process of doubling its work force, increasing its marketing efforts, launching a national advertising campaign and expanding company headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.

Published by Inc. Magazine, the Inc. 500 is an annual report on the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Over the years, the Inc. 500 has identified the next generation of world-class companies including Microsoft, Stonyfield Farms, Timberland, Oracle, Princeton Review, Morningstar, E*Trade, Intuit and Domino’s Pizza who all appeared on the list before they became household names. The average five-year growth rate of this year’s Inc. 500 companies is 1,312 percent.

“The entrepreneurs you’ll find on the Inc. 500 have the type of attitude we need to get this economy moving again,” said Inc. editor-in-chief John Koten. “For them, a tough market is not an excuse for poor performance, but an opportunity to innovate and rise above the competition.”

To be eligible for this year’s Inc. 500 list, companies must be independent and privately held through fiscal year 2002, have had at least $200,000 in sales in the base year of 1998, and revenue in 2002 had to have exceeded 2001 revenue. Inc. verifies all information using tax forms and financial statements from certified public accountants and by conducting interviews with company officials.

About Capella University
Capella University is an online academic institution accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the same agency that accredits Big Ten Universities in the Midwest, Capella was founded in 1993, to serve working adults and employers. Capella University offers more than 80 degree programs and specializations in the School of Business, Education, Human Services, Psychology and Technology. The university serves more than 7,000 adult learners in 50 states and in 40 countries. Capella University is affiliated with the for-profit Capella Education Co., headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. For more information, visit Capella University at or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227-3552).