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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Table of Contents


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K


ý

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

OR

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                                     to                                    

Commission file number 001-38002

LOGO

Laureate Education, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

DELAWARE
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  52-1492296
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

650 S. Exeter Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
(410) 843-6100

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant's principal executive offices)

          Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class registered   Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, par value $0.004 per share   The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
(Nasdaq Global Select Market)

          Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

          Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý    No o

          Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes o    No ý

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý    No o

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ý    No o

          Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definition of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company" and 'emerging growth company' in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer o   Accelerated filer o   Non-accelerated filer ý
(Do not check if a
smaller reporting company)
  Smaller Reporting Company o

Emerging growth company o

          If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o    No ý

          As of June 30, 2017 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter), the aggregate market value of the Class A common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $547 million (based on the closing price of the registrant's Class A common stock on that date as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market).

          Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer's classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

Class   Outstanding at March 15, 2018
Class A common stock, par value $0.004 per share   55,111,486 shares
Class B common stock, par value $0.004 per share   132,384,106 shares

          DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

          The registrant incorporates by reference its definitive proxy statement with respect to its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days following the end of its fiscal year, into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

   


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INDEX

 
   
  PAGE
NUMBER
 

PART I

    5  

Item 1.

 

Business

    5  

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

    58  

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

    114  

Item 2.

 

Properties

    114  

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

    114  

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

    117  

PART II

    118  

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

    118  

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

    120  

Item 7.

 

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

    124  

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

    174  

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements

    175  

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

    291  

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

    291  

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

    293  

PART III

    294  

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

    294  

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

    296  

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

    296  

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

    296  

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

    296  

PART IV

    297  

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

    297  

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

    305  

Signature

    306  

        As used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this "Form 10-K"), unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires, references to "we," "us," "our," the "Company," "Laureate" and similar references refer collectively to Laureate Education, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Unless otherwise stated or the context requires, references to the Laureate International Universities network include Santa Fe University of Art and Design ("SFUAD"), which is owned by Wengen Alberta, Limited Partnership, an Alberta limited partnership ("Wengen"), our controlling stockholder. Laureate is affiliated with SFUAD, but does not own or control it and, accordingly, SFUAD is not included in the financial results of Laureate presented in this Form 10-K.

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Trademarks and Tradenames

        LAUREATE, LAUREATE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES and the leaf symbol are trademarks of Laureate Education, Inc. in the United States and other countries. This Form 10-K also includes other trademarks of Laureate and trademarks of other persons, which are properties of their respective owners.

Industry and Market Data

        We obtained the industry, market and competitive position data used throughout this Form 10-K from our own internal estimates and research as well as from industry publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third-party sources. This Form 10-K also contains the results from a study by Kantar Vermeer, a leading third-party market research organization. We commissioned the Kantar Vermeer study as part of our periodic evaluation of employment rates and starting salary information for our graduates.

        Industry publications, studies and surveys generally state that they have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, although they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. We have not independently verified industry, market and competitive position data from third-party sources. While we believe our internal business estimates and research are reliable and the market definitions are appropriate, neither such estimates, research nor these definitions have been verified by any independent source.

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Forward-Looking Statements

        This Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws, which involve risks and uncertainties. You can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "approximately," "intends," "plans," "estimates" or "anticipates" or similar expressions that concern our strategy, plans or intentions. All statements we make relating to estimated and projected earnings, costs, expenditures, cash flows, growth rates and financial results are forward-looking statements. In addition, we, through our senior management, from time to time make forward-looking public statements concerning our expected future operations and performance and other developments. All of these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may change at any time, and, therefore, our actual results may differ materially from those we expected. We derive most of our forward-looking statements from our operating budgets and forecasts, which are based upon many detailed assumptions. While we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, we caution that it is very difficult to predict the impact of known factors, and, of course, it is impossible for us to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, including, without limitation, in conjunction with the forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K, are disclosed under various sections throughout this Form 10-K, including, but not limited to, Item 1—Business, Item 1A—Risk Factors, and Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the factors discussed in this Form 10-K. Some of the factors that we believe could affect our results include:

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        We caution you that the foregoing list of important factors may not contain all of the material factors that are important to you. In addition, in light of these risks and uncertainties, the matters referred to in the forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K may not in fact occur. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

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PART I

ITEM 1.    BUSINESS

General

        We are the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions, with more than one million students enrolled at over 60 institutions in more than 20 countries, and on more than 200 campuses, which we collectively refer to as the Laureate International Universities network. The institutions in the Laureate International Universities network offer a broad range of undergraduate and graduate degrees through campus-based, online and hybrid programs. Approximately 94% of our students attend traditional, campus-based institutions offering multi-year degrees, similar to leading private and public higher education institutions in the United States and Europe. Nearly two thirds of our students are enrolled in programs of four or more years in duration. Our programs are designed with a distinct emphasis on applied, professional-oriented content for growing career fields and are focused on academic disciplines that we believe offer strong employment opportunities and high earnings potential for our students. In 1999, we made our first investment in higher education and, since that time, we have developed into the global leader in higher education, based on the number of students, institutions and countries making up our network. Our track record for delivering high-quality outcomes to our students, while stressing affordability and accessibility, has been a key reason for our long record of success, including 18 consecutive years of enrollment growth.

        We believe the global higher education market presents an attractive long-term opportunity, primarily because of the large and growing imbalance between the supply and demand for quality higher education in many parts of the world. We believe the combination of the projected growth in the middle class, limited government resources dedicated to higher education, and a clear value proposition demonstrated by the higher earnings potential afforded by higher education, creates substantial opportunities for high-quality private institutions to meet this growing and unmet demand. By offering high-quality, outcome-focused education, we believe that we enable students to prosper and thrive in the dynamic and evolving knowledge economy.

        Across the world, we operate institutions that address regional, national and local supply and demand imbalances in higher education. As the global leader in higher education, we believe we are uniquely positioned to deliver high-quality education across different brands and tuition levels in the markets in which we operate. In many developing markets, traditional higher education students (defined as 18-24 year olds) have historically been served by public universities, which have limited capacity and are often underfunded, resulting in an inability to meet growing student demands and employer requirements. Our institutions in these markets offer traditional higher education students a private education alternative, often with multiple brands and price points in each market, with innovative programs and strong career-driven outcomes. In many of these same markets, non-traditional students such as working adults and distance learners have limited options for pursuing higher education. Through targeted programs and multiple teaching modalities, we are able to serve the differentiated needs of this unique demographic. Our flexible approach across geographies allows Laureate to access a broader addressable market of students by efficiently tailoring institutions to meet the needs of a particular geography and student population.

        We continually and proactively adapt our curriculum to the needs of the market. In particular, we emphasize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and business disciplines, areas in which we believe that there is large and growing demand, especially in developing countries. Since 2009, we have more than doubled our enrollment of students pursuing degrees in Business & Management, Medicine & Health Sciences and Engineering & Information Technology, our three largest disciplines. We believe the work of our graduates in these disciplines creates a positive impact on the communities we serve and strengthens our institutions' reputations within their respective markets.

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        Our program and level of study mix for 2017 was as follows:

Program Mix   Level of Study Mix

 
GRAPHIC   GRAPHIC
Based on 12/31/2017 total enrollments.   Based on 12/31/2017 total enrollments.
    High school students are primarily in Mexico.

        The Laureate International Universities network enables us to educate our students locally while connecting them to a global community and offering them the advantages of our shared infrastructure, technology, curricula and operational best practices. For example, our students can take advantage of shared curricula, optional international programs and services, including English language instruction, dual-degree and study abroad programs and other benefits offered by other institutions in our network. We believe that the benefits of the network translate into better career opportunities and higher earnings potential for our graduates.

        We have six reporting segments, which are summarized in the map and the table below. We group our institutions by geography in Brazil, Mexico, Andean & Iberian, Central America & U.S. Campuses, and Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific ("EMEAA") for reporting purposes. Our Online & Partnerships segment includes our fully online universities.

        The following information for our operating segments is presented as of December 31, 2017, except where otherwise indicated. For further information related to our segment revenues, see

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"Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Results of Operations—Segment Results."

GRAPHIC


*
The map is presented as of December 31, 2017 and does not reflect completed or pending dispositions of institutions within the EMEAA and Central America & U.S. Campuses segments. See "—Recent Developments."
 
  Brazil   Mexico   Andean &
Iberian
  Central
America &
U.S.
Campuses*
  EMEAA*   Online &
Partnerships#
  Total  

Countries†

  1   1   4   4   13   2   24  

Institutions

  13   2   15   8   25   3   66  

Enrollments (rounded to nearest hundred)

  271,200   214,200   321,800   69,200   128,100   63,500   1,068,000  

Year ended December 31, 2017 Revenues ($ in millions)‡

  $765.7   $646.2   $1,313.9   $291.9   $697.2   $690.4   $4,378.0  

% Contribution to year ended December 31, 2017 Revenues‡

  17 % 15 % 30 % 6 % 16 % 16 % 100 %

*
The table is presented as of December 31, 2017 and does not reflect completed or pending dispositions of institutions within the EMEAA and Central America & U.S. Campuses segments. See "—Recent Developments."

#
In December 2017, we stopped accepting new enrollments at the University of Roehampton, an institution in our Online & Partnerships segment.

Our Central America & U.S. Campuses and Online & Partnerships segments both have institutions in the United States. The total reflects the elimination of this duplication.

The elimination of intersegment revenues and amounts related to Corporate, which total $27.3 million, is not separately presented.

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Our Industry

        We are the leader in the global market for higher education, which is characterized by a significant imbalance between supply and demand, especially in developing economies. In many countries, demand for higher education is large and growing. GSV Advisors ("GSV") estimates that higher education institutions accounted for total revenues of approximately $1.5 trillion globally in 2015, with the higher education market expected to grow by approximately 5% per annum through 2020. Global growth in higher education is being fueled by several demographic and economic factors, including a growing middle class, global growth in services and technology-related industries and recognition of the significant personal and economic benefits gained by graduates of higher education institutions. At the same time, many governments have limited resources to devote to higher education, resulting in a diminished ability by the public sector to meet growing demand, and creating opportunities for private education providers to enter these markets and deliver high-quality education. As a result, the private sector plays a large and growing role in higher education globally. While the Laureate International Universities network is the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions in the world, our total enrollment at December 31, 2017 of more than one million students represents only 0.5% of worldwide higher education students.

        Large, Growing and Underpenetrated Population of Qualified Higher Education Students.    According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ("UNESCO"), 214.1 million students worldwide were enrolled in higher education institutions in 2015, more than double the 99.7 million students enrolled in 2000, and approximately 90% of those students were enrolled at institutions outside of the United States as of 2015. In many countries, including throughout Latin America, Asia and other developing regions, there is growing demand for higher education based on favorable demographics, increasing secondary completion rates and increasing higher education participation rates, resulting in continued growth in higher education enrollments. While global participation rates have increased for traditional higher education students (defined as 18-24 year olds), the market for higher education is still significantly underpenetrated, particularly in developing countries. For example, participation rates in Brazil and Mexico in 2015 were approximately 36% and approximately 23%, respectively, as compared to approximately 63% in the United States for the same period.

        Strong Economic Incentives for Higher Education.    According to the Brookings Institution, approximately 3.2 billion people in the world composed the middle class in 2016, a number that is expected to be over five billion people by 2028. We believe that members of this large and growing group seek advanced education opportunities for themselves and their children in recognition of the vast differential in earnings potential with and without higher education. According to 2015 data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD"), in the United States and European Union countries that are members of the OECD, the earnings from employment for an adult completing higher education were approximately 74% and 53% higher, respectively, than those of an adult with only an upper secondary education. This income gap is even more pronounced in many developing countries around the world, including a differential of approximately 149% in Brazil, and approximately 102% in Mexico. We believe the cumulative impact of favorable demographic and socio-economic trends, coupled with the superior earnings potential of higher education graduates, will continue to expand the market for private higher education.

        Increasing Role of the Private Sector in Higher Education.    In many of our markets, the private sector plays a meaningful role in higher education, bridging supply and demand imbalances created by a lack of capacity at public universities. In addition to capacity limitations, we believe that limited public resources, and the corresponding policy reforms to make higher education systems less dependent on the financial and operational support of local governments, have resulted in increased enrollments in private institutions relative to public institutions. For example, Brazil relies heavily upon

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private institutions to deliver quality higher education to students, with 74% (in 2015) of higher education students in Brazil enrolled in private institutions.

        Increasing Demand for Online Offerings.    The acceptance of online learning in higher education is well-established, as evidenced by a survey conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group that reported that approximately 71% of academic leaders rated online learning outcomes as the same or superior to classroom learning in 2014. Furthermore, students taking at least one distance education course made up approximately 30% of all higher education enrollments in the United States as of the second half of 2015 according to the Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017. We believe that increasing student demand, new instruction methodologies designed for the online medium, and growing employer and regulatory acceptance of degrees obtained through online and hybrid modalities will continue to drive online learning growth globally. Moreover, increasing the percentage of courses taught online in a hybrid educational model has significant cost and capital efficiency benefits as a greater number of students can be accommodated in existing physical campus space.

        Growth in Outsourced Academic and Administrative Services.    To adapt to changing student preferences and greater demand for online and distance learning solutions, university leaders are refocusing their strategies around core academic functions, while seeking to outsource specialized technology functions and other administrative services. Private sector partners offering operational expertise and economies of scale are increasingly assisting universities through long-term relationships in areas such as online program management, technology support, facilities management, student services and procurement. According to a survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed in 2017, approximately 27% of college business officers in the United States believe that outsourcing more administrative services is a strategy they will implement in 2017-2018. We believe that these trends will increase opportunities for private sector partners to deploy their capabilities to traditional educational providers.

Our Strengths and Competitive Advantages

        We believe our key competitive strengths that will enable us to execute our strategy include the following:

        Largest Global Higher Education Network.    The size and breadth of our global network facilitates distinct advantages for our students and allows us to leverage our operating model more efficiently. It would take a competitor considerable time and expense to establish an integrated network of international universities of similar scale with the high-quality brands, intellectual property and accreditations that we possess. Our network facilitates competitive advantages related to:

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        Long-Standing and Respected University Brands.    We believe we have established a reputation for providing high-quality higher education around the world, and many of our institutions are among the most respected higher education brands in their local markets. Many of our institutions have over 50-year histories and are ranked among the best in their respective countries. For example, Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in Brazil is ranked by Guia do Estudante as one of São Paulo's top universities, UVM Mexico, the largest private university in Mexico, was ranked seventh among all public and private higher education institutions in that country by Guía Universitaria, an annual publication of Reader's Digest, and Universidad Europea de Madrid is the second largest private university in Spain and received four stars in the prestigious 2015 QS StarsTM.

        Many of our institutions and programs have earned the highest accreditation available, which provides us with a strong competitive advantage in local markets. For example, medical school licenses are often the most difficult to obtain and are only granted to institutions that meet rigorous standards. We serve more than 250,000 students in the fields of medicine and health sciences across more than 100 campuses throughout the Laureate International Universities network, including 22 medical schools and 20 dental schools. We believe the existence of medical schools at many of our institutions further validates the quality of our institutions and programs and increases brand awareness.

        Commitment to Academic Quality.    We offer high-quality undergraduate, graduate and specialized programs in a wide range of disciplines that generate strong interest from students and provide attractive employment prospects. Our commitment to quality is demonstrated by, for example, the fact that our Brazilian institutions' IGC scores (an indicator used by the Brazilian Ministry of Education ("MEC") to evaluate the quality of higher education institutions) have increased by more than 26% on average from 2010 to 2016, placing three of our institutions in the top quarter, and 98% of our students in Brazil enrolled in institutions ranked in the top third, of all private higher education institutions in the country. We focus on programs that prepare our students to become employed in high demand professions. Our curriculum development process includes employer surveys and ongoing research into business trends to determine the skills and knowledge base that will be required by those employers in the future. This information results in timely curriculum upgrades, which helps ensure that our graduates acquire the skills that will make them marketable to employers. We are also committed to continually evaluating our institutions to ensure we are providing the highest quality education to our students. Our proprietary management tool, the Laureate Education Assessment Framework ("LEAF"), is used to evaluate institutional performance based on 44 unique criteria across five different categories: Employability, Learning Experience, Personal Experience, Access & Outreach and Academic Excellence. LEAF, in conjunction with additional external assessment methodologies, such as QS StarsTM, allows us to identify key areas for improvement in order to drive a culture of quality and continual innovation at our institutions.

        Strong Student Outcomes.    We track and measure our student outcomes to ensure we are delivering on our commitments to students and their families. In 2017, we commissioned a study by Kantar Vermeer, a leading third-party market research organization, of graduates at Laureate institutions representing over 65% of total Laureate enrollments. Graduates at 12 of our 14 surveyed international institutions achieved, on average, equal or higher employment rates within 12 months of graduation as compared to graduates of other institutions in the same markets. In addition, in 12 of the 14

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institutions surveyed, graduates achieved equal or higher starting salaries as compared to graduates of other institutions in those same markets (salary premium to market benchmarks ranged from approximately 15% to approximately 58%). Furthermore, a joint study by Laureate and the IFC/World Bank Group in 2014 showed that graduates of Laureate institutions in Mexico experienced higher rates of social mobility, finding jobs, and moving up in socioeconomic status than their peers in non-Laureate institutions. In 2016, we conducted a similar study with the IFC in Peru for two of our network institutions, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas and Cibertec, which showed that graduates from the larger programs of both institutions had higher salaries than their control group counterparts. Additionally, graduates from UPC were found to experience a larger positive change in their socioeconomic status than their peers who completed studies at non-Laureate institutions.

Our Strategy

        In 2017, we initiated a review of our portfolio of institutions, with the joint goals of simplifying operations, reducing complexity, and mitigating risks (such as political, regulatory, economic and currency), while maximizing our exposure to what we consider are the most attractive and scalable markets for our network. During the year, we announced the divestitures of certain operations, and have deployed proceeds received to date from these divestitures to reduce our debt obligations and better manage our currency exposure. We believe the actions taken in 2017 have positioned the Company to execute on its strategy going forward.

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        We employ a focused approach to operational excellence. We plan to invest future resources in markets and assets that we believe can achieve scale that is meaningful for our company, and which align to our mission and enhance our network. Further, we intend to continue to leverage the scale of our network to generate additional operating efficiencies and continue to grow in a capital efficient manner while ensuring that academic quality and student experience remain a core priority.

        The execution of our strategy will be enabled by the following initiatives:

        Leverage and Expand Existing Portfolio.    We will continue to focus on opportunities to expand our programs and the type of students that we serve, as well as our capacity in our markets to meet local demand, leveraging our existing platform to execute on attractive organic growth opportunities. In particular, we intend to add new programs and course offerings, expand target student demographics and increase capacity at existing campuses, open new campuses and enter new cities in existing markets. We believe these initiatives will drive growth and provide an attractive return on capital.

        Expand Online and Hybrid Education Programs Globally.    We intend to increase the number of our students that receive their education through fully online or hybrid programs to meet the growing demands of students. Our online initiative is designed to not only provide students with access to innovative programs and modern digital experiences, but also to diversify our offerings, increase our enrollments and expand our digital solutions in a capital efficient manner, leveraging current infrastructure and improving classroom utilization.

        We continue to accelerate the advancement of online education programs and technology-enabled solutions that deliver high-quality differentiated student experiences for our institutions at scale, including leveraging our network-wide launch of OneCampus® by Laureate, our global online campus. OneCampus® brings global connections, opportunities, courses, and workplace experiences to our students, who become "members" in the broader Laureate network of institutions and gain access to unique global opportunities online. Furthermore, it creates a channel for Laureate to manage online

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initiatives globally and continually expand our portfolio of online global offerings—reaching students, faculty, and alumni in the Laureate network and offering them a distinct market advantage.

        For 2017, the percentage of student credit hours taken online in our campus-based institutions was 20%, an increase from 11% in 2015, and our goal is to increase that percentage of student credit hours to 25% by the end of 2019. With a common learning management system ("LMS") implemented throughout our network currently covering 95% of our students, we believe we have the scale to execute on this market opportunity, allowing us to differentiate ourselves further from our competitors. Our strategy for the online opportunity includes the following components:

        Increase Operating Efficiencies.    Our scale allows us to generate operational leverage in many aspects of our business model.

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        Expand Partnership and Services Portfolio.    We intend to leverage our suite of intellectual property, proprietary technology, common operating model, curriculum, and best practices to capitalize on additional opportunities in the form of partnership and service models that are designed to address the growing needs of traditional institutions and governments around the world. We have partnered with traditional public and private education institutions and believe there will be opportunities to expand and innovate those platforms with other independent institutions in the future. Additionally, we are continually adding to our suite of solutions, and we believe many of these products and services will provide additional contractual and licensing opportunities for us in the future.

Our History

        We were founded in 1989 as Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., a provider of a broad array of supplemental and remedial educational services. In 1999, we made our first investment in global higher education with our acquisition of Universidad Europea de Madrid, and in 2001 we entered the market for online delivery of higher education services in the United States with our acquisition of Walden University. In 2003, we sold the principal operations that made up our then K-12 educational services business and certain venture investments deemed not strategic to our higher education business, and in 2004 we changed our name to Laureate Education, Inc. In August 2007, we were acquired in a leveraged buyout by a consortium of investment funds and other investors. We consummated our initial public offering ("IPO") on February 6, 2017 and began trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol "LAUR".

Public Benefit Corporation Status

        In October 2015, we redomiciled in Delaware as a public benefit corporation as a demonstration of our long-term commitment to our mission to benefit our students and society. Public benefit corporations are a relatively new class of corporations that are intended to produce a public benefit and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. Under Delaware law, public benefit corporations are required to identify in their certificate of incorporation the public benefit or benefits they will promote and their directors have a duty to manage the affairs of the corporation in a manner that balances the pecuniary interests of the stockholders, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation's conduct, and the specific public benefit or public benefits identified in the public benefit corporation's certificate of incorporation. Public benefit corporations organized in Delaware are also required to assess their benefit performance internally and to disclose publicly at least biennially a report detailing their success in meeting their benefit objectives.

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        Our public benefit, as provided in our certificate of incorporation, is: to produce a positive effect (or a reduction of negative effects) for society and persons by offering diverse education programs delivered online and on premises operated in the communities that we serve. By doing so, we believe that we provide greater access to cost-effective, high-quality higher education that enables more students to achieve their academic and career aspirations. Most of our operations are outside the United States, where there is a large and growing imbalance between the supply and demand for quality higher education. Our stated public benefit is firmly rooted in our company mission and our belief that when our students succeed, countries prosper and societies benefit. Becoming a public benefit corporation underscores our commitment to our purpose and our stakeholders, including students, regulators, employers, local communities and stockholders.

Certified B Corporation

        While not required by Delaware law or the terms of our certificate of incorporation, we have elected to have our social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency assessed against the proprietary criteria established by an independent non-profit organization. As a result of this assessment, we have been designated as a "Certified B CorporationTM" under the standards set by an independent organization, which refers to companies that are certified as meeting certain levels of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

        The following description of the certification processes and standards was provided to us by the independent organization that designated us as a Certified B Corporation. The first step in becoming a Certified B Corporation is taking and passing a comprehensive and objective assessment of a business's positive impact on society and the environment. The assessment varies depending on the company's size (number of employees), sector and location. The standards in the assessment are created and revised by an independent governing body that determines eligibility to be a Certified B Corporation.

        By completing a set of over 200 questions, which are customized for the company being assessed, that reflect impact indicators, best practices and outcomes, a company receives a composite score on a 200-point scale representative of its overall impact on its employees, customers, communities and the environment. Representative indicators in the assessment range from payment above a living wage, employee benefits, charitable giving/community service, use of renewable energy and, in the case of educational institutions like Laureate, student outcomes such as retention, graduation and employment rates.

        Certification as a Certified B Corporation requires that a company achieve a reviewed assessment score of at least an 80. The review process includes a phone review, a random selection of indicators for verifying documentation and a random selection of company locations for onsite reviews, including employee interviews and facility tours. In the case of Laureate's assessment, each subsidiary, as well as the corporate office in Baltimore, was required to complete an individual assessment for review that would be aggregated based on size to calculate an overall score. The assessment also includes a disclosure questionnaire, including any sensitive practices, fines and sanctions related to the company or its partners.

        For Laureate, certification also required us to adopt the public benefit corporation structure, a step we have already completed. Once certified, every Certified B Corporation must make its assessment score transparent on the independent non-profit organization's website. Acceptance as a Certified B Corporation and continued certification is at the sole discretion of the independent organization.

        On January 22, 2018, Laureate was recertified as a Certified B Corporation by the independent third party.

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Our Operating Segments and Institutions

        Effective August 1, 2017, Laureate offers its educational services through six operating segments:

        We determine our operating segments based on information utilized by our chief operating decision maker to allocate resources and assess performance. See Note 7, Business and Geographic Segment Information, in our consolidated financial statements for financial information regarding our operating segments and financial information about geographic areas; see also "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Results of Operations—Segment Results and—Overview—Factors Affecting Comparability—Seasonality."

        The following table presents information about the institutions as of December 31, 2017, except where otherwise indicated:

Operating Segment
(Enrollment)
  Country   Higher Education Institution   Year
Joined
Laureate
Network
  Year
Founded
 

Brazil
(271,200)

  Brazil  

Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM Brazil)

    2005     1970  

     

Universidade Potiguar (UnP)

    2007     1981  

     

Centro Universitário dos Guararapes (CUG)

    2007     2002  

     

Faculdade Internacional da Paraíba (FPB)

    2007     2005  

     

Business School São Paulo (BSP)

    2008     1994  

     

Centro Universitário do Norte (UniNorte)

    2008     1994  

     

FADERGS Centro Universitário (FADERGS)

    2008     2004  

     

Instituton Brasileiro de Medicina de Reabilitação (Uni IBMR)

    2009     1974  

     

Universidade Salvador (UNIFACS)

    2010     1972  

     

Centro Universitário Ritter dos Reis (UniRitter)

    2010     1971  

     

Faculdade dos Guararapes de Recife (FGR)

    2012     1990  

     

FMU Education Group (FMU)

    2014     1968  

     

Faculdade Porto-Alegrense (FAPA)

    2014     2008  

Mexico
(214,200)

  Mexico  

Universidad del Valle de México (UVM Mexico)

    2000     1960  

     

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC Mexico)

    2008     1966  

Andean & Iberian
(321,800)

  Chile  

Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA Chile)

    *2000     1988  

     

Instituto Profesional AIEP (AIEP)

    2003     1960  

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Operating Segment
(Enrollment)
  Country   Higher Education Institution   Year
Joined
Laureate
Network
  Year
Founded
 

     

Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB)

    *2003     1989  

     

Instituto Profesional Escuela Moderna de Música (EMM)

    2008     1940  

     

Universidad Viña del Mar (UVM Chile)

    *2009     1988  

  Peru  

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC)

    2004     1994  

     

CIBERTEC

    2004     1983  

     

Universidad Privada del Norte (UPN)

    2007     1994  

     

Instituto Tecnológico del Norte (ITN)

    2007     1984  

  Portugal  

Universidade Europeia (UE)

    2011     1962  

     

Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing de Porto (IPAM Porto)

    2015     1984  

     

Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing de Lisboa (IPAM Lisboa)

    2015     1987  

  Spain  

Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM)

    1999     1995  

     

Universidad Europea de Canarias (UEC)

    2010     2010  

     

Universidad Europea de Valencia (UEV)

    2012     2012  

Central America & U.S. Campuses (69,200)

  Costa Rica  

Universidad Latina de Costa Rica (ULatina)

    2003     1989  

     

Universidad Americana (UAM Costa Rica)

    2008     1998  

  Honduras  

Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC Honduras)

    *2005     1987  

  Panama  

Universidad Interamericana de Panamá (UIP)

    2003     1994  

  United States  

NewSchool of Architecture and Design (New School)

    2008     1980  

     

Kendall College

    **2008     1934  

     

Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD)

    †2009     1859  

     

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (St. Augustine)

    2013     1979  

EMEAA

  Australia  

THINK Education Group (THINK)

    2013     2006  

(128,100)

     

Torrens University Australia (TUA)

    2014     2014  

  China  

Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School—Suzhou (Blue Mountains Suzhou)

    ‡2008     2004  

     

Hunan International Economics University (HIEU)

    +2009     1997  

  Cyprus  

European University Cyprus (EUC)

    **2005     1961  

  Germany  

University of Applied Sciences Europe (UAS)

    2007     2000  

     

HTK Academy of Design (HTK)

    2011     1987  

  India  

Pearl Academy (Pearl)

    *2011     1993  

     

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES)

    *2013     2003  

  Italy  

Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA)

    **2009     1980  

  Malaysia  

INTI Education Group (INTI Malaysia)

    **2008     1986  

  Morocco  

Université Internationale de Casablanca (UIC)

    **2010     2010  

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Operating Segment
(Enrollment)
  Country   Higher Education Institution   Year
Joined
Laureate
Network
  Year
Founded
 

  New Zealand  

Media Design School (MDS)

    2011     1998  

  Saudi Arabia  

Riyadh Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

    ‡2010     2010  

     

International Tourism and Hospitality College at Riyadh (ITHCR)

    #2013     2013  

     

International Technical College at Jeddah (ITCJ)

    #2013     2013  

     

International Technical Female College at Makkah (ITCM)

    #2013     2013  

     

International Technical Female College at Al-Kharj (ITCAK)

    #2013     2013  

     

International Tourism and Hospitality College at Al-Madinah (ITHCAM)

    #2014     2014  

     

International Technical Female College at Al-Nammas (ITCAN)

    #2015     2015  

     

International Technical Female College at Buraydah (ITCB)

    #2015     2015  

     

International Technical Female College at Wadi Al-Dawaser (ITCWAD)

    #2014     2014  

  South Africa  

Monash South Africa (MSA)

    2013     2001  

  Thailand  

Stamford International University (SIU)

    *2011     1995  

  Turkey  

Istanbul Bilgi University

    *2006     1996  

Online &
Partnerships

  United Kingdom  

Laureate Online Education B.V. (University of Liverpool)

    2004     1881  

(63,500)

     

Laureate Online Education B.V. (University of Roehampton)

    GRAPHIC 2012     2004  

  United States  

Walden University

    2001     1970  

*
Not-for-profit institution consolidated by Laureate as a variable interest entity.

**
Indicates that the institution was part of a completed or pending disposition as of December 31, 2017. See "—Recent Developments."

SFUAD is separately owned by Wengen. Laureate provides support services to SFUAD pursuant to contractual arrangements. See Note 18, Related Party Transactions, in our consolidated financial statements for more information. On April 12, 2017, SFUAD announced that it plans to close after the end of the 2017-2018 academic year and will work with its students on a phased teach-out and transfer process leading up to the graduation of students who are eligible to complete their degrees by May 2018 and appropriate transfer opportunities for other students.

Managed by Laureate as part of a joint venture arrangement.

#
Managed by Laureate under contract with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

+
Not-for-profit institution consolidated by Laureate as a variable interest entity. This institution was pending disposition as of December 31, 2017. See "—Recent Developments."

GRAPHIC      In December 2017, we stopped accepting new enrollments at this institution.

Competition

        We face competition in each of our operating segments. We believe competition focuses on price, educational quality, reputation, location and facilities.

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Brazil, Mexico, Andean & Iberian, Central America and EMEAA

        The market for higher education outside the United States is highly fragmented and marked by large numbers of local competitors. The target demographics are primarily 18- to 24-year-olds in the individual countries in which we compete. We generally compete with both public and private higher education institutions on the basis of price, educational quality, reputation and location. Public institutions tend to be less expensive, if not free, but more selective and less focused on practical programs aligned around career opportunities. We believe we compare favorably with competitors because of our focus on quality, professional-oriented curriculum and the competitive advantages provided by our global network. At present, we believe no other company has a similar network of international institutions. There are a number of other private and public institutions in each of the countries in which we operate. Because the concept of private higher education institutions is fairly new in many countries, it is difficult to predict how the markets will evolve and how many competitors there will be in the future. We expect competition to increase as the markets mature.

United States

        The postsecondary education market is highly competitive, with no private or public institution holding a significant market share. We compete primarily with public and private degree-granting regionally accredited colleges and universities. Our competitors include both traditional and proprietary colleges and universities offering online programs. Traditional colleges and universities increasingly offer a variety of distance education alternatives to professional adults. Competition from traditional colleges and universities is expected to increase as they expand their online offerings.

        We believe that the competitive factors in the postsecondary education market primarily include the following:

Online & Partnerships

        The market for fully online higher education is highly fragmented and competitive, with no single institution having any significant market share. The target demographics for our Global Online institutions are adult working professionals who are over 25 years old. Our Global Online institutions compete with traditional public and private nonprofit institutions and for-profit schools. Typically, public institutions charge lower tuitions than our Global Online institutions because they receive state subsidies, government and foundation grants, and tax-deductible contributions and have access to other financial sources not available to our Global Online institutions. However, tuition at private nonprofit institutions is typically higher than the average tuition rates charged by our Global Online institutions. Our Global Online institutions compete with other educational institutions principally based upon price, educational quality, reputation, location, educational programs and student services.

        See "Item 1A—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—The higher education market is very competitive, and we may not be able to compete effectively."

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Recent Developments

Sale of Cyprus and Italy Institutions

        On November 22, 2017, LEI European Investments B.V., a Netherlands private limited company (the "Seller"), and Laureate International B.V., a Netherlands private limited company (the "Guarantor"), both of which are indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Laureate Education, Inc. (the "Company"), entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") with Galileo Global Education Midco S.à R.L., a Luxembourg limited liability company (the "Purchaser"). Pursuant to the Agreement, the Purchaser purchased from the Seller all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of European University—Cyprus Ltd ("EUC") and Laureate Italy S.r.L. ("Laureate Italy"). EUC is the corporate entity that operates European University Cyprus, a leading fully comprehensive university in Cyprus, and Laureate Italy is the parent company of Nuova Accademia, S.r.L., which operates Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA) and Domus Academy, which collectively make up one of the largest private fine arts academies in Milan, Italy. The transaction closed on January 11, 2018, and the Seller received closing proceeds of approximately $275 million. For the year ended December 31, 2017, EUC and Laureate Italy collectively had $87.8 million in revenue, $18.2 million in operating income and $2.6 million in depreciation and amortization and as of December 31, 2017 collectively had approximately 9,500 students.

Sale of Malaysia Institution

        On December 11, 2017, Exeter Street Holdings Sdn. Bhd., a Malaysia corporation (the "Seller"), and Laureate Education Asia Limited, a Hong Kong corporation (the "Guarantor"), both of which are indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Laureate Education, Inc. (the "Company"), entered into a Share Sale & Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") with Comprehensive Education Pte. Ltd., a Singapore corporation (the "Purchaser") that is an affiliate of Affinity Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in Hong Kong. Pursuant to the Agreement, the Purchaser will purchase from the Seller all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of Inti Education Holdings Sdn. Bhd., a Malaysia corporation ("Inti Holdings"), and the Guarantor will guarantee certain obligations of the Seller. Inti Holdings is the indirect owner of INTI University and Colleges, a higher education institution with five campuses in Malaysia ("INTI"). In connection with the Agreement, the Seller entered into a separate agreement with the current minority owner of the equity of Inti Holdings relating to the purchase by the Seller of the minority owner's 10.10% interest in Inti Holdings, the closing of which is a precondition to the closing of the transactions under the Agreement.

        The total purchase price, including the payment to the current minority owner, will be $180.0 million. The net transaction value to the Company under the Agreement will be $161.8 million, subject to customary closing adjustments, and the parties expect that the transaction will close by the end of the second quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. For the year ended December 31, 2017, INTI had $69.9 million in revenue, $9.2 million in operating income and $4.8 million in depreciation and amortization and as of December 31, 2017 had approximately 16,700 students.

Sale of China Institution

        On December 27, 2017, LEI China Limited, a Hong Kong private limited company (the "Seller"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Laureate Education, Inc. (the "Company"), entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") with China YuHua Education Investment Limited, a British Virgin Islands corporation (the "Purchaser"), a wholly owned subsidiary of China YuHua Education Corporation Limited. Pursuant to the Agreement, the Purchaser purchased from the Seller all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of LEI Lie Ying Limited, a Hong Kong private limited company ("LEILY"). LEILY is the legal and beneficial owner of a 70% equity interest in Hunan Lie

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Ying Industry Co., Ltd., a Sino-foreign equity joint venture organized under the laws of the People's Republic of China, which in turn owns 100% of the sponsorship or equity interests in the following entities: Hunan International Economics University; Hunan Lie Ying Mechanic School; Hunan Lie Ying Property Management Co., Ltd.; and Hunan International Economics University Vocational Skills Training Center (collectively, the "Entities").

        The transaction value under the Agreement is the Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) equivalent of RMB 1,430 million, which comprises cash payment of HK$ equivalent of RMB 1,215.2 million, subject to customary adjustments post-closing, and payment of RMB 214.8 million by an affiliate of the Purchaser to Laureate Investment Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Seller ("Laureate Shanghai"), for assignment of Laureate Shanghai's creditor's right over a debt owed by Hunan International Economics University. The transaction closed in January 2018 and Seller received a portion of the transaction value, totaling approximately $130 million, net of fees and taxes, at closing. In addition, the Purchaser shall pay to the Seller, six months after the closing date, the HK$ equivalent of RMB 120 million, and, 12 months after the closing date, the HK$ equivalent of RMB 60 million, subject to deduction of any indemnifiable losses payable by the Seller to the Purchaser pursuant to the Agreement. The remaining portion of the transaction value was paid into an escrow account and will be distributed to Seller pursuant to the terms and conditions of the escrow agreement.

        For the year ended December 31, 2017, the Entities, in which the Company had a 70% equity interest, collectively had $64.5 million in revenue, $21.2 million in operating income and $6.1 million in depreciation and amortization and as of December 31, 2017 collectively had approximately 29,100 students.

Sale of Morocco Institution

        On November 29, 2017, Laureate Middle East Holdings B.V. ("LMEH"), a Netherlands company and indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Laureate Education, Inc. ("Laureate"), and La Société Maroc Emirats Arabes Unis de Développement ("SOMED"), a Morocco company (LMEH and SOMED, together, the "Sellers"), Laureate I B.V. (the "Guarantor"), a Netherlands company and indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Laureate, and UPM Pédagogique, a Morocco company (the "Purchaser"), entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") pursuant to which the Purchaser will purchase from the Sellers all of the issued and outstanding capital shares of Laureate Somed Holding, a Morocco company ("Laureate Somed"), for a total transaction value of 500 million Moroccan Dirhams (approximately US$53.0 million at the December 31, 2017 exchange rate), subject to customary adjustments at closing, and the Guarantor will guarantee certain obligations of LMEH under the Agreement. Laureate Somed is the operator of Université Internationale de Casablanca, a comprehensive campus-based university in Casablanca, Morocco. LMEH owns approximately 60% of the capital shares of Laureate Somed, while SOMED owns the remaining approximately 40% of the capital shares of Laureate Somed.

        The parties expect that the transaction will close by the end of the first quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. For the year ended December 31, 2017, Laureate Somed had $11.5 million in revenue, an operating loss of $0.8 million and $1.1 million in depreciation and amortization and as of December 31, 2017 had approximately 2,200 students.

Sale of U.S. Institution

        On January 15, 2018, Kendall College, LLC, an Illinois limited liability company (the "Seller"), The Dining Room at Kendall NFP, an Illinois not for profit corporation, National Louis University, an Illinois not for profit corporation (the "Buyer"), and Laureate Education, Inc., a Delaware public benefit corporation (the "Company"), solely as guarantor of certain of Seller's obligations thereunder, entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement"). Seller is an indirect wholly owned

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subsidiary of the Company. Pursuant to the Agreement, at the closing of the transaction Seller will transfer to Buyer certain assets, including all of Seller's educational programs, subject to certain conditions, in exchange for consideration of one dollar. As part of the Agreement, at the closing Seller will pay to Buyer up to $14 million to support Buyer's construction of facilities for the acquired culinary arts, baking and pastry, and hospitality programs on Buyer's campus, subject to possible partial recoupment under specified conditions during the 10-year period post-closing. In addition, Seller has paid Buyer $0.5 million to reimburse Buyer for its expenses in connection with the transactions contemplated by the Agreement.

        The closing of the transaction is subject to prior receipt of regulatory consents, including those of the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission, which consents do not contain certain conditions that would not be acceptable to the Buyer or to the Seller, and the Company anticipates that the closing will occur during the second half of 2018. For the year ended December 31, 2017, the Seller had $23.3 million in revenue, an operating loss of $23.0 million and $1.7 million in depreciation and amortization and as of December 31, 2017 had approximately 1,100 students.

Intellectual Property

        We currently own, or have filed applications for, trademark registrations for the word "Laureate," for "Laureate International Universities" and for the Laureate leaf logo in the trademark offices of all jurisdictions around the world where we operate institutions of higher learning. We have also registered or filed applications in the applicable jurisdictions where we operate for the marks "Laureate Online International" and "Laureate Online Education." In addition, we have the rights to trade names, logos, and other intellectual property specific to most of our higher education institutions, in the countries in which those institutions operate.

Employees

        As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 65,000 employees, of which approximately 9,000 were full-time academic teaching staff and 21,000 were part-time academic teaching staff. In addition, we have approximately 700 part-time academic teaching staff who are classified as contractors, principally in Chile and Brazil. Our employees at many of our institutions outside the United States are represented by labor unions under collective bargaining agreements, as is customary or required under local law in those jurisdictions. At various points throughout the year, we negotiate to renew collective bargaining agreements that have expired or that will expire in the near term. We consider ourselves to be in good standing with all of the labor unions of which our employees are members and believe we have good relations with all of our employees.

Effect of Environmental Laws

        We believe we are in compliance with all applicable environmental laws, in all material respects. We do not expect future compliance with environmental laws to have a material adverse effect on our business.

Available Information

        Our principal executive offices are located at 650 S. Exeter Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, telephone (410) 843-6100. Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports are available free of charge to shareholders and other interested parties through the "Investor Relations" portion of our website at http://investors.laureate.net as soon as reasonably practical after they are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The SEC maintains a website, www.sec.gov, which contains reports and other information filed electronically with the SEC by us. Various corporate governance

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documents, including our Audit Committee Charter, Compensation Committee Charter, Nominations and Corporate Governance Committee Charter, and Code of Conduct and Ethics are available without charge through the "Investor Relations," "Corporate Governance" portion of our investor relations website, listed above.

Industry Regulation

Brazilian Regulation

        The Brazilian educational system is organized according to a system of cooperation among federal, state and local governments. Higher education (i.e., undergraduate and graduate level education provided by public and private higher education institutions ("HEI")) is regulated primarily at the federal level, particularly in terms of public policy goals, accreditation and academic oversight; however, the state and municipal governments are also involved, principally in relation to taxation, real estate and operational permitting issues.

        With respect to the federal role, The National Educational Basis and Guidelines Law ("LDB"), provides the general framework for the provision of educational services in Brazil and establishes the duty of the federal government to:

        The responsibility of the Federal Government in regulating, monitoring and evaluating higher education institutions and undergraduate programs is exercised by MEC, along with a number of other federal agencies and offices that are related to MEC.

MEC

        MEC is the highest authority of the higher education system in Brazil and has the power to:

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CNE—National Board of Education

        CNE is a consultative advisory and deliberative body of MEC. It consists of the Board of Basic Education and the Board of Higher Education, each composed of 12 members appointed by the President of Brazil. The Board of Higher Education has the power to:

INEP—National Institute of Educational Studies Anísio Teixeira

        INEP is a federal agency linked to MEC that is the primary statistical and information-gathering body for the entire Brazilian education system. The performance data it collects and publishes is used by MEC, the legislature and the rest of the executive branch, as well as the public, to debate and make policy and programmatic decisions about education. INEP has the power to:

CONAES—National Commission on Higher Education Evaluation

        CONAES is a committee under MEC supervision composed of 13 members. CONAES has the power to:

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SERES—Higher Education Regulation and Supervision Secretariat

        In 2011, SERES, which operates as an arm of MEC, became the specific agency directly responsible for regulation and supervision of public and private HEIs, as well as undergraduate courses and lato sensu post-graduate programs, both in-person and distance learning modalities. Its mission is to elevate the quality level of all higher education through the establishment of guidelines for the expansion of HEIs and their courses, in accordance with national curriculum guidelines and proprietary quality parameters, and include:

        According to the LDB, higher education can be offered by public or private higher education institutions. A private institution of higher education shall be controlled, managed and maintained by an individual person(s) or legal entity, in either case referred to as the "mantenedora." The mantenedora is responsible for obtaining resources to meet the needs of the duly authorized HEI, which in regulatory terms is referred to as the "mantida." A mantenedora may be authorized to operate more than one mantida. In any case, the mantenedora is legally and financially responsible for all of its mantidas. Each of our HEIs in Brazil is maintained by a Laureate-controlled mantenedora.

        Private institutions of higher education may be:

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        According to organizational and academic prerogatives, institutions of undergraduate learning can be:

        Among the HEI in the Laureate International Universities network, there are three faculdades (Faculdade Internacional da Paraíba, located in João Pessoa, PB; Faculdades Porto-Alegrense, located in Porto Alegre, RS; and Faculdade dos Guararapes de Recife, located in Recife, PE), six university centers (FADERGS Centro Universitário, located in Porto Alegre, RS; Centro Universitário dos Guararapes, located in Jaboatão dos Guararapes, PE; FMU Education Group, located in São Paulo, SP; Centro Universitário Ritter dos Reis, located in Porto Alegre, RS; Centro Universitário do Norte, located in Manaus, AM; and Instituto Brasileiro de Medicina de Reabilitação—IBMR, located in Rio de Janeiro, RJ), as well as three universities (Universidade Potiguar, located in Natal, RN; UNIFACS—Universidade Salvador, located in Salvador, BA; and Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, located in São Paulo, SP). In addition, Business School São Paulo, which is a professional degree-granting institution, is owned and operated by Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, and CEDEPE Business School, which is a professional degree-granting institution, is operated as a division of Faculdade dos Guararapes de Recife. As noted below, each form of HEI is entitled to a different level of autonomy within the regulatory framework. In turn, we factor the respective levels of autonomy into the operational strategy for each HEI, as the requirement of prior or post-facto MEC approval can delay or nullify specific new campus expansion projects, new course offerings, and increases in the number of authorized seats per course.

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        Legislation provides for specific levels of didactic, scientific and administrative autonomy to universities, university centers and colleges in differing degrees with the aim of limiting outside influence by other institutions or persons outside of the HEI's internal governance structure.

        LDB provides that the following powers are guaranteed to universities and university centers in the exercise of their autonomy:

        LDB provides that the following powers are guaranteed to colleges in the exercise of their autonomy:

        Although colleges have administrative autonomy, they do not enjoy academic autonomy and, therefore, are subject to MEC's prior authorization to create new programs and degree programs.

        Accreditation.    The first accreditation of an institution of higher education is necessarily as a college. The accreditation as a university or university center is only granted after the institution has operated as a college for at least six years and has demonstrated that it has met satisfactory quality standards, including positive evaluation by the SINAES, as well as met legal requirements applicable to each type of institution of undergraduate learning, including minimum degree attainment and terms of faculty employment.

        LDB establishes that higher education shall include the following programs:

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        Following accreditation, colleges must obtain MEC permission to offer new undergraduate degree programs. As a consequence of their autonomy, universities and university centers do not require MEC authorization to create programs in the city where the university's or university center's seat is located. They need only inform MEC about the programs they offer for registration, evaluation and subsequent recognition. However, the creation of graduate programs in law, medicine, dentistry, nursing and psychology, whether by colleges, universities or university centers, are subject to the opinion of the proper professional associations. These associations are also consulted in the reaccreditation process.

        In the last quarter of 2017, significant changes in the regulatory framework that regulates institutional and programmatic accreditation were introduced, establishing a new relationship between HEIs and the MEC.

        Decree n. 9.235, published in December 2017, condensed various directives that were contained in several normative instruments, aiming setting procedural standards and decision models for accreditation. The new regulation eliminated the need for a previous mandatory decision of the MEC, which effectively granted wider autonomy to HEIs. Such autonomy, however, is tied to a performance score beyond the merely satisfactory grade in the official evaluation integrated with the accreditation process.

        The expansion of autonomy primarily benefits university-like structures (i.e, universidades and centros universitarios). Universidades are now allowed to have the same autonomy prerogatives at their satellite campuses that they already enjoy at their headquarters, such as program creation, seat openings, etc. They must, however, sustain above average performance scores, and the same minimum proportion of faculty (one-third) working full time and/or with a Masters/PhD at each campus receiving autonomy.

        Centros universitarios, once geographically limited to the headquarters municipality, are now allowed to expand statewide, although there will be no autonomy prerogatives for such units; their new programs and seat expansion initiatives will have to be authorized by the MEC.

        Once an institution has obtained the authorization to offer a particular program, it also has to seek accreditation for such course as a condition for national validation of the diploma. The accreditation application has to be filed during the period between 50% and 75% of the program's completion. Institutional and programmatic accreditation has to be renewed periodically in accordance with the regularly applicable MEC evaluation process.

        Evaluation.    SINAES was established to evaluate HEI as institutions of higher education, traditional degree and technology degree programs and student academic performance. The main objective of this evaluation system is to improve the quality of higher education in Brazil. In practice, the CONAES conducts the monitoring and coordination efforts of SINAES. The results of the institutional and course evaluations are represented on a scale of five levels and are considered in the process of accreditation, recognition and renewal of accreditation of programs and accreditation and reaccreditation of institutions.

        In the case of unsatisfactory results, the HEI will be required to enter into an agreement with MEC that establishes a remediation program that includes among other requirements: (i) diagnosis of the unsatisfactory conditions; (ii) development and implementation of measures to be taken to remedy the unsatisfactory conditions; and (iii) establishment of deadlines and goals for remediation.

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        Failure to comply, in whole or in part, with the conditions provided in the term of commitment may result in one or more penalties imposed by MEC, including temporary suspension of the opening of the selective process for undergraduate programs and cancellation of accreditation or reaccreditation of the institution and the authorization for operation of its programs.

        External evaluations of institutions of higher education are carried out by the INEP in two instances, first, when an institution applies for its first accreditation and second, by the end of each evaluation cycle of SINAES. Institutions of higher education are evaluated based on the following criteria, among others: (i) institutional development plan; (ii) social and institutional responsibility; (iii) infrastructure and financial condition; and (iv) pedagogical monitoring of student academic performance.

        The evaluation of undergraduate programs is made at the time of the first accreditation by MEC, and consists of the analysis of academic methodology, faculty, student and technical-administrative bodies and the infrastructure of the institution and is periodically updated at the end of each evaluation cycle of SINAES.

        The evaluation of graduate programs is made by the Coordinating Agency for the Improvement of Highly Educated Persons ("CAPES"), which is responsible for establishing the quality standard required of masters and doctoral programs along with the identification and evaluation of the courses that meet this standard. Its recommendations are subject to the approval of the CNE. Programs are evaluated according to the requirements established for each specific program. CAPES updates its evaluation of graduate programs every three years, which is the validity period of an authorization.

        The evaluation of student academic performance is conducted by INEP, which requires each student to sit for the ENADE in order to verify the knowledge and technical skill of the student body. Each ENADE test is developed in accordance with the content and specific curriculum of each educational program. Students enrolled in undergraduate programs take the ENADE every three years. In this system, students are evaluated at the end of the last year of each program.

        The overall grade for each class of students is calculated based on the weighted arithmetic average of all students in a specific program selected for the exam. INEP evaluates the standard deviation of the student's evolution in each program in order to compare it with national standards.

        Transfer of control of mantenedoras.    The change of control of mantenedoras does not require prior approval from MEC. A change of control need only be reported to MEC after the fact. However, the transfer of an HEI (mantida) to another mantenedora must be previously approved by MEC. The new mantenedora must meet the necessary requirements for accreditation of an institution of higher education and provide all appropriate documentation proving economic, financial and academic capacity to do so. Laureate's usual method for the acquisition of control is to acquire an interest in a pre-existing mantenedora. There may be circumstances in the future that warrant a departure from this course of conduct, in which case Laureate will follow the prescribed MEC requirements.

        Although changes of control exercised by Laureate do not ordinarily need MEC prior approval or review, due to the level of Laureate's consolidated gross revenues throughout Brazil, current Brazilian law requires that every control transaction, with limited exceptions, that Laureate enters into must be submitted to the Brazilian anti-trust authority, the Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economico (the "CADE"), for approval. Such request for approval must be granted prior to the definitive closing of such transaction. CADE has the power to reject and/or alter any transaction or any part of a transaction that it deems to unduly restrict competition.

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        Incentive program.    Programa Universidade Para Todos ("PROUNI") is a federal program of tax benefits designed to increase higher education participation rates by making college more affordable. PROUNI provides private HEI with an exemption from certain federal taxes in exchange for granting partial and full scholarships to low-income students enrolled in traditional and technology undergraduate programs. All of our HEI adhere to PROUNI.

        HEI may join PROUNI by signing a term of membership valid for ten years and renewable for the same period. This term of membership shall include the number of scholarships to be offered in each program, unit and class, and a percentage of scholarships for degree programs to be given to indigenous and Afro-Brazilians. To join PROUNI, an educational institution must maintain a certain relationship between the number of scholarships granted to regular paying students. The relationship between the number of scholarships and regular paying students is tested annually. If this relationship is not observed during a given academic year due to the departure of students, the institution must adjust the number of scholarships in a proportional manner the following academic year.

        An HEI that has joined PROUNI and remains in good standing is exempted, in whole or in part, from the following taxes during the period in which the term of membership is in effect:

        A number of municipal and state governments have sought to replicate PROUNI by creating their own programs that, for example, offer tax incentives through a reduction in, or credits against, the ISS (Municipal Services Tax) in exchange for scholarships to targeted social groups or professions. Laureate owns and operates HEI in several jurisdictions where such local incentive programs are in force.

        Student financing program.    Fundo de Financiamento Estudantil ("FIES") is a federal program established to provide financing to students enrolled in courses in private institutions of higher education that have maintained a minimum satisfactory evaluation according to SINAES and receive a grade of 3 or higher out of 5 on the ENADE. The primary factor in determining whether a student is eligible to receive full or partial financing is how he or she scores on the program's means testing of household income relative to the cost of tuition.

        Under this basic structure, FIES targets both of the government's education policy goals: increased access and improved academic quality outcomes. The HEI receives the benefit of the FIES program through its participation in the intermediation of CFT-E (Certificado Financeiro do Tesouro) bonds, which are public bonds issued to the HEI by the federal government that the HEI may use to pay the national social security tax imposed by the INSS (National Social Security Institute) and certain other federal tax obligations. If the HEI is current with its taxes (i.e., it possesses a tax clearance certificate and is not otherwise involved in any tax-related disputes with the federal government that are not being defended in compliance with applicable security/bond requirements) then the HEI also has the option to sell the bonds for cash in a public auction conducted by one of the government-sponsored banks.

        Following changes initiated in 2014, a new FIES reform was implemented by the Provisional Presidential Decree (Medida Provisória) n. 785/2017, which amended the FIES legal statute (Law n. 10.260/2001). The current FIES offer conditions were consolidated for the selection rules for the 2018.1 semester.

        The traditional FIES financing program continues to be offered to about one third of vacancies announced for the program in 2018. For the traditional offering, the candidate should have family income of up to three times the minimum wage, and while the previous 18-month grace period was

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eliminated, financing will have a zero interest rate. The risk is borne by a new guarantee fund—called FG-FIES—which may have initial public contributions of up to R$ 3 billion, and contributions from HEIs ranging from 13% for the first year, between 10% and 25% for the second to fifth year (according to delinquency-related variances), and at least 10% from the sixth year on.

        The second financing offer—called P-FIES—has two variables, according to the funding sources (a. Constitutional/Regional Development Funds or b. the BNDES). The distribution of vacancies for this modality favors programs offered in corresponding regional limits. This FIES offer will be operated strictly by financial agents, who will also bear the risks of the operation.

        As of December 31, 2017, approximately 16% of our students in Brazil participated in FIES, representing approximately 24% of our Brazil 2017 net revenues.

        Distance education.    Distance Education, or Educação a Distância ("EaD"), in Brazil is regulated by the LDB and Decree # 9.057/17. The law defines EaD as an educational modality in which the didactic and pedagogical measurement in teaching and learning processes occur with the use of media, information and communication technologies, with students and teachers developing educational activities at a different place and/or time.

        EaD programs can be offered at different levels and types of higher education, covering continuing education programs, undergraduate, specialization, masters and PhD; as well as professional education (including technical, medium and technological level of higher education). EaD programs may only be offered by HEIs that are regularly accredited by the MEC.

        Universities and university centers accredited to offer EaD programs may create, organize and terminate programs, upon notice to MEC. Colleges ('faculdades') must seek prior MEC authorization.

        On May 25, 2017, Decree # 9.057 was enacted as a new regulatory framework for distance education. This regulation reduced significantly the regulatory and operational hindrances to the expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate EaD offerings.

        The first major change is the introduction of a specific HEI accreditation to offer EaD programs exclusively, without the need of a prior presential HEI accreditation. It is now possible to create a HEI dedicated to EaD programs, with lower operational costs and reduced regulatory complexity. Further, another characteristic of EaD programs in Brazil—the use of brick-and-mortar support facilities, or 'polos', for mandatory in-person activities such as professional practice labs and exams—has been abolished, thus making full online programs possible.

        Under the new regulation, the need for classroom activities—to be developed at the polos—will be determined by the pedagogical projects of the respective programs, according to an HEI's own discretion. However, curriculum guidelines published by the National Board of Education may require activities to be developed in laboratory or professional settings, which may compromise some of this prerogative.

        The decree also eliminated the need for prior polo accreditation, which becomes another prerogative of the accredited HEIs. However, a maximum number of new polos to be created annually by HEIs was stipulated, based on their institutional evaluation, or CI (resulting from official onsite evaluations). HEIs with a CI equal to 3 can create up to 50 new polos per year, whereas those with CI of 4 can create 150 new polos. HEIs with a maximum CI score equal to 5 can create up to 250 new polos.

        HEIs offering EaD programs, including their polos, are subject to inspection by the MEC at any time. Those inspections aim to demonstrate whether those HEIs are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. In the event of any irregularity not timely addressed within the given deadlines, HEIs may be subject to penalties (from new intake limitations to accreditation loss).

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        EaD certificates or diplomas issued by accredited HEIs have national validity, with the same force and effect as those certificates or diplomas issued for the completion of in-person programs.

Chilean Regulation

        The Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile guarantees every individual's right to education and sets forth the state's obligation to promote the development of education at all levels. It also provides for liberty in teaching, which includes the right to open, organize and maintain educational institutions, providing that a Constitutional Organic Law, which requires a super-majority vote in the Chilean Congress, must establish the requirements for the official recognition of educational institutions.

        The General Law on Education sets forth the requirements and the procedure for the official recognition of educational institutions, providing for an educational system that is mixed in nature, including a form of education owned and managed by the state and its bodies and another one that is privately provided. The principles that inspire the Chilean educational system include those of universality, by virtue of which education should be affordable to all individuals, quality of education, and respect for and promotion of the autonomy of the educational institutions, within the framework of the laws governing them.

        In the case of higher education, the law provides a licensing system for new institutions that, once completed, makes it possible for these institutions to achieve full autonomy. This autonomy consists of every higher education institution's right to govern itself, as provided in its bylaws, in all matters regarding the fulfillment of its purpose, and encompasses academic, economic and administrative autonomy. Academic autonomy includes the higher education entities' power to decide by themselves the manner in which their teaching, research and extension functions will be fulfilled and the establishment of their curricula and programs. Economic autonomy makes it possible for those establishments to manage their resources to fulfill their goals pursuant to their bylaws and the laws, while administrative autonomy empowers each higher education establishment to organize its operation in the form deemed most appropriate in accordance with its bylaws and the relevant laws.

        The Ministry of Education ("MINEDUC") is the department of state in charge of promoting the development of education at all levels. Its functions include those of proposing and assessing the policies and plans for educational and cultural development, assigning the necessary resources for the conduct of educational and cultural extension activities, evaluating the development of education, discussing and proposing general norms applicable to the sector and overseeing their enforcement, granting official recognition to educational institutions, supervising the activities of its dependent units and fulfilling the other functions assigned by the law.

        The MINEDUC's Higher Education Division is the unit in charge of overseeing compliance with the legal and regulatory norms that govern higher education, of providing advice on the proposal of policies at this level of education and of establishing institutional relations with the officially recognized higher education institutions.

        The National Education Council (Consejo Nacional de Educación) is an autonomous entity composed of ten members who must be academicians, professors or professionals with an outstanding career in teaching and educational management and whose functions, regarding higher education, consist of:

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        The National Accreditation Commission (Comisión Nacional de Acreditación) is an autonomous entity, the function of which is to verify and promote the quality of the autonomous universities, professional institutes and technical training centers and of the courses of study and programs offered by them. In particular, the National Accreditation Commission is required to deliver an opinion on the institutional accreditation of higher education institutions, authorize the private agencies in charge of accreditation of courses of study and undergraduate programs and bachelor programs and specialty programs in the area of health, and supervise their operation.

        The Managing Commission of the Credit System for Higher Education Studies (Comisión Administradora del Sistema de Créditos para Estudios Superiores) is an entity whose functions include defining and assessing policies for the development and implementation of financing arrangements for higher education studies, entering into and proposing modifications to any necessary agreements with both domestic and foreign public and private financing entities and implementing those arrangements, and defining and evaluating the policies for higher education loans guaranteed by the state.

        Organization and recognition of higher education institutions.    The law recognizes state-owned higher education institutions, which may only be created by a law, and private institutions that must be organized in accordance with provisions contained in the law. The Chilean legislation provides that the state will officially recognize the following higher education institutions:

        Private universities must be created in accordance with the procedures set forth by law, and must always be not-for-profit entities in order to be officially recognized.

        Private professional institutes and technical training centers may be created by any individual or legal entity, they may be organized as for-profit or not-for-profit entities, and their sole purpose must be the creation, organization and maintenance of a professional institute or technical training center.

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        In order to be officially recognized, universities, professional institutes and technical training centers must have the necessary teaching, didactic, economic, financial and physical resources to offer the academic degrees, professional certificates or technical certificates, as appropriate, which must be certified by the National Education Council. Additionally, these institutions must have a certification granted by the National Education Council evidencing that the entity has had both its institutional project and its academic programs approved and that it will have the progressive verification of its institutional development performed. Higher education institutions may only start their teaching activities once the official recognition has been granted.

        The official recognition of a higher education institution may be revoked and, in the case of universities, their legal existence may be revoked through a supported Statutory Decree of the MINEDUC, after a decision of the National Education Council adopted by the majority of its members in a meeting called for that sole purpose and after hearing the affected party, if that party (i) fails to comply with the objectives set forth in its bylaws, (ii) conducts activities contrary to morals, public order, good customs or national security, (iii) commits gross violations of its bylaws, or (iv) ceases to confer professional certificates to its graduates.

        The law provides for a system of license grants to higher education institutions, which includes the approval of institutional project and the evaluation, progress and materialization of its educational project for a period of no less than six years, at the end of which they may become fully autonomous.

        National system of quality assurance in higher education.    The law provides for a system of quality assurance in higher education that includes a system of institutional accreditation that consists of a process of analysis of existing mechanisms within the autonomous higher education institutions to guarantee their quality, bearing in mind both the existence of those mechanisms and their application and results, and a process of accreditation of courses of study or programs, consisting of a process of verification of the quality of the courses of study or programs offered by the autonomous higher education institutions, on the basis of their declared purposes and the criteria set forth by the respective academic and professional communities.

        Both the institutional accreditation and the accreditation of courses of study and undergraduate programs are voluntary, except that the courses of study and academic programs leading to the professional degrees of Surgeon, Elementary Education Teacher, Secondary Education Teacher, Differential Education Teacher and Nursery School Teacher are subject to mandatory accreditation.

        The institutional accreditation is filed with the National Accreditation Commission, whereas the accreditation of courses of study and undergraduate programs can be performed by domestic, foreign or international accreditation entities authorized by the National Accreditation Commission.

        Tax benefits.    Chilean universities recognized by the state, and the associations, corporations, partnerships and foundations that are created, organized or maintained by those universities, are exempted from paying tax on the income arising exclusively from their educational activities. Likewise, educational institutions are exempted from paying value-added tax, an exemption that is limited to the revenues arising from their teaching activities. Additionally, universities are exempted from paying withholding taxes for payments made abroad. There are also specific tax benefits for donations made to universities.

        Financing.    The Chilean state contributes to the direct financing of universities existing as of December 31, 1980 by means of contributions from the state. In addition, all universities, professional institutes and technical training centers recognized as higher education institutions receive an indirect contribution from the state, which is distributed on the basis of the scores obtained in the university admission test by the students enrolled in each higher education institution.

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        Under the Crédito con Aval del Estado (the "CAE Program"), the state guarantees up to 90% of the principal plus interest on loans granted by financial institutions to students of higher education at autonomous, accredited institutions officially recognized by the state that select their first-year students on the basis of the score obtained in the university admission test and that use the aforesaid indirect contribution by the state exclusively for institutional development purposes.

        The Nuevo Milenio Scholarship ("NMS") program supports access to vocational and technical education for students in the lowest 70% who met or exceeded certain academic standards by providing annual scholarships (i) under NMS I in amounts up to CLP 600,000; (ii) under NMS II in amounts up to CLP 850,000 per year for students who come from the first five income deciles if the tech/voc institution in which they are enrolled is organized as a not-for-profit legal entity or, if the tech/voc institution is not so organized, the institution has stated in writing its intention to become a not-for-profit entity and to be accredited; and (iii) under NMS III in amounts up to CLP 900,000 per year, provided that such students and the institution in which they enroll meet the requirements for NMS II and the tech/voc institution was, on December 31, 2015, accredited for four years or more.

        Provisional administrator.    In December 2014, the Chilean Congress adopted the Provisional Administrator Law (the "Provisional Administrator Law"), which provides for the appointment of a provisional administrator or closing administrator to handle the affairs of failing universities or universities found to have breached their bylaws.

        Recent developments.    On January 24, 2018, a new Higher Education Law (the "New Law") was passed by the Chilean Congress and, assuming that it passes review by the Constitutional Court, it is expected to be signed into law by the President of Chile as early as the first quarter of 2018. Among other things, the New Law will prohibit for-profit organizations, such as Laureate, from controlling the boards of universities in Chile. The New Law also prohibits conflicts of interests and related party transactions with notable exceptions, including the provision of services that are educational in nature or essential for the university's purposes. The New Law provides for a transition period between one and two years. The incoming Chilean presidential administration, which took office on March 11, 2018, will have the responsibility to both interpret the legislative mandates and implement new compliance processes.

        The Company is currently reviewing the impact the New Law will have on its Chilean operations, including the extent to which the New Law will affect existing contractual relationships that the Company maintains with its Chilean non-profit universities. As a result of the New Law, the Company currently expects that it will be required to deconsolidate its three Chilean non-profit universities, which are accounted for as variable interest entities, and its Chilean real estate subsidiary, although the Company expects it will retain an approximately 30% equity ownership interest in the real estate subsidiary. The deconsolidation could happen as early as the first quarter of 2018.

        On February 18, 2014, the MINEDUC disclosed that on November 15, 2013 and February 11, 2014, it had initiated internal investigations into UDLA Chile and UNAB, respectively. The investigations were initiated upon referrals from the National Education Council and the National Accreditation Commission, which had conveyed to the MINEDUC their concerns regarding certain agreements entered into by UDLA Chile and UNAB with their controlling entities, including concerns about the amount and real use made by the universities of the services provided under those agreements. The investigations were intended by the MINEDUC to determine whether it should begin formal sanction proceedings against the universities. The MINEDUC also disclosed that it had delivered relevant documentation on the matter to the Public Prosecutor. In January 2016, the MINEDUC announced that it had closed the investigation into UNAB. The UDLA Chile investigation is being conducted by an investigator appointed by the MINEDUC under the Provisional Administrator Law.

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        In June 2016, the MINEDUC notified UNAB that it was opening an investigation into possible violations of the not-for-profit nature of UNAB. In September 2016, the MINEDUC notified UVM Chile that it was opening a similar investigation of UVM Chile. Each of the institutions continues to be responsive to the MINEDUC's requests as part of these investigations. Each investigation is being conducted by an investigator appointed by the MINEDUC under the Provisional Administrator Law. Procedural safeguards in the investigation process include notice, the right to present written statements and evidence, and the requirement that the decision be based on the formal record. Under the Provisional Administrator Law, at the end of the investigation the MINEDUC can either close the investigation or issue a report imposing one of the following measures: (i) ordering a recovery plan for the investigated institution, should the MINEDUC verify severe breaches of the institution's financial, administrative, labor or academic commitments; (ii) with the prior consent of the National Education Council, naming a provisional administrator for the institution if the MINEDUC determines that (a) there are serious risks to the administrative or financial viability of the institution that may affect the continuity of its educational programs, (b) there are serious and recurring breaches of the academic commitments of the institution to its students due to a lack of educational or teaching resources available to grant professional or technical degrees, (c) it is impossible for the institution to maintain its academic functions due to sanctions, injunctions or foreclosures affecting the institution, its campuses or its assets, (d) the institution is declared bankrupt or (e) a recovery plan pursuant to (i) above has not been presented, has been rejected or has been breached by the institution; or (iii) initiating a process to revoke the institution's license, in which case it would name a closing administrator. If the MINEDUC were to impose any sanctions, UDLA Chile, UNAB or UVM Chile, as the case may be, would have several routes to appeal or challenge that decision, both within the MINEDUC and in the courts or other governmental bodies. UDLA Chile, UNAB and UVM Chile are cooperating with the investigation.

        In December 2016, Servicio de Impuestos Internos Chile ("SII") notified separately UDLA Chile and UNAB that as part of the general audit program called "Auditoría Integral a Universidades," it was requesting supporting documentation from them for the tax periods between November 2013 and October 2016. On March 21, 2017, SII sent a similar notification to UVM Chile regarding the tax periods from May 2014 to October 2016. Each institution has submitted responsive documents that support taxes paid related to its revenues and expenses, including to the extent such revenues and expenses involve financial dealings with Laureate for-profit entities. On November 29, 2017, the SII notified UVM Chile that its audit detected "no differences" between the taxes paid and the taxes owed and provided UVM Chile with a written closure letter.

Mexican Regulation

        Mexican law provides that private entities are entitled to render education services in accordance with applicable legal provisions. These provisions regulate the education services rendered by the federal government, the states and private entities and contain guidelines for the allocation of the higher education role among the federal government, the states and the municipalities, including their respective economic contributions in order to jointly participate in the development and coordination of higher education.

        There are three levels of regulation in Mexico: federal; state; and municipal. The federal authority is the Federal Ministry of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública). Each of the 31 states and Mexico City has the right to establish a local Ministry of Education, and each municipality of each state may establish a municipal education authority that only has authority to advertise and promote educational services and/or activities. Additionally, since February 26, 2013, the National Institute for the Evaluation of Educational Services (Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación) is in charge of, among other things, evaluating the quality of the study plans and programs for Basic and Mid-Superior education services (as further described below).

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        Some functions are exclusive to the Federal Ministry of Education such as the establishment of study plans and programs for Basic and Mid-Superior education services Other functions are exclusive to the state Ministries of Education such as the coordination and administration of the local registry of students, teachers, education institutions and schools. There are also concurrent functions such as the granting and withdrawal of governmental recognition of validity of studies (Reconocimiento de Validez Oficial de Estudios) ("REVOEs," for its acronym in Spanish).

        The General Law on Education (Ley General de Educación) in Mexico classifies studies in the following three categories: (i) Basic Education, which includes pre-school (kindergarten), elementary school and junior high school (secundaria); (ii) Mid-Superior Education, which includes high school (preparatoria) and equivalent studies, as well as professional education that does not consider preparatoria as a prerequisite; and (iii) Superior Education, which includes the studies taught after preparatoria, including undergraduate school (licenciatura), specialties (especialidades), masters studies, doctorate studies and studies for teachers (educación normal).

        The General Law on Education provides that in order for private entities to be able to provide Basic Education Services and studies for teachers (educación normal), a prior governmental authorization is required (the "Authorization"). For other studies, including Mid-Superior and Superior Education Services, no prior governmental authorization is required. However, if the private entities desire to provide Mid-Superior and Superior Education Services, and want those studies to be integrated into the federal and/or local public educational system, they must obtain a REVOE by the federal and/or local Ministry of Education, respectively.

        The REVOEs are issued by the Federal Ministry of Education under the General Law on Education, or by any of the state Ministries of Education under the applicable state law. REVOEs are granted for each program taught in each campus. If there is a change in the program or in the campus in which it is taught, the entity will need to get a new REVOE.

        The Federal Ministry of Education has issued a set of general resolutions (Acuerdos) that regulate the general requirements for obtaining REVOEs. The main Acuerdos are (i) Acuerdo 243 issued on May 27, 1998 to set the general guidelines for obtaining an Authorization or REVOE, and (ii) Acuerdo 17/11/17 issued on November 10, 2017 to set the procedures related to REVOEs for Superior Education studies. The Federal Ministry of Education recommends to the local Ministries of Education the adoption and inclusion of the provisions contained in Acuerdo 243 and Acuerdo 17/11/17 in the local Law on Education and other applicable local laws and regulations.

        In general terms, federal and state laws in Mexico provide for three requirements for granting REVOEs:

        Depending on each state, other requirements may apply, for example, that private institutions that provide educational services with REVOEs need to be registered with the corresponding local authorities.

        Acuerdo 17/11/17 regulates in detail the provisions contained under the General Law on Education to grant REVOEs for Superior Education studies, regarding faculty, plans and programs of studies, inspection visits, procedures, etc. Acuerdo 17/11/17 also provides that private institutions that provide Superior Education services in accordance with presidential decrees or secretarial resolutions (acuerdos secretariales) issued specifically to them may maintain the obligations provided to them thereunder and

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may function under the simplified provisions of Acuerdo 17/11/17. Currently, Universidad Tecnológica de México, S.C. and Universidad del Valle de México, S.C. have secretarial resolutions that were issued in their favor before the issuance of Acuerdo 17/11/17. The obligations contained in these secretarial resolutions generally conform to the obligations provided under Acuerdo 17/11/17.

        The regulatory authorities are entitled to conduct inspection visits to the facilities of educational institutions to verify compliance with applicable legal provisions. Failure to comply with applicable legal provisions may result in the imposition of fines, in the cancellation of the applicable REVOE and in the closure of the education facilities.

        Private institutions with REVOEs are required to grant a minimum percentage of scholarships to students. Acuerdo 17/11/17 provides that private institutions grant scholarships to at least five percent of the total students registered during each academic term. Scholarships consist, in whole or in part, of payment of the registration and tuition fees established by the educational institution. The granting of scholarships has to be provided for in the internal regulations of the educational institution, which regulations must provide:

        Private entities may also obtain the recognition of validity of their programs from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México or "UNAM"). The General Regulations of Incorporation and Validation of Studies issued by UNAM provide that programs followed in private entities may be "incorporated" to UNAM in order for UNAM to recognize their validity. For the programs to be incorporated the following general requirements must be met:

        The UNAM regulations also provide that private entities incorporated to UNAM must grant scholarships to at least five percent of the total students registered in such entity. These scholarships shall consist of the exemption in whole of payment of the registration and tuition fees established by the educational entity. The students entitled to have this benefit will be selected by UNAM. Some of our high school programs and one of our medical programs are incorporated to UVM Mexico.

Peruvian Regulation

        We operate four post-secondary education institutions in Peru, two of which are universities and two of which are technical-vocational institutes. Peruvian law provides that universities and technical-vocational institutes can be operated as public or private entities, and that the private entities may be

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organized for profit. The Ministry of Education has overall responsibility for the national education system.

        In 2014, the Peruvian Congress enacted a new University Law to regulate the establishment, operation, monitoring and closure of universities. The law also promotes continuous improvement of quality at Peruvian universities. The law created a new agency, the Superintendencia de Educación Superior Universitaria ("SUNEDU"), which is responsible for carrying out the governmental role in university regulation, including ensuring quality. While institutional autonomy is still recognized, and universities are permitted to create their own internal governance rules and determine their own academic, management and economic systems, including curriculum design and entrance and graduation requirements, all of these matters are now subject to review and evaluation by SUNEDU through its periodic review of universities as part of a license renewal process.

        Under the new law, university licenses are temporary but renewable, and are granted by SUNEDU for a maximum of six years. On November 24, 2015 the Board of SUNEDU promulgated regulations for the university licensing process. For licenses to be renewed, universities have to demonstrate to SUNEDU that they comply with, at a minimum, certain Basic Quality Conditions ("BQCs") (i.e., that they have specified academic goals and that the degrees granted and plans of study are aligned with those goals, that their academic offerings are compatible with their planning goals, (e.g., there is sufficient labor demand for careers offered) that there are only two regular semesters of studies per year, that they have appropriate infrastructure and equipment, that they engage in research, that they have a sufficient supply of qualified teachers, at least 25% of whom will need to be full-time, that they supply adequate basic complementary educational services (e.g., medical and psychological services and sports activities), that they provide appropriate placement office services, and that they have transparency of institutional information). Both UPC and UPN had their licenses renewed in 2017, in each case for a period of six years.

        Technical-vocational institutes are regulated by the Ministry of Education, which grants operating licenses for not less than three nor more than six years, after which the Ministry conducts a revalidation process. The approval of new institute licenses is based on the evaluation by the Ministry of the institute's institutional goals, the curricula of its education programs and their link with careers needed in the Peruvian economy, the availability of adequate qualified teachers, the institute's infrastructure, the institute's financial resources, and the favorable opinion of the National System of Assessment, Accreditation and Certification of Education Quality ("SINEACES") regarding the appropriateness of the programs the institute is offering. SINEACES is also responsible for the accreditation of programs and careers at all higher education institutions. On November 2, 2016 a new law regarding technical-vocational institutes (the "Institutes Law") was enacted. Under the Institutes Law, technical-vocational institutes are regulated by the Ministry of Education, which grants operating licenses. The Institutes Law has created two types of institutes, Higher Education Institutes ("Institutes") and Higher Education Colleges ("Colleges"). Institutes are dedicated to technical careers and Colleges are devoted to technical careers related to education as well as science and information Technology. Colleges grant Technical Bachelor Degrees and Professional Technical Degrees. Institutes and Colleges are subject to a mandatory license granted by the Ministry of Education, based on an evaluation to determine compliance with BQCs. BQCs include: an appropriate institutional management guaranteeing a proper relation with the educational model of the institution; appropriate academic management and proper program studies aligned with the Ministry of Education norms; appropriate infrastructure and equipment to develop educational activities; adequate teachers and staff which, at a minimum, should consist of 20% full-time staff; and appropriate financial and economic provisions. The Law provides that the process will last no more than 90 days and will grant a license for a five-year period to be renewed once expired. Unlike licenses, quality accreditation is voluntary except for certain careers for which it might be mandatory as determined by law. Such accreditation will be taken into consideration for access to public grants for scholarships and research among other

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things. Private Institutes and Colleges may be organized as for-profit or not-for-profit entities under Peruvian law. Not-for-profit Colleges' and Institutes' income is exempt from taxes on their educational activities. For-profit Colleges and Institutes are subject to income taxes, but may qualify for a tax credit on 30% of their reinvested income, subject to a reinvestment program to be filed with the Ministry of Education for a maximum term of five years. The specific requirements of such programs were determined by regulations in August 2017. According to the schedule determined by the regulations, Cibertec filed its license petition during November and December 2017, and a resolution from the Ministry of Education is expected during the first half of 2018.

Turkish Regulation and Internal Investigation

        Through our EMEAA segment, we operate Istanbul Bilgi University ("Bilgi"), a network institution located in Turkey that consolidates under the variable interest entity model. Bilgi is established as a "Foundation High Education Institution" (a "Foundation University") under the Turkish higher education law, sponsored by an educational foundation (the "the Bilgi Foundation"). As such, it is subject to regulation, supervision and inspection by the Turkish Higher Education Council (the "YÖK"). In 2014, the Turkish parliament amended the higher education law to provide expanded authority to the YÖK with respect to Foundation Universities, including authorizing additional remedies for violations of the higher education law and of regulations adopted by the YÖK. On November 19, 2015, the YÖK promulgated an "Ordinance Concerned with Amendment to Foundation High Education Institutions" (the "Ordinance") the principal effects of which relate to the supervision and inspection of Foundation Universities by the YÖK. Under the Ordinance, the YÖK has expanded authority to inspect accounts, transactions, activities and assets of Foundation Universities, as well as their academic units, programs, projects and subjects. The Ordinance establishes a progressive series of five remedies that the YÖK can take in the event it finds a violation of the Ordinance, ranging from (1) a warning and request for correction to (2) the suspension of the Foundation University's ability to establish new academic units or programs to (3) limiting the number of students the Foundation University can admit, including ceasing new admissions, to (4) provisional suspension of the Foundation University's license to (5) cancellation of the Foundation University's license. Since the promulgation of the Ordinance, the YÖK has cancelled the licenses of 15 Foundation Universities.

        The Ordinance specifies that Foundation Universities cannot be established by foundations in order to gain profit for themselves, and prohibits specified types of fund transfers from Foundation Universities to their sponsoring foundation, with certain exceptions for payments made under contractual arrangements for various goods and services that are provided at or below current market rates. Bilgi has entered into contractual arrangements with a subsidiary of Laureate that is a member of the board of trustees of the Bilgi Foundation, and has affiliates that are also members of that board, to provide Bilgi with management, operational and student services and certain intellectual property at fair market rates. The YÖK conducts annual audits of the operations of Bilgi. On April 18, 2017, Bilgi received from the YÖK the results of its 2015-2016 annual audit (the "2015-2016 Annual Audit"). The 2015-2016 Annual Audit report required, among other things, that (i) with respect to the 2017-2018 academic year, there be a reduction in the quota for the number of new students permitted to be admitted into Bilgi's degree programs and (ii) Bilgi be reimbursed, not later than October 18, 2017, approximately $29 million for payments previously made by Bilgi to a subsidiary of the Company for certain management, operational and student services, and intellectual property. The Company and Bilgi believe the charges to Bilgi for these services were at fair value and Bilgi has contested the findings of the 2015-2016 Annual Audit that they constituted an improper wealth transfer. Demands also were made in the 2015-2016 Annual Audit for the return or payment to Bilgi, by October 18, 2017, of other amounts involving approximately $8 million. These deadlines have been extended to April 16, 2018. In the meantime, the YÖK has been conducting a supplemental audit, the results of which have not been released.

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        Bilgi has appealed the YÖK's decision in the Turkish court system and has not been reimbursed for any of the payments made to the Company's subsidiary for the services described above. As the Company currently consolidates Bilgi under the variable interest entity model, if the Company is unable to provide services under its contracts with Bilgi and receive the economic benefits from those contracts as a result of the determinations in the 2015-2016 Annual Audit, deconsolidation of Bilgi could be required. Deconsolidation, if required, could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations, including possible write-off of all or a portion of the Company's investment in Bilgi and a reduction in operating income. At December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Bilgi had total assets of approximately $112 million and $83 million, respectively, and total liabilities of $84 million and $63 million, respectively. Total liabilities include approximately $37 million and $19 million of net intercompany liabilities as of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. During fiscal year 2017, Bilgi generated approximately $101 million of the Company's consolidated revenue and approximately $28 million of the Company's consolidated operating income and incurred approximately $6 million of depreciation and amortization expense.

        As previously disclosed, during the fourth quarter of 2014, we recorded an operating expense of $18.0 million (the value of 40.0 million Turkish Liras at the date of donation) for a donation by our network institution in Turkey to a charitable foundation. We believed the donation was encouraged by the Turkish government to further a public project supported by the government and expected that it would enhance the position and ongoing operations of our institution in Turkey. The Company has learned that the charitable foundation which received the donation disbursed the funds at the direction of a former senior executive at our network institution in Turkey and other external individuals to a third party without our knowledge or approval.

        In June 2016, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors initiated an internal investigation into this matter with the assistance of external counsel. The investigation concerns the facts surrounding the donation, violations of the Company's policies, and possible violations of U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the "FCPA") and other applicable laws in what appears to be a fraud perpetrated by the former senior executive at our network institution in Turkey and other external individuals. This includes an investigation to determine if the diversion was part of a scheme to misappropriate the funds and whether any portion of the funds was paid to government officials. We have not identified that any other officers or employees outside of Turkey were involved in the diversion of the intended donation. Although we are pursuing efforts to recover the diverted funds, including through legal proceedings, there is no assurance that we will be successful. As a result of the investigation, we took steps to remove the former senior executive at our network institution in Turkey and he is no longer affiliated with that institution.

        We have been advised by Turkish counsel that, under Turkish law, a Foundation University may not make payments that cause a decrease in the university's wealth or do not otherwise benefit the university. Given the uncertainty of recovery of the diverted donation and to mitigate any potential regulatory issues in Turkey relating to the donation, certain Laureate-owned entities that are members of the foundation that controls our network institution in Turkey have contributed an amount of approximately $13.0 million (the value of 40.0 million Turkish Liras on November 4, 2016, the date of contribution) to our network institution in Turkey to reimburse it for the donation.

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        In September 2016, we voluntarily disclosed the investigation to the U.S. Department of Justice (the "DOJ") and the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The Company is fully cooperating with these agencies in their investigations and inquiries relating to this matter. The Company has internal controls and compliance policies and procedures that are designed to prevent misconduct of this nature and support compliance with laws and best practices throughout its global operations. The Company is taking steps to enhance these internal controls and compliance policies and procedures. The governmental and Company investigations relating to these matters are ongoing, and we cannot predict the outcome at this time, or the impact, if any, to the Company's consolidated financial statements or predict how the resulting consequences, if any, may impact our internal controls and compliance policies and procedures, business, ability or right to operate in Turkey, results of operations or financial position. If we are found to have violated the FCPA or other laws applicable to us, we may be subject to criminal and civil penalties and other remedial measures, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

        See "Item 1A—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—We currently have four material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting that, if not corrected, could result in material misstatements of our financial statements" and "Item 1A—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—Our institutions are subject to uncertain and varying laws and regulations, and any changes to these laws or regulations or their application to us may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and result of operations."

U.S. Regulation

        Our institutions in the United States are subject to extensive regulation by the U.S. Department of Education (the "DOE"), accrediting agencies and state educational agencies. The regulations, standards and policies of these agencies cover substantially all of the operations of our higher education institutions in the United States ("U.S. Institutions"), including their educational programs, facilities, instructional and administrative staff, administrative procedures, marketing, recruiting, finances, results of operations and financial condition.

        As institutions of higher education that grant degrees and diplomas, our U.S. Institutions are required to be authorized by appropriate state educational agencies. In addition, the DOE regulates our U.S. Institutions due to their participation in federal student financial aid programs under Title IV of the U.S. Higher Education Act (the "HEA"), or Title IV programs. Title IV programs currently include grants and educational loans provided directly by the federal government, including loans to students and parents through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (the "Direct Loan Program"). The Direct Loan Program offers Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans, Federal Grad PLUS Loans and Federal Consolidation Loans. Prior to July 1, 2010, Title IV programs also included educational loans issued by private banks with below-market interest rates that are guaranteed by the federal government in the event of a student's default on repaying the loan. A significant percentage of students at our U.S. Institutions rely on the availability of Title IV programs to finance their cost of attendance.

        To participate in Title IV programs, our U.S. Institutions are required to both maintain authorization by the appropriate state educational agency or agencies and be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the DOE. The HEA requires accrediting agencies recognized by the DOE to review and monitor many aspects of an institution's operations and to take appropriate action if the institution fails to meet the accrediting agency's standards.

        We plan and implement our business activities to comply with the standards of these regulatory agencies. To monitor compliance with this regulatory environment, institutions participating in Title IV programs undergo periodic reviews to demonstrate, among other things, that they maintain proper

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accreditation, state authorization, and adequate financial resources. Historically, our U.S. Institutions have maintained eligibility to access Title IV funding.

State Education Licensure and Regulation

        Our U.S. Institutions are required by the HEA to be authorized by applicable state educational agencies in the states where we are located to participate in Title IV programs. To maintain requisite state authorizations, our U.S. Institutions are required to continuously meet standards relating to, among other things, educational programs, facilities, instructional and administrative staff, marketing and recruitment, financial operations, addition of new locations and educational programs and various operational and administrative procedures. These standards can be different than and conflict with the requirements of the DOE and other applicable regulatory bodies. State laws and regulations may limit our ability to offer educational programs and offer certain degrees. Some states may also prescribe financial regulations that are different from those of the DOE and may require the posting of surety bonds. Failure to comply with the requirements of applicable state educational agencies could result in us losing our authorization to offer educational programs in those states. If that were to occur, the applicable state educational agency could force us to cease operations in their state. Alternatively, the state educational licensing agencies could restrict the institution's ability to offer certain degree or diploma programs. The loss of an authorization by a state could also impact the ability of such institution to participate in Title IV programs.

        Each of our U.S. Institutions maintains an authorization from the pertinent state regulatory authority in which such institutions are physically located, or is exempt under current state law from a requirement to be specifically authorized. If any of the authorizations provided to one or more of our U.S. Institutions are determined not to comply with the DOE regulations, or one or more of our U.S. Institutions is unable to obtain or maintain an authorization that satisfies the DOE requirements, students at the pertinent institution may be unable to access Title IV funds, which could force the institution to cease operations in the state and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations in the United States.

        On December 19, 2016, the DOE published final regulations regarding state authorization for programs offered through distance education and state authorization for foreign locations of institutions. Among other provisions, these final regulations require that an institution participating in the Title IV federal student aid programs and offering postsecondary education through distance education be authorized by each state in which the institution enrolls students, if such authorization is required by the state. The final regulations also require that foreign additional locations and branch campuses be authorized by the appropriate foreign government agency and, if at least 50% of a program can be completed at the location/branch, be approved by the institution's accrediting agency and be reported to the state where the main campus is located. The regulations also require institutions to: document the state process for resolving complaints from students enrolled in programs offered through distance education or correspondence courses; and make certain public and individualized disclosures to enrolled and prospective students about their distance education programs. The regulations also recognize authorization through participation in a state reciprocity agreement. These final regulations will become effective on July 1, 2018.

        Independent of this matter of federal regulation, several states have asserted jurisdiction over educational institutions offering online degree programs that have no physical location or other presence in the state, but that have some activity in the state, such as enrolling or offering educational services to students who reside in the state, conducting practica or sponsoring internships in the state, employing faculty who reside in the state or advertising to or recruiting prospective students in the state. Thus, our activities in certain states constitute a presence requiring licensure or authorization under requirements of state law, regulation or policy of the state educational agency, even though we do not have a physical facility in such states. Therefore, in addition to the states where we maintain

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physical facilities, we have obtained, or are in the process of obtaining, approvals or exemptions that we believe are necessary in connection with our activities that may constitute a presence in such states requiring licensure or authorization by the state educational agency based on the laws, rules or regulations of that state. Some of our approvals are pending or are in the renewal process. Some of our U.S. Institutions do not have current approvals or exemptions from all of the state educational agencies that may require such an approval or exemption due to the U.S. Institution enrolling students via distance education in the state.

        Notwithstanding our efforts to obtain approvals or exemptions, state regulatory requirements for online education vary among the states, are not well developed in many states, are imprecise or unclear in some states and can change frequently. Because our U.S. Institutions enroll students in online degree programs, we expect that regulatory authorities in other states where we are not currently licensed or authorized may request that we seek additional licenses or authorizations for these institutions in their states in the future. If any of our U.S. Institutions fails to comply with state licensing or authorization requirements for a state, or fails to obtain licenses or authorizations when required, that institution could lose its state licensure or authorization by that state, which could prohibit it from recruiting prospective students or offering services to current students in that state. We could also be subject to other sanctions, including restrictions on activities in that state, fines and penalties. We review the licensure requirements of other states when we believe that it is appropriate to determine whether our activities in those states may constitute a presence or otherwise may require licensure or authorization by the respective state education agencies. In addition, state laws and regulations may limit our ability to offer educational programs and to award degrees and may limit the ability of our students to sit for certification exams in their chosen fields of study. New laws, regulations or interpretations related to offering educational programs online could increase our cost of doing business and affect our ability to recruit students in particular states, which could, in turn, adversely affect our U.S. Institutions' enrollments and revenues and have a material adverse effect on our business.

        We also are subject to extensive state laws and regulations, including standards for instruction, qualifications of faculty, administrative procedures, marketing, recruiting, financial operations and other operational matters. In recent years, the proprietary education industry has experienced broad-based, intensifying scrutiny in the form of increased investigations and enforcement actions. Attorneys general in several states have become more active in enforcing consumer protection laws, especially related to recruiting practices and the financing of education at proprietary educational institutions. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") has also issued civil investigative demands to several other U.S. proprietary educational institutions, which require the institutions to provide documents and information related to the advertising, marketing, or sale of secondary or postsecondary educational products or services, or educational accreditation products or services. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the "CFPB") also has investigated the lending practices of post-secondary institutions. If our past or current business practices are found to violate applicable consumer protection laws, or if we are found to have made misrepresentations to our current or prospective students about our educational programs, we could be subject to monetary fines or penalties and possible limitations on the manner in which we conduct our business, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. To the extent that more states or government agencies commence investigations, act in concert, or direct their focus on our U.S. Institutions, the cost of responding to these inquiries and investigations could increase significantly, and the potential impact on our business would be substantially greater.

        In addition to state or government agency actions, we are subject to litigation and complaints to state educational agencies by current and former students alleging violations of state consumer protection laws. See "Item 3—Legal Proceedings" for more information regarding student litigation matters. On September 8, 2016, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education ("MOHE") sent to Walden

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University an information request regarding its doctoral programs and complaints filed by doctoral students, as part of a program review that MOHE is conducting. We have been informed by MOHE that in an effort to better understand the context, background and issues related to doctoral student complaints in Minnesota, MOHE is initiating a full review of doctoral programs for certain institutions registered in Minnesota. MOHE has informed us that it expects to issue a report regarding its program review in 2018.

State Professional Licensure

        Many states have specific licensure requirements that an individual must satisfy to be licensed as a professional in specified fields, including fields such as education and healthcare. These requirements vary by state and by field. A student's success in obtaining licensure following graduation typically depends on several factors, including but not limited to: the background and qualifications of the individual graduate; whether the institution and the program were approved by the state in which the graduate seeks licensure; whether the program from which the student graduated meets all requirements for professional licensure in that state; whether the institution and the program are accredited and, if so, by what accrediting agencies; and whether the institution's degrees are recognized by other states in which a student may seek to work. Several states also require that graduates pass a state test or examination as a prerequisite to becoming certified in certain fields, such as teaching and nursing. In several states, an educational program must be approved by a professional association in order for graduates to be licensed in that professional field. In the field of psychology, an increasing number of states require approval by either the American Psychological Association ("APA") or the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards ("ASPPB"). To date, Walden University has been unable to obtain approval of its Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology from the ASPPB or APA. Additionally, states often require a criminal background clearance before granting certain professional licensures or certifications. The catalogs for our U.S. Institutions inform students that it is incumbent upon the student to verify whether a specific criminal background clearance is required in their field of study prior to beginning course work.

        Additionally, under the HEA, proprietary schools generally are eligible to participate in Title IV programs in respect of educational programs that lead to "gainful employment in a recognized occupation." As part of regulations promulgated by the DOE to more specifically define "gainful employment," which became effective on July 1, 2015 and are described in more detail below, the DOE requires each of our U.S. Institutions to certify that its educational programs meet the applicable requirements for graduates to be professionally or occupationally certified in the state in which the institution is located. Failure to provide such certification may result in such programs being ineligible for Title IV program funds. It is possible that several programs offered by our schools may be adversely affected by this requirement due to lack of specialized program accreditation or certification in the states in which such institutions are based.

Accreditation

        Accreditation is a private, non-governmental process for evaluating the quality of educational institutions and their programs in areas, including student performance, governance, integrity, educational quality, faculty, physical resources, administrative capability and resources and financial stability. To be recognized by the DOE, accrediting agencies must comply with DOE regulations, which require, among other things, that accrediting agencies adopt specific standards for their review of educational institutions, conduct peer review evaluations of institutions and publicly designate those institutions that meet their criteria. An accredited institution is subject to periodic review or review when necessary by its accrediting agencies to determine whether it continues to meet the performance, integrity and quality required for accreditation. Kendall College and Walden University are institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting agency recognized

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by the DOE. NewSchool of Architecture and Design and St. Augustine are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Colleges and Schools ("WASC"). Accreditation by these accrediting agencies is important to us for several reasons, one being that it enables eligible students at our U.S. Institutions to receive Title IV financial aid. In addition, other colleges and universities depend, in part, on an institution's accreditation in evaluating transfers of credit and applications to graduate schools. Employers also rely on the accredited status of institutions when evaluating candidates' credentials, and students and corporate and government sponsors under tuition reimbursement programs consider accreditation as assurance that an institution maintains quality educational standards. If any of our U.S. Institutions fails to satisfy the standards of its respective accrediting agency, that institution could lose its accreditation by that accrediting agency, which would cause it to lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

        The HEA and regulations issued by the DOE require accrediting agencies to monitor the growth of institutions that they accredit. Our U.S. Institutions' respective accrediting agencies require all affiliated institutions, including us, to complete an annual data report. If the non-financial data, particularly enrollment information, and any other information submitted by the institution indicate problems, rapid change or significant growth, the staff of the respective accrediting agency may require that the institution address any concerns arising from the data report in the next self-study and visit process or may recommend additional monitoring. In addition, DOE regulations require the Higher Learning Commission to notify the DOE if an institution it accredits that offers distance learning programs, such as Kendall College and Walden University, experiences an increase in its headcount enrollment of 50% or more in any fiscal year. The DOE may consider that information in connection with its own regulatory oversight activities.

        In addition to institution-wide accreditation, there are numerous specialized accrediting agencies that accredit specific programs or schools within their jurisdiction, many of which are in healthcare and professional fields. Accreditation of specific programs by one of these specialized accrediting agencies signifies that those programs have met the additional standards of those agencies. In addition to being accredited by regional and/or national accrediting agencies, our U.S. Institutions also have the following specialized accreditations:

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        If we fail to satisfy the standards of any of these specialized accrediting agencies, we could lose the specialized accreditation for the affected programs, which could result in materially reduced student enrollments in those programs.

Congressional Hearings and Related Actions

        The U.S. Congress must authorize and appropriate funding for Title IV programs under the HEA and can change the laws governing Title IV programs at any time. The HEA was most recently reauthorized in August 2008. Congress is currently in the process of reauthorizing the HEA and has conducted hearings examining various issues including, but not limited to, the streamlining of Title IV financial aid programs and repayment systems, the role of consumer information in college choices by students and families, whether Title IV programs should include institutional risk-sharing, and the role of accrediting agencies in ensuring institutional quality, among other items. On December 13, 2017, the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the U.S. House of Representative approved legislation to reauthorize the HEA, titled "Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act" (PROSPER Act). If enacted in its current form, this legislation would substantially amend the HEA, including, but not limited to, changes to Title IV programs and provisions governing institutional participation therein. We cannot predict the timing and terms of any eventual HEA reauthorization, including any potential changes to institutional participation or student eligibility requirements or funding levels for particular Title IV programs.

        In addition to comprehensive reauthorizations of the HEA, Congress may periodically revise the law and other statutory requirements governing Title IV programs. In addition to Title IV programs, eligible veterans and military personnel may receive educational benefits under other federal programs. Congress must determine the funding levels for Title IV programs, and programs benefiting eligible veterans and military personnel, on an annual basis through the budget and appropriations process. A reduction in federal funding levels for Title IV programs, or for programs providing educational

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benefits to veterans and military personnel, could reduce the ability of some students to finance their education. The loss of, or a significant reduction in, Title IV program funds or other federal education benefits available to students at our U.S. Institutions could reduce our enrollments and revenues and have a material adverse effect on our business.

        Additionally, the U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense (the "DoD") have increased their focus in recent years on DoD tuition assistance that is used for distance education and programs at proprietary institutions. On multiple occasions since 2012, the DoD has revised its standard Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") to include additional provisions applicable to all higher educational institutions providing educational programs through the DoD tuition assistance program. Our U.S. Institutions utilizing tuition assistance have signed DoD's standard MOU.

Regulation of Federal Student Financial Aid Programs

        To be eligible to participate in Title IV programs, an institution must comply with specific requirements contained in the HEA and the regulations issued thereunder by the DOE. An institution must, among other things, be licensed or authorized to offer its educational programs by the state or states in which it is located and maintain institutional accreditation by an accrediting agency recognized by the DOE. The substantial amount of federal funds disbursed to schools through Title IV programs, the large number of students and institutions participating in these programs and allegations of fraud and abuse by certain for-profit educational institutions have caused Congress to require the DOE to exercise considerable regulatory oversight over for-profit educational institutions. As a result, for-profit educational institutions, including ours, are subject to extensive oversight and review. Because the DOE periodically revises its regulations and changes its interpretations of existing laws and regulations, we cannot predict with certainty how the Title IV program requirements will be applied in all circumstances.

        Significant aspects of Title IV programs include the following:

        Eligibility and certification procedures.    Each of our U.S. Institutions must apply periodically to the DOE for continued certification to participate in Title IV programs. Such recertification generally is required every six years, but may be required earlier, including when an institution undergoes a change in control. An institution may also come under the DOE's review when it expands its activities in certain ways, such as opening an additional location, adding a new educational program or modifying the academic credentials it offers. The DOE may place an institution on provisional certification status if it finds that the institution does not fully satisfy all of the eligibility and certification standards and in certain other circumstances, such as when an institution is certified for the first time or undergoes a change in control. During the period of provisional certification, the institution must comply with any additional conditions included in the institution's program participation agreement with the DOE. In addition, the DOE may more closely review an institution that is provisionally certified if it applies for recertification or approval to open a new location, add an educational program, acquire another institution or make any other significant change. If the DOE determines that a provisionally certified institution is unable to meet its responsibilities under its program participation agreement, it may seek to revoke the institution's certification to participate in Title IV programs without advance notice or opportunity for the institution to challenge the action. Students attending provisionally certified institutions remain eligible to receive Title IV program funds. Each of our U.S. Institutions currently is provisionally certified to participate in Title IV programs. They are also subject to a letter of credit for not satisfying the DOE's standards of financial responsibility, as described below. In addition, they are subject to additional cash management requirements with respect to their disbursements of Title IV funds, as well as certain additional reporting and disclosure requirements.

        Gainful employment.    Under the HEA, proprietary schools generally are eligible to participate in Title IV programs in respect of educational programs that lead to "gainful employment in a recognized

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occupation." On October 30, 2014, the DOE published regulations to define "gainful employment," which become effective on July 1, 2015. Continued compliance with the gainful employment regulations could increase our cost of doing business, reduce our enrollments and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

        Historically, the concept of "gainful employment" has not been defined in detail. The regulations require each educational program offered by a proprietary institution to achieve threshold rates in two debt measure categories: an annual debt-to-annual earnings ("DTE") ratio and an annual debt-to-discretionary income ("DTI") ratio.

        An educational program must achieve a DTE ratio at or below 8% or a DTI ratio at or below 20% to be considered "passing." An educational program with a DTE ratio greater than 8% but less than or equal to 12% or a DTI ratio greater than 20% but less than or equal to 30% is considered to be "in the zone." An educational program with a DTE ratio greater than 12% and a DTI ratio greater than 30% is considered "failing." An educational program will cease to be eligible for students to receive Title IV program funds if its DTE and DTI ratios are failing in two out of any three consecutive award years or if both of those rates are failing or in the zone for four consecutive award years.

        The regulations also require an institution to provide warnings to current and prospective students in programs which may lose Title IV eligibility at the end of an award or fiscal year. If an educational program could become ineligible based on its ratios for the next award year, the institution must (1) deliver a warning to current and prospective students in the program and (2) not enroll, register or enter into a financial commitment with a prospective student until three business days after the warning is provided or a subsequent warning is provided, if more than thirty days have passed since the first warning. If a program becomes ineligible for students to receive Title IV program funds, the institution cannot seek to reestablish eligibility of that program, or establish the eligibility of a similar program having the same classification of instructional program ("CIP") code with the same first four digits of the CIP code of the ineligible program for three years.

        Additionally, the regulations require an institution to certify to the DOE that its educational programs subject to the gainful employment requirements, which include all programs offered by our U.S. Institutions, meet the applicable requirements for graduates to be professionally or occupationally licensed or certified in the state in which the institution is located. If we are unable to certify that our programs meet the applicable state requirements for graduates to be professionally or occupationally certified in that state, then we may need to cease offering certain programs in certain states or to students who are residents in certain states. On July 5,2017, the DOE further announced that it would allow additional time, until July 1, 2018, for institutions to comply with certain disclosure requirements in the gainful employment regulations.

        In January 2017, the DOE issued final DTE rates to institutions. Among the Classification of Instructional Programs reported within NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Kendall College and Walden University, the DOE has indicated that we had one that failed and five in the zone. This represents a total of one educational program that failed and 10 in the zone. St. Augustine had no programs that failed or were in the zone. The percentage of students enrolled in the educational program that failed represents approximately 1% of the students currently enrolled in our U.S. Institutions. The percentage of students enrolled in the educational programs that were in the zone represents approximately 5%. We are currently examining and implementing options for each of these programs and their students. We are discontinuing the program that failed. For one of the programs in the zone, we conducted an alternate salary survey and are appealing the zone score to the DOE. The failure of any program or programs offered by any of our U.S. Institutions to satisfy any gainful employment regulations could render that program or programs ineligible for Title IV program funds. If a particular educational program ceased to become eligible for Title IV program funds, either

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because it fails to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation or due to other factors, we may choose to cease offering that program. It is possible that several programs offered by our schools may be adversely affected by the regulations due to lack of specialized program accreditation or certification in the states in which such institutions are based. We also could be required to make changes to certain programs at our U.S. Institutions or to increase student loan repayment efforts in order to comply with the rule or to avoid the uncertainty associated with such compliance.

        On June 16, 2017, the DOE published a notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to the gainful employment regulations. The DOE held negotiated rulemaking sessions on the gainful employment rule in December 2017 and February 2018, and will hold another negotiated rulemaking session in March 2018. If issued, any new gainful employment regulations would be effective July 1, 2019. We cannot predict with any certainty the outcome of the negotiated rulemaking or the extent to which revised gainful employment regulations may differ from the current regulations.

        Administrative capability.    DOE regulations specify extensive criteria by which an institution must establish that it has the requisite "administrative capability" to participate in Title IV programs. To meet the administrative capability standards, an institution must, among other things: comply with all applicable Title IV program requirements; have an adequate number of qualified personnel to administer Title IV programs; have acceptable standards for measuring the satisfactory academic progress of its students; not have student loan cohort default rates above specified levels; have various procedures in place for awarding, disbursing and safeguarding Title IV program funds and for maintaining required records; administer Title IV programs with adequate checks and balances in its system of internal controls; not be, and not have any principal or affiliate who is, debarred or suspended from federal contracting or engaging in activity that is cause for debarment or suspension; provide financial aid counseling to its students; refer to the DOE's Office of Inspector General any credible information indicating that any student, parent, employee, third-party servicer or other agent of the institution has engaged in any fraud or other illegal conduct involving Title IV programs; submit all required reports and financial statements in a timely manner; and not otherwise appear to lack administrative capability. If an institution fails to satisfy any of these criteria, the DOE may require the institution to repay Title IV funds its students previously received, change the institution's method of receiving Title IV program funds, which in some cases may result in a significant delay in the institution's receipt of those funds, place the institution on provisional certification status or commence a proceeding to impose a fine or to limit, suspend or terminate the institution's participation in Title IV programs. If the DOE determines that any of our U.S. Institutions failed to satisfy its administrative capability requirements, then the institution's students could lose, or be limited in their access to, Title IV program funding.

        Financial responsibility.    The HEA and DOE regulations establish extensive standards of financial responsibility that institutions such as ours must satisfy to participate in Title IV programs. The DOE evaluates institutions for compliance with these standards on an annual basis based on the institution's annual audited financial statements as well as when the institution applies to the DOE to have its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs recertified. The most significant financial responsibility standard is the institution's composite score, which is derived from a formula established by the DOE based on three financial ratios: (1) equity ratio, which measures the institution's capital resources, financial viability and ability to borrow; (2) primary reserve ratio, which measures the institution's ability to support current operations from expendable resources; and (3) net income ratio, which measures the institution's ability to operate at a profit or within its means. The DOE assigns a strength factor to the results of each of these ratios on a scale from negative 1.0 to positive 3.0, with negative 1.0 reflecting financial weakness and positive 3.0 reflecting financial strength. The DOE then assigns a weighting percentage to each ratio and adds the weighted scores for the three ratios together to

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produce a composite score for the institution. The composite score must be at least 1.5 for the institution to be deemed financially responsible without the need for further DOE oversight. In addition to having an acceptable composite score, an institution must, among other things, provide the administrative resources necessary to comply with Title IV program requirements, meet all of its financial obligations including required refunds to students and any Title IV liabilities and debts, be current in its debt payments and not receive an adverse, qualified or disclaimed opinion by its accountants in its audited financial statements.

        If the DOE determines that an institution does not meet the financial responsibility standards due to a failure to meet the composite score or other factors, the institution is able to establish financial responsibility on an alternative basis permitted by the DOE. This alternative basis could include, in the Department's discretion, posting a letter of credit, accepting provisional certification, complying with additional DOE monitoring requirements, agreeing to receive Title IV program funds under an arrangement other than the DOE's standard advance funding arrangement, such as the reimbursement method of payment or heightened cash monitoring, or complying with or accepting other limitations on the institution's ability to increase the number of programs it offers or the number of students it enrolls.

        The DOE measures the financial responsibility of several of our U.S. Institutions on the basis of the Laureate consolidated audited financial statements and not at the individual institution level. Based on Laureate's composite score for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the DOE determined that it, and consequently, Walden University, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Kendall College and St. Augustine failed to meet the standards of financial responsibility. As a result, in a letter dated October 30, 2017, the DOE required Laureate to increase its existing letter of credit to $136,887,941 (15% of Title IV program funds that the schools received during the most recently completed fiscal year), continued the institutions on Heightened Cash Monitoring and required Laureate to continue to comply with additional notification and reporting requirements, including submitting bi-weekly cash flow statements for Laureate and monthly student rosters of the institutions. In a letter dated March 1, 2018, the DOE required Laureate to provide additional ongoing information about its current operations and future plans, including bi-weekly updates on its cash balances and monthly cash flow statements and student rosters for its U.S. Institutions, beginning in April 2018.

        In December 2015, the DOE required us to provide a letter of credit in the amount of $14,967 for St. Augustine (25% of the total Title IV program refunds the institution made or should have made during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014). This requirement was due to the fact that St. Augustine was found to have untimely processed returns of Title IV program funds for withdrawn students for more than 5% of the students in its auditor's sample for the 2014 fiscal year. We have obtained this letter of credit. Any requirement to provide, maintain or increase a letter of credit or other sanctions that may be imposed by the DOE could increase our cost of regulatory compliance and could affect our cash flows. The DOE has the discretion to increase our letter of credit requirements at any time. If our U.S. Institutions are unable to meet the minimum composite score requirement or comply with the other standards of financial responsibility, and could not post a required letter of credit or comply with the alternative bases for establishing financial responsibility, then students at our U.S. Institutions could lose their access to Title IV program funding.

        On November 1, 2016, as part of its defense to repayment rulemaking, the DOE issued a rule to revise its general standards of financial responsibility to include various actions and events that would require institutions to provide the DOE with irrevocable letters of credit upon the occurrence of certain triggering events. In June 2017, however, the DOE announced an indefinite delay in implementing the rule and its intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to these regulations. For additional information regarding this rule and the current rulemaking, see "—DOE rulemaking activities." If we are required to repay the DOE for any successful DTR claims by students who attended our U.S. Institutions, or we are required to obtain

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additional letters of credit or increase our current letter of credit, it could materially affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations.

        Return of Title IV funds for students who withdraw.    When a student who has received Title IV funds withdraws from school, the institution must determine the amount of Title IV program funds the student has "earned." The institution must return any unearned Title IV program funds to the appropriate lender or the DOE in a timely manner, which is generally no later than 45 days after the date the institution determined that the student withdrew. If such payments are not timely made, the institution will be required to submit a letter of credit to the DOE equal to 25% of the Title IV funds that the institution should have returned for withdrawn students in its most recently completed fiscal year. Under DOE regulations, late returns of Title IV program funds for 5% or more of the withdrawn students in the audit sample in the institution's annual Title IV compliance audit for either of the institution's two most recent fiscal years or in a DOE program review triggers this letter of credit requirement.

        The "90/10 Rule."    A requirement of the HEA commonly referred to as the "90/10 Rule" provides that an institution loses its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, if, under a complex regulatory formula that requires cash basis accounting and other adjustments to the calculation of revenue, the institution derives more than 90% of its revenues for any fiscal year from Title IV program funds. This rule applies only to for-profit post-secondary educational institutions, including our U.S. Institutions. An institution is subject to loss of eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if it exceeds the 90% threshold for two consecutive fiscal years, and an institution whose rate exceeds 90% for any single fiscal year will be placed on provisional certification and may be subject to addition conditions or sanctions imposed by the DOE.

        Using the DOE's formula under the "90/10 Rule," Kendall College derived approximately 31%, 34% and 36% of its revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from Title IV program funds in fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. NewSchool of Architecture and Design derived approximately 35%, 37% and 43% of its revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from Title IV program funds in fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. St. Augustine derived approximately 65%, 57% and 49% of its revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from Title IV program funds in fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Walden University derived approximately 73%, 73% and 73% of its revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from Title IV program funds in fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

        The ability of our U.S. Institutions to maintain 90/10 rates below 90% will depend on our enrollments, any increases in students Title IV funding eligibility in the future, and other factors outside of our control, including any reduction in government assistance for military personnel, including veterans, or changes in the treatment of such funding for the purposes of the 90/10 calculation. In recent years, several members of Congress have introduced proposals and legislation that would modify the 90/10 Rule. One such proposal would revise the 90/10 Rule to an 85/15 rule and would count DoD tuition assistance and GI Bill education benefits toward that limit. We cannot predict whether, or the extent to which, these actions could result in legislation or further rulemaking affecting the 90/10 Rule. To the extent that any such laws or regulations are enacted, our U.S. Institutions' financial condition could be adversely affected.

        Student loan defaults.    Under the HEA, an educational institution may lose its eligibility to participate in some or all Title IV programs if defaults by its students on the repayment of federal student loans received under Title IV programs exceed certain levels. For each federal fiscal year, the DOE calculates a rate of student defaults on such loans for each institution, known as a "cohort default rate." Under current regulations, an institution will lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if its three-year cohort default rate equals or exceeds 30% for three consecutive cohort years or 40% for any given year.

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        The DOE generally publishes official cohort default rates annually in September for the repayment period that ended the prior September 30. Kendall College's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 11.3%, 10.0% and 7.9%, respectively. NewSchool of Architecture and Design's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 5.2%, 5.1% and 10.2%, respectively. St. Augustine's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 0.0%, 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively. Walden University's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 7.5%, 6.7% and 6.8%, respectively. The average national student loan default rates published by the DOE for all institutions that participated in the federal student aid programs for 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 11.5%, 11.3% and 11.8%, respectively, and for all proprietary institutions that participated in the federal student aid programs for 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 15.5%, 15.0% and 15.8%, respectively.

        Incentive compensation rule.    Under the HEA, an educational institution that participates in Title IV programs may not make any commission, bonus or other incentive payments to any persons or entities involved in recruitment or admissions activities or in the awarding of financial aid pertaining to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and others temporarily residing in the United States with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident. The DOE has taken the position that any commission, bonus or other incentive compensation based in any part, directly or indirectly, or securing enrollment or awarding financial aid is inconsistent with the statutory prohibition against incentive compensation. The DOE has maintained that institutions may make merit-based adjustments to employee compensation, provided that those adjustments are not based, in any part, directly or indirectly, upon securing enrollments or awarding financial aid. In sub-regulatory correspondence to institutions regarding its regulatory changes, the DOE provided additional guidance regarding the scope of the prohibition on incentive compensation and to what employees and types of activities the prohibition applies.

        In addition, in recent years, other post-secondary educational institutions have been named as defendants to whistleblower lawsuits, known as "qui tam" cases, brought by current or former employees pursuant to the Federal False Claims Act, alleging that their institutions' compensation practices did not comply with the incentive compensation rule. A qui tam case is a civil lawsuit brought by one or more individuals (a "relator") on behalf of the federal government for an alleged submission to the government of a false claim for payment. The relator, often a current or former employee, is entitled to a share of the government's recovery in the case, including the possibility of treble damages. Any such litigation could be costly and could divert management's time and attention away from the business, regardless of whether a claim has merit.

        Substantial misrepresentation.    An institution participating in Title IV programs is prohibited from making misrepresentations regarding the nature of its educational programs, the nature of financial charges and availability of financial assistance, or the employability of graduates. A misrepresentation is defined in the regulations as any false, erroneous or misleading statement to any student or prospective student, any member of the public, an accrediting agency, a state agency or the DOE, and, significantly, the regulations as promulgated by the DOE define misleading statements to broadly include any statements that have a likelihood or tendency to deceive. If any of our U.S. Institutions—or any entity, organization, or person with whom the institution has an agreement to provide educational programs or to provide marketing, advertising, recruiting, or admissions services—committed a misrepresentation for which a person could reasonably be expected to rely, or has reasonably relied, to that person's detriment, the DOE could initiate proceedings to revoke the institution's Title IV eligibility, deny applications made by the institution, impose fines, or initiate a limitation, suspension or termination proceeding against the institution.

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        Compliance reviews.    Our U.S. Institutions are subject to announced and unannounced compliance reviews and audits by various external agencies, including the DOE, its Office of Inspector General, state licensing agencies, various state approving agencies for financial assistance to veterans and accrediting agencies. In general, after the DOE conducts a site visit and reviews data supplied by an institution, the DOE sends the institution a program review report and affords the institution with an opportunity to respond to any findings. The DOE then issues a final program review determination letter, which identifies any liabilities.

        On September 21, 2015, the Higher Learning Commission notified Kendall College that the Higher Learning Commission placed the school on ongoing financial monitoring over the next 24 months. Such action was primarily due to concerns over the school's continued reliance upon Laureate to provide financial support to sustain its operations. The Higher Learning Commission also conducted a separate on-site mid-cycle review of Kendall on May 1, 2017. At its March 2018 meeting, the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission will consider the report for that mid-cycle review and Kendall's response. The Institutional Actions Council's recommendation will be considered by the Higher Learning Commission Board at its June 2018 meeting.

        The Higher Learning Commission conducted an on-site mid-cycle review of Walden University on May 1, 2017. The Higher Learning Commission determined that Walden University met the accreditation criteria, with the exception of two, for which it is requiring the school to submit follow-up reports. Specifically, Walden University must submit an interim report by May 2018 regarding its progress in addressing the "material weakness" (pertaining to Laureate's control over information technology systems) as identified by its auditors in its December 31, 2016 financial statements, and a second interim report by May 2019 regarding retention and graduation rate improvements to doctoral programs.

        On September 8, 2016, MOHE sent to Walden University an information request regarding its doctoral programs and complaints filed by doctoral students, as part of a program review that MOHE is conducting. We have been informed by MOHE that in an effort to better understand the context, background and issues related to doctoral student complaints in Minnesota, MOHE is initiating a full review of doctoral programs for certain institutions registered in Minnesota. MOHE has informed us that it expects to issue a report regarding its program review in 2018.

        As part of the DOE's ongoing monitoring of institutions' administration of Title IV programs, the HEA also requires institutions to annually submit to the DOE a Title IV compliance audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with applicable federal and DOE audit standards. In addition, to enable the DOE to make a determination of an institution's financial responsibility, each institution must annually submit audited financial statements prepared in accordance with DOE regulations.

        DOE rulemaking activities.    On December 19, 2016, the DOE published final regulations regarding state authorization for programs offered through distance education and state authorization for foreign locations of institutions. For additional information regarding these regulations, see "—State Education Licensure and Regulation."

        On November 1, 2016, the DOE published a rule that, among other provisions, established new standards and processes for determining whether a Direct Loan Program borrower has a defense to repayment ("DTR") on a loan due to acts or omissions by the institution at which the loan was used by the borrower for educational expenses. The regulations were to take effect on July 1, 2017. On June 15, 2017, the DOE announced an indefinite delay to its implementation of the regulations, and on June 16, 2017 published a notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to the rule.

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        Among other topics, the now-delayed rule established permissible borrower defense claims for discharge, procedural rules under which claims would be adjudicated, time limits for borrowers' claims, and guidelines for recoupment by the DOE of discharged loan amounts from institutions of higher education. It also prohibited schools from using any pre-dispute arbitration agreements, prohibited schools from prohibiting relief in the form of class actions by student borrowers, and invalidated clauses imposing requirements that students pursue an internal dispute resolution process before contacting authorities regarding concerns about an institution. For proprietary institutions, the now-delayed rule described the threshold for loan repayment rates that would require specific disclosures to current and prospective students and the applicable loan repayment rate methodology. The now-delayed rule also established important new financial responsibility and administrative capacity requirements for both not-for-profit and for-profit institutions participating in the Title IV programs. Under the now-delayed rule, certain events would automatically trigger a letter of credit and the DOE retained discretion to impose a letter of credit upon the occurrence of other events.

        The DOE held negotiated rulemaking sessions in November 2017, January 2018 and February 2018 regarding the DTR regulations. The DOE and negotiators failed to reach consensus on revised DTR regulations, and the DOE is now expected to issue revised DTR regulations for comment by the summer of 2018, with the rules becoming final by November 1, 2018. If issued, any new DTR regulations would be effective July 1, 2019. We cannot state with any certainty how the revised DTR regulations will differ from the now-delayed rule. Any new DTR regulations, whether or not they are similar to the now-delayed regulations, could have a direct and substantial impact on our U.S. Institutions. In the meantime, regardless of the status of new DTR regulations, our U.S. Institutions are subject to student loan discharge liabilities. If we are required to repay the DOE for any successful DTR claims by students who attended our U.S. Institutions, or we are required to obtain additional letters of credit or increase our current letter of credit, it could materially affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations.

        Privacy of student records.    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA"), and the DOE's FERPA regulations require educational institutions to protect the privacy of students' educational records by limiting an institution's disclosure of a student's personally identifiable information without the student's prior written consent. FERPA also requires institutions to allow students to review and request changes to their educational records maintained by the institution, to notify students at least annually of this inspection right and to maintain records in each student's file listing requests for access to and disclosures of personally identifiable information and the interest of such party in that information. If an institution fails to comply with FERPA, the DOE may require corrective actions by the institution or may terminate an institution's receipt of further federal funds. In addition, our U.S. Institutions are obligated to safeguard student information pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the "GLBA"), a federal law designed to protect consumers' personal financial information held by financial institutions and other entities that provide financial services to consumers. The GLBA and the applicable GLBA regulations require an institution to, among other things, develop and maintain a comprehensive, written information security program designed to protect against the unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable financial information of students, parents or other individuals with whom such institution has a customer relationship. If an institution fails to comply with the applicable GLBA requirements, it may be required to take corrective actions, be subject to monitoring and oversight by the FTC, and be subject to fines or penalties imposed by the FTC. For-profit educational institutions are also subject to the general deceptive practices jurisdiction of the FTC with respect to their collection, use and disclosure of student information. The institution must also comply with the FTC Red Flags Rule, a section of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, that requires the establishment of guidelines and policies regarding identity theft related to student credit accounts.

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        Potential effect of regulatory violations.    If any of our U.S. Institutions fails to comply with the regulatory standards governing Title IV programs, the DOE could impose one or more sanctions, including requiring us to repay Title IV program funds, requiring us to post a letter of credit in favor of the DOE as a condition for continued Title IV certification, taking emergency action against us, initiating proceedings to impose a fine or to limit, suspend or terminate our participation in Title IV programs or referring the matter for civil or criminal prosecution. Because our U.S. Institutions are provisionally certified to participate in Title IV programs, the DOE may revoke the certification of these institutions without advance notice or advance opportunity for us to challenge that action. If such sanctions or proceedings were imposed against us and resulted in a substantial curtailment or termination of our participation in Title IV programs, our enrollments, revenues and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

        In addition to the actions that may be brought against us as a result of our participation in Title IV programs, we are also subject to complaints and lawsuits relating to regulatory compliance brought not only by regulatory agencies, but also by other government agencies and third parties, such as current or former students or employees and other members of the public.

Regulatory Standards that May Restrict Institutional Expansion or Other Changes in the United States

        Many actions that we may wish to take in connection with expanding our operations or other changes in the United States are subject to review or approval by the applicable regulatory agencies.

        Adding teaching locations, implementing new educational programs and increasing enrollment.    The requirements and standards of state education agencies, accrediting agencies and the DOE limit our ability in certain instances to establish additional teaching locations, implement new educational programs or increase enrollment in certain programs. Many states require review and approval before institutions can add new locations or programs. Our U.S. Institutions' state educational agencies and institutional and specialized accrediting agencies that authorize or accredit our U.S. Institutions and their programs generally require institutions to notify them in advance of adding new locations or implementing new programs, and upon notification may undertake a review of the quality of the facility or the program and the financial, academic and other qualifications of the institution.

        With respect to the DOE, if an institution participating in Title IV programs plans to add a new location or educational program, the institution must generally apply to the DOE to have the additional location or educational program designated as within the scope of the institution's Title IV eligibility. As a condition for an institution to participate in Title IV programs on a provisional basis, as in our case, the DOE can require prior approval of such programs or otherwise restrict the number of programs an institution may add or the extent to which an institution can modify existing educational programs. If an institution that is required to obtain the DOE's advance approval for the addition of a new program or new location fails to do so, the institution may be liable for repayment of the Title IV program funds received by the institution or students in connection with that program or enrolled at that location.

        Provisional certification.    Each institution must apply to the DOE for continued certification to participate in Title IV programs at least every six years and when it undergoes a change in control. An institution may also come under the DOE's review when it expands its activities in certain ways, such as opening an additional location, adding an educational program or modifying the academic credentials that it offers.

        The DOE may place an institution on provisional certification status if it finds that the institution does not fully satisfy all of the eligibility and certification standards. In addition, if a company acquires an institution from another entity, the acquired institution will automatically be placed on provisional certification when the DOE approves the transaction. During the period of provisional certification, the

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institution must comply with any additional conditions or restrictions included in its program participation agreement with the DOE. Students attending provisionally certified institutions remain eligible to receive Title IV program funds, but if the DOE finds that a provisionally certified institution is unable to meet its responsibilities under its program participation agreement, it may seek to revoke the institution's certification to participate in Title IV programs without advance notice or advance opportunity for the institution to challenge that action. In addition, the DOE may more closely review an institution that is provisionally certified if it applies for recertification or approval to open a new location, add an educational program, acquire another institution or make any other significant change. All of our U.S. Institutions currently participate in Title IV programs pursuant to provisional participation agreements due to our conversion to a public benefit corporation and our initial public offering, as well as because we do not meet the DOE's standards of financial responsibility.

        Acquiring other institutions.    We have acquired other institutions in the past, and we may seek to do so in the future. The DOE and virtually all state education agencies and accrediting agencies require a company to obtain their approval if it wishes to acquire another institution. The level of review varies by individual state and accrediting agency, with some requiring approval of such an acquisition before it occurs while others only consider approval after the acquisition has occurred. The approval of the applicable state education agencies and accrediting agencies is a necessary prerequisite to the DOE certifying the acquired institution to participate in Title IV programs. The restrictions imposed by any of the applicable regulatory agencies could delay or prevent our acquisition of other institutions in some circumstances or could delay the ability of an acquired institution to participate in Title IV programs.

        Change in ownership resulting in a change in control.    The DOE and many states and accrediting agencies require institutions of higher education to report or obtain approval of certain changes in control and changes in other aspects of institutional organization or control. Under DOE's regulations, an institution that undergoes a change in control loses its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs and must apply to the DOE to reestablish such eligibility. If an institution files the required application and follows other procedures, the DOE may temporarily certify the institution on a provisional basis following the change in control, so that the institution's students retain continued access to Title IV program funds. In addition, the DOE may extend such temporary provisional certification if the institution timely files certain required materials, including the approval of the change in control by its state authorizing agency and accrediting agency and certain financial information pertaining to the financial condition of the institution or its parent corporation.

        The types of and thresholds for such reporting and approval vary among the states and accrediting agencies. Certain accrediting agencies may require that an institution must obtain its approval in advance of a change in control, structure or organization for the institution to retain its accredited status. In addition, in the event of a change in control, structure or organization, certain accrediting agencies may require a post-transaction focused visit or other evaluation to review the appropriateness of its approval of the change and whether the institution has met the commitment it made to the accrediting agency prior to the approval. Other specialized accrediting agencies also require an institution to obtain similar approval before or after the event that constitutes a change in control under their standards. Many states include the transfer of a controlling interest of common stock in the definition of a change in control requiring approval. Some state educational agencies that regulate us may require us to obtain approval of the change in control to maintain authorization to operate in that state, and in some cases such states could require us to obtain advance approval of a change in control.

Other Regulatory Considerations

        In Australia, the Commonwealth government has established income-contingent loan schemes that assist eligible fee-paying students to pay all or part of their tuition fees (separate schemes exist for higher education and vocational courses). Under the schemes the relevant fees are paid directly to the

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institutions. A corresponding obligation then exists from the participating student to the Commonwealth government. The Australian institutions have no responsibility in connection with the repayment of these loans by students and, generally, this assistance is not available to international students. In December 2016, the Australian government introduced a new loan scheme for vocational courses. THINK has been registered for the purposes of this scheme (a precondition to its students being eligible to receive loans for vocational courses) up to December 31, 2021. TUA has also been registered for this purpose (to cover vocational courses which it may wish to offer in the future) up to December 31, 2021. TUA currently only provides higher education programs which are not affected by these changes. The Australia institutions have been deliberately placing emphasis on higher education courses in TUA in anticipation of these changes.

        In Thailand, there are also government programs available to our students, however, they do not represent a material portion of the revenues of our institutions in this country. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, our students' tuition is fully funded by the government and the government pays the tuition for each student either directly to us or, in the case of RPI, to the institution which, in turn, pays us. The government also provides a monthly stipend to each student enrolled at the eight colleges of excellence, while at RPI, the private companies sponsoring the students pay the stipend. The payments are based on our enrollments, with minimum payments set for each institution.

ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS

        The following are certain risks that could affect our business and our results of operations. The risks identified below are not all encompassing but should be considered in establishing an opinion of our future operations.

Risks Relating to Our Business

We are a global business with operations in more than 20 countries around the world and are subject to complex business, economic, legal, political, tax and foreign currency risks, which risks may be difficult to adequately address.

        In each of 2017, 2016 and 2015, over 80% of our revenues were generated from operations outside of the United States. We own or control 52 institutions and manage or have relationships with 11 other licensed institutions in more than 20 countries, each of which is subject to complex business, economic, legal, political, tax and foreign currency risks. As we continue to expand our international operations, we may have difficulty managing and administering a globally dispersed business and we may need to expend additional funds to, among other things, staff key management positions, obtain additional information technology infrastructure and successfully implement relevant course and program offerings for a significant number of international markets, which may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Additional challenges associated with the conduct of our business overseas that may materially adversely affect our operating results include:

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        Our success in growing our business will depend, in part, on the ability to anticipate and effectively manage these and other risks related to operating in various countries. Any failure by us to effectively manage the challenges associated with the international expansion of our operations could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we do not effectively manage our growth and business, our results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

        We have expanded our business through the expansion of existing institutions and the acquisition of higher education institutions, and we intend to continue to do so in the future. We also have established and intend to establish new institutions in certain markets. Planned growth will require us to add management personnel and upgrade our financial and management systems and controls and information technology infrastructure. There is no assurance that we will be able to maintain or accelerate the current growth rate, effectively manage expanding operations, build expansion capacity, integrate new institutions or achieve planned growth on a timely or profitable basis. If our revenue growth is less than projected, the costs incurred for these additions and upgrades could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we cannot maintain student enrollments in our institutions and maintain tuition levels, our results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

        Our strategy for growth and profitability depends, in part, upon maintaining and, subsequently, increasing student enrollments in our institutions and maintaining tuition levels. Attrition rates are often due to factors outside our control. Students sometimes face financial, personal or family constraints that require them to drop out of school. They also are affected by economic and social factors prevalent in their countries. In some markets in which we operate, transfers between universities are not common and, as a result, we are less likely to fill spaces of students who drop out. In addition, our ability to attract and retain students may require us to discount tuition from published levels, and

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may prevent us from increasing tuition levels at a rate consistent with inflation and increases in our costs. If we are unable to control the rate of student attrition, our overall enrollment levels are likely to decline or if we are unable to charge tuition rates that are both competitive and cover our rising expenses, our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations may be materially adversely affected. In addition, student enrollment may be negatively affected by our reputation and any negative publicity related to us.

We have incurred net losses in certain prior fiscal years.

        We had net income of $93.8 million in 2017, net income of $366.2 million in 2016, and net loss of $315.8 million in 2015. Our operating expenses may increase in the foreseeable future as we continue to expand our operations and the Laureate International Universities network. These efforts may prove more expensive than we currently anticipate, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenues sufficiently to offset any higher expenses. Any failure to increase our revenues could prevent us from attaining profitability. We cannot be certain that we will be able to attain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. If we are unable to manage these risks and difficulties effectively as we encounter them, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

We may not be able to identify, acquire or establish control of, and integrate additional higher education institutions, or effectively integrate previously acquired institutions, which could materially adversely affect our growth.

        We have previously relied on, and we expect to continue to rely on, acquisitions as an element of our growth. In 2017, we made one acquisition for $8.3 million, in 2016, we made no acquisitions, in 2015, we made two acquisitions totaling $11.6 million, in 2014, we made three acquisitions totaling $469.2 million, in 2013, we made four acquisitions totaling $321.7 million, in 2012, we made two acquisitions totaling $8.6 million, and in 2011, we made six acquisitions totaling $58.9 million, including debt assumed. However, there is no assurance that we will be able to continue to identify suitable acquisition candidates or that we will be able to acquire or establish control of any acquisition candidate on favorable terms, or at all. In addition, in many countries, the approval of a regulatory agency is needed to acquire or operate a higher education institution, which we may not be able to obtain. Furthermore, there is no assurance that any acquired institution can be integrated into our operations successfully or be operated profitably. Acquisitions involve a number of risks, including:

        If we do not make acquisitions or make fewer acquisitions than we have historically, or if our acquisitions are not managed successfully, our growth and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

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Our divestiture activities may disrupt our ongoing business, may involve increased expenses and may present risks not contemplated at the time of the transactions.

        We have divested and may in the future divest certain assets or businesses that no longer fit with our strategic direction or growth targets. See "Item 1—Business—Recent Developments." Divestitures involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:

        Because divestitures are inherently risky, our transactions may not be successful and may, in some cases, harm our operating results or financial condition.

Our success depends substantially on the value of the local brands of each of our institutions as well as the Laureate International Universities network brand, which may be materially adversely affected by changes in current and prospective students' perception of our reputation and the use of social media.

        Each of our institutions has worked hard to establish the value of its individual brand. Brand value may be severely damaged, even by isolated incidents, particularly if the incidents receive considerable negative publicity. There has been a marked increase in use of social media platforms, including weblogs (blogs), social media websites, and other forms of Internet-based communications that allow individuals access to a broad audience of interested persons. We believe students and prospective employers value readily available information about our institutions and often act on such information without further investigation or authentication, and without regard to its accuracy. In addition, many of our institutions use the Laureate name in promoting their institutions and our success is dependent in large part upon our ability to maintain and enhance the value of the Laureate and Laureate International Universities brands. Social media platforms and devices immediately publish the content their subscribers and participants post, often without filters or checks on the accuracy of the content posted. Information concerning our company and our institutions may be posted on such platforms and devices at any time. Information posted may be materially adverse to our interests, it may be inaccurate, and it may harm our performance, prospects and business.

Our reputation may be negatively influenced by the actions of other for-profit and private institutions.

        In recent years, there have been a number of regulatory investigations and civil litigation matters targeting post-secondary for-profit education institutions in the United States and private higher education institutions in other countries, such as Chile. These investigations and lawsuits have alleged, among other things, deceptive trade practices, false claims against the United States and noncompliance with state and DOE regulations, and breach of the requirement that universities in Chile be operated as not-for-profit institutions. These allegations have attracted adverse media coverage and have been the subject of federal and state legislative hearings and investigations in the United States and in other

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countries. Allegations against the post-secondary for-profit and private education sectors may affect general public perceptions of for-profit and private educational institutions, including institutions in the Laureate International Universities network and us, in a negative manner. Adverse media coverage regarding other for-profit or private educational institutions or regarding us directly or indirectly could damage our reputation, reduce student demand for our programs, materially adversely affect our revenues and operating profit or result in increased regulatory scrutiny.

Growing our online academic programs could be difficult for us.

        We anticipate significant future growth from online courses we offer to students, particularly in emerging markets. The expansion of our existing online programs, the creation of new online programs and the development of new fully online or hybrid programs may not be accepted by students or employers, or by government regulators or accreditation agencies. In addition, our efforts may be materially adversely affected by increased competition in the online education market or because of problems with the performance or reliability of our online program infrastructure. There is also increasing development of online programs by traditional universities, both in the public and private sectors, which may have more consumer acceptance than programs we develop, because of lower pricing or greater perception of value of their degrees in the marketplace, which may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our success depends, in part, on the effectiveness of our marketing and advertising programs in recruiting new students.

        In order to maintain and increase our revenues and margins, we must continue to develop our admissions programs and attract new students in a cost-effective manner. As part of our marketing and advertising, we also subscribe to lead-generating databases in certain markets, the cost of which is expected to increase. The level of marketing and advertising and types of strategies used are affected by the specific geographic markets, regulatory compliance requirements and the specific individual nature of each institution and its students. The complexity of these marketing efforts contributes to their cost. If we are unable to advertise and market our institutions and programs successfully, our ability to attract and enroll new students could be materially adversely affected and, consequently, our financial performance could suffer. We use marketing tools such as the Internet, radio, television and print media advertising to promote our institutions and programs. Our representatives also make presentations at upper secondary schools. Additionally, we rely on the general reputation of our institutions and referrals from current students, alumni and employers as a source of new enrollment. Among the factors that could prevent us from marketing and advertising our institutions and programs successfully are the failure of our marketing tools and strategies to appeal to prospective students, regulatory constraints on marketing, current student and/or employer dissatisfaction with our program offerings or results and diminished access to upper secondary campuses. In addition, in certain instances, local regulatory authorities set quotas each year for how many students we may enroll, which may further limit our ability to recruit new students or maintain our present enrollment level. In some of the countries in which we operate, enrollment growth in degree-granting, higher education institutions is slowing or is expected to slow. In order to maintain current growth rates, we will need to attract a larger percentage of students in existing markets and increase our addressable market by adding locations in new markets and rolling out new academic programs. Any failure to accomplish this may have a material adverse effect on our future growth.

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Our institutions are subject to uncertain and varying laws and regulations, and any changes to these laws or regulations or their application to us may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Higher education is regulated to varying degrees and in different ways in each of the countries in which we operate an institution. In general, our institutions must have licenses, approvals, authorizations, or accreditations from various governmental authorities and accrediting bodies. These licenses, approvals, authorizations, and accreditations must be renewed periodically, usually after an evaluation of the institution by the relevant governmental authorities or accrediting bodies. These periodic evaluations could result in limitations, restrictions, conditions, or withdrawal of such licenses, approvals, authorizations or accreditations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In some countries in which we operate, there is a trend toward making continued licensure or accreditation based on successful student outcomes, such as employment, which may be affected by many factors outside of our control. Once licensed, approved, authorized or accredited, some of our institutions may need approvals for new campuses or to add new degree programs.

        All of these regulations and their applicable interpretations are subject to change. Moreover, regulatory agencies may scrutinize our institutions because they are owned or controlled by a U.S.-based for-profit corporation. Outside the United States, we may be particularly susceptible to such treatment because, in several of the countries in which we operate, our institutions are among the largest private institutions and have a substantial share of the higher education market. Changes in applicable regulations may cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Changes in laws governing student financing could affect the availability of government-sponsored financing programs for our non-U.S. students, such as the Crédito con Aval del Estado (the "CAE Program"), a government-sponsored student loan program in Chile, the Fundo de Financiamento Estudantil ("FIES"), a government-sponsored loan program in Brazil, and the Programa Universidade Para Todos ("PROUNI") in Brazil, all of which are offered by governments as a means of increasing student access to post-secondary education programs. If those programs are changed, or if our institutions or our students are no longer permitted to participate in those programs, it could cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. For more information on the CAE Program, FIES and PROUNI, see "—If students who avail themselves of government-sponsored student financing programs in certain countries do not graduate and subsequently default on their loans, we may be responsible for repaying a significant portion of their loans" and "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—Brazilian Regulation" and "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—Chilean Regulation." Institutional accreditation is required for new students to be eligible to participate in the CAE Program. If one of our institutions in Chile loses accreditation, new students at that institution would not be eligible to participate in the CAE program. For more information about possible changes in government regulation of higher education in Chile, including possible changes to student financing programs, see "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—Chilean Regulation—Recent Developments." In December 2016, the Australian government introduced a new student loan scheme for vocational courses. These changes, among other things, require relevant vocational education providers to demonstrate a minimum of 50% completion rates, provide for payment of fees monthly in arrears and impose caps on the amounts of loans available for particular categories of courses. See "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—Other Regulation." The Australian vocational operations comply with these requirements but the changes may affect the results of those operations.

        For a full description of the laws and regulations affecting our higher education institutions in the United States ("U.S. Institutions"), and the impact of those laws and regulations on the operations of our U.S. Institutions, including the ability of our U.S. Institutions to continue to access U.S. federal

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student aid funding sources, see "—Risks relating to our highly regulated industry in the United States" and "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—U.S. Regulation."

        The laws of the countries where we own or control institutions and expect to acquire ownership or control of institutions in the future must permit both private higher education institutions and foreign ownership or control of them. For political, economic or other reasons, a country could decide to change its laws or regulations to prohibit or limit private higher education institutions or foreign ownership or control or prohibit or limit our ability to enter into contracts or agreements with these institutions. If this change occurred, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and we could be forced to sell an institution at a price that could be lower than its fair market value or relinquish control of an institution. A forced sale or relinquishment of control could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Political and regulatory developments in Turkey may materially adversely affect us.

        Istanbul Bilgi University ("Bilgi"), a member of the Laureate International Universities network located in Turkey, is established as a "Foundation High Education Institution" (a "Foundation University") under the Turkish higher education law, sponsored by the Bilgi Foundation. As such, it is subject to regulation, supervision and inspection by Turkish Higher Education Council (the "YÖK"). Under the "Ordinance Concerned with Amendment to Foundation High Education Institutions" (the "Ordinance"), the YÖK has authority to inspect accounts, transactions, activities and assets of Foundation Universities, as well as their academic units, programs, projects and subjects. The Ordinance establishes a progressive series of five remedies that the YÖK can take in the event it finds a violation of the Ordinance, ranging from (1) a warning and request for correction to (2) the suspension of the Foundation University's ability to establish new academic units or programs to (3) limiting the number of students the Foundation University can admit, including ceasing new admissions, to (4) provisional suspension of the Foundation University's license to (5) cancellation of the Foundation University's license. Since the promulgation of the Ordinance, the YÖK has canceled the licenses of 15 Foundation Universities.

        The Ordinance specifies that Foundation Universities cannot be established by foundations in order to gain profit for themselves, and prohibits specified types of fund transfers from Foundation Universities to their sponsoring foundation, with certain exceptions for payments made under contractual arrangements for various goods and services that are provided at or below current market rates. Bilgi has entered into contractual arrangements with a subsidiary of the Company to provide Bilgi with management, operational and student services and certain intellectual property at fair market rates, and certain affiliates of the Company are members of the board of trustees of the Bilgi Foundation. The YÖK conducts annual audits of the operations of Bilgi. If the YÖK were to determine that any of these contracts or the payments made by Bilgi to this Company subsidiary, or any other activities of Bilgi, including the donation of 40.0 million Turkish Liras made by the university to a charitable foundation that was subsequently reimbursed to the university by certain Company-owned entities, violate the Ordinance or other applicable law, the YÖK could take actions against Bilgi up to and including cancellation of its license.

        On April 18, 2017, Bilgi received from the YÖK the results of its 2015-2016 annual audit (the "2015-2016 Annual Audit"). The 2015-2016 Annual Audit report required, among other things, that (i) with respect to the 2017-2018 academic year, there be a reduction in the quota for the number of new students permitted to be admitted into Bilgi's degree programs and (ii) Bilgi be reimbursed, not later than October 18, 2017, approximately $29 million for payments previously made by Bilgi to a subsidiary of the Company for certain management, operational and student services, and intellectual property. The Company and Bilgi believe the charges to Bilgi for these services were at fair value and Bilgi has contested the findings of the 2015-2016 Annual Audit that they constituted an improper wealth transfer. Demands also were made in the 2015-2016 Annual Audit for the return or payment to

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Bilgi, by October 18, 2017, of other amounts involving approximately $8 million. These deadlines have been extended to April 16, 2018. In the meantime, the YÖK has been conducting a supplemental audit, the results of which have not been released.

        Bilgi has appealed the YÖK's decision in the Turkish court system and has not been reimbursed for any of the payments made to the Company's subsidiary for the services described above. As the Company currently consolidates Bilgi under the variable interest entity model, if the Company is unable to provide services under its contracts with Bilgi and receive the economic benefits from those contracts as a result of the determinations in the 2015-2016 Annual Audit, deconsolidation of Bilgi could be required. Deconsolidation, if required, could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations, including possible write-off of all or a portion of the Company's investment in Bilgi and a reduction in operating income. At December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Bilgi had total assets of approximately $112 million and $83 million, respectively, and total liabilities of $84 million and $63 million, respectively. Total liabilities include approximately $37 million and $19 million of net intercompany liabilities as of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. During fiscal year 2017, Bilgi generated approximately $101 million of the Company's consolidated revenue and approximately $28 million of the Company's consolidated operating income and incurred approximately $6 million of depreciation and amortization expense.

        If the YÖK were to determine that any administrators of Bilgi have directly taken any actions or supported any activities that are intended to harm the integrity of the state, the license of the university could be canceled. Political instability in Turkey could lead to changes in laws affecting Bilgi or result in modifications to the current interpretations and enforcement of the Ordinance or other laws and regulations by the YÖK. Any such actions by the YÖK, including the actions in relation to the conduct of the 2015-2016 Annual Audit, or the 2016-2017 annual audit, which is currently taking place, or any supplemental audit, and the reimbursement of amounts described above, could have a material adverse impact on Bilgi's future growth or its ability to remain in operation, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Political and regulatory developments in Chile have materially adversely affected us and may continue to affect us.

        On January 24, 2018, a new Higher Education Law (the "New Law") was passed by the Chilean Congress and, assuming that it passes review by the Constitutional Court, it is expected to be signed into law by the President of Chile as early as the first quarter of 2018. Among other things, the New Law will prohibit for-profit organizations, such as Laureate, from controlling the boards of universities in Chile. The New Law also prohibits conflicts of interests and related party transactions with notable exceptions, including the provision of services that are educational in nature or essential for the university's purposes. The New Law provides for a transition period between one and two years. The incoming Chilean presidential administration, which took office on March 11, 2018, will have the responsibility to both interpret the legislative mandates and implement new compliance processes.

        The Company is currently reviewing the impact the New Law will have on its Chilean operations, including the extent to which it will affect existing contractual relationships that the Company maintains with its Chilean non-profit universities. As a result of the New Law, the Company currently expects that it will be required to deconsolidate its three Chilean non-profit universities, which are accounted for as variable interest entities, and its Chilean real estate subsidiary, although the Company expects it will retain an approximately 30% equity ownership interest in the real estate subsidiary. The deconsolidation could happen as early as the first quarter of 2018. The Company currently expects that the deconsolidation will result in a one-time write-off of the carrying value of the assets of between approximately $600 million and $850 million and a decrease of between approximately $410 million to $430 million in revenues on an annualized basis. In addition, on an annualized basis, the Company

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expects a decrease in operating income of approximately $35 million and a decrease in depreciation and amortization of approximately $35 million, as detailed in the table below:

($ millions)
  Operating
Income (Loss)
  Depreciation &
Amortization
  Operating
Income (Loss) Plus
Depreciation &
Amortization
 

Chilean non-profit universities

  $ (5 ) $ 25   $ 20  

Chilean real estate subsidiary*

  $ 40   $ 10   $ 50  

*
The total impact of $70 million in Operating Income (Loss) Plus Depreciation and Amortization will be partially offset by approximately a $10 million increase in equity in income of affiliates, net of tax.

        The Company's continuing evaluation of the impact of the New Law may result in changes to its expectations due to changes in the Company's interpretations of the law, assumptions used, and additional guidance that may be issued. There is no assurance that the New Law will not have additional material adverse effects on the business, financial condition or results of operations of the Company.

        While we believe that all of our institutions in Chile are operating in full compliance with Chilean law, we cannot predict the extent or outcome of any educational reforms that may be implemented in Chile. The Company does not believe the New Law will change its relationship with its two tech/voc institutions in Chile that are for-profit entities. However, it is possible that the Chilean government will adopt additional laws that affect for-profit tech/voc institutions and their relationships with their owners. Depending upon how these reforms are defined and implemented, there could be a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Any additional disruption to our operations in Chile would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Similar reforms in other countries in which we operate could also have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Regulatory changes in Chile may reduce access to student financing for some of our students in Chile, which could reduce enrollments at our Chilean institutions.

        On November 11, 2016, the Chilean Congress passed the 2017 budget law (the "2017 Budget Law"). The 2017 Budget Law included changes to the policies for granting free access to higher education and scholarships to students from the first five and seven income deciles who attend certain universities or tech/voc institutions.

        For university students, the 2017 Budget Law provided for free access to higher education with the same requirements as were in the previous law but added the requirement that eligible universities have a minimum of 80% of their newly enrolled students with an average result from the national university admissions examination, high school grades and high school rankings above a specified level, and have a transparent admission system that must have been published on the institution's website by December 1, 2016. For tech/voc institutions, the 2017 Budget Law provided for eligibility for free access for students if they were enrolled in institutions (i) organized as not-for-profit legal entities or as for-profit legal entities that have filed for transformation to not-for-profit legal entities under the "Transformation Law" passed by the Chilean Congress on November 16, 2016, before December 15, 2016, (ii) accredited for four years or more as of December 23, 2016, (iii) having as controllers not-for-profit legal entities or natural persons, (iv) having stated their intention to participate in the free access system before December 15, 2016, and (v) having a transparent admission system that must have been published on the institution's website by December 1, 2016.

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        The 2017 Budget Law also modified the allocations of the Bicentenario Scholarship ("the BS Program"). The BS Program supports access to higher education for university students coming from one of the first seven income deciles and covers the full amount of tuition up to an amount authorized by the government. Historically, the BS Program solely benefited students of universities that are members of the Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Chilenas (the "CRUCh"). The 2017 Budget Law terminated the differentiation between CRUCh and non-CRUCh universities for eligibility for the BS Program. Thus, for 2017, 3,500 BS Program scholarships were granted to students at non-CRUCh universities and 3,500 additional BS Program scholarships will be granted to students at non-CRUCh universities in 2018. By 2019, the government promises to have an equal BS Program scholarship policy for all universities, whether CRUCh or non-CRUCh. Students may apply for a BS Program scholarship if their university is accredited for at least four years and if 80% of the university's newly enrolled students have an average result from the national university admissions examination, high school grades and high school rankings above a specified level.

        Under the 2017 Budget Law, the NMS II and NMS III are available to all students enrolled in a tech/voc institution, whether for-profit or not-for-profit: (i) NMS II in an amount of CLP 860,000 per year, or up to the effective government-approved tuition fee if it is less than that amount, for students who come from the first five income deciles with an average high school grade of 5.0 and the tech/voc institution in which they are enrolled being accredited for at least three years; and (ii) NMS III, in an amount up to CLP 900,000 per year, or up to the effective government-approved tuition fee if it is less than that amount, provided that such students and the institution in which they enroll meet the requirements for NMS II and the tech/voc institution was, on December 31, 2016, accredited for four years or more. The NMS III scholarship will last until the tax benefit established in the Transformation Law for tech/voc institutions ends.

        We cannot predict the effect that these or other student financing reforms may have on our operations in Chile. Any material limitations on the access of our students in Chile to government-sponsored financing may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Similar limitations on government-sponsored student financing in other countries in which we operate could also have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to investigations by Chilean regulators, which could individually or in the aggregate, materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        In December 2014, the Chilean Congress approved legislation that provides for the appointment of a provisional administrator or closing administrator to handle the affairs of failing universities or universities found to have breached their bylaws (the "Provisional Administrator Law"). If the Ministry of Education were to determine that one of the universities in Chile that is part of the Laureate International Universities network had violated its bylaws, it could appoint a provisional administrator for that university causing us to lose our rights to control that institution, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

        In December 2016, Servicio de Impuestos Internos Chile ("SII") notified separately UDLA Chile and UNAB that as part of the general audit program called "Auditoría Integral a Universidades," it was requesting supporting documentation from them for the tax periods between November 2013 and October 2016. Each institution will submit responsive documents that support taxes paid related to its revenues and expenses, including to the extent such revenues and expenses involve financial dealings with Laureate for-profit entities.

        In June 2016, the Ministry of Education notified UNAB that it was opening an investigation into possible violations of the not-for-profit nature of UNAB. In September 2016, the Ministry of Education notified UVM Chile that it was opening a similar investigation of UVM Chile. Each of the institutions

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continues to be responsive to the Ministry of Education's requests as part of these investigations. Each investigation is being conducted by an investigator appointed by the Ministry of Education under the Provisional Administrator Law. Under the Provisional Administrator Law, at the end of the investigation the Ministry of Education can either close the investigation or issue a report imposing one of the following measures: (i) ordering a recovery plan for the investigated institution, should the Ministry verify severe breaches of the institution's financial, administrative, labor or academic commitments; (ii) with the prior consent of the National Education Council, naming a provisional administrator for the institution if the Ministry determines that (a) there are serious risks to the administrative or financial viability of the institution that may affect the continuity of its educational programs, (b) there are serious and recurring breaches of the academic commitments of the institution to its students due to a lack of educational or teaching resources available to grant professional or technical degrees, (c) it is impossible for the institution to maintain its academic functions due to sanctions, injunctions or foreclosures affecting the institution, its campuses or its assets, (d) the institution is declared bankrupt or (e) a recovery plan pursuant to (i) above has not been presented, has been rejected or has been breached by the institution; or (iii) initiating a process to revoke the institution's license, in which case it would name a closing administrator.

        While we believe that all of our institutions in Chile are operating in full compliance with Chilean law, we cannot predict what outcome may result from any investigations undertaken by the Ministry of Education or the SII. Depending upon the outcome of any investigation by the Chilean authorities, there could be a material adverse effect on our business. Any disruption to our operations in Chile would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our right to receive economic benefits from certain of the institutions that are organized as not-for-profit or non-stock entities, and that we account for as variable interest entities, may be limited.

        We have obtained board and operating control and controlling financial interests in entities outside the United States that are educational institutions similar to U.S. not-for-profit, non-stock universities. Under applicable law, these institutions do not have recognized "owners" or shareholders, and generally cannot declare dividends or distribute their net assets to us. For accounting purposes, we have determined that these institutions are variable interest entities under GAAP and that we are the primary beneficiary of these variable interest entities. Maintenance of our interest in the variable interest entity institutions, and our ability to receive economic benefits from these entities, is based on a combination of (1) service agreements that other Laureate entities have with the VIE institutions, allowing the institutions to access the benefits of the Laureate International Universities network and allowing us to recognize economies of scale throughout the network, (2) our ability to provide these entities with opportunities to invest for market returns in education-related real estate entities globally and (3) our ability to transfer our rights to govern the VIE institutions, or the entities that possess those rights, to other parties, which would yield a return if and when these rights are transferred. In limited circumstances, we may have rights to the residual assets in liquidation. Under the mutually agreed service agreements, we are paid at market rates for providing services to institutions such as access to content, support with curriculum design, professional development, student exchange, access to dual degree programs, affiliation and access to the Laureate International Universities network, and management, legal, tax, finance, accounting, treasury, use of real estate and other services. While we believe these arrangements conform to applicable law, the VIE institutions are subject to regulation by various agencies based on the requirements of local jurisdictions. These agencies, as well as local legislative bodies, review and update laws and regulations as they deem necessary or appropriate. We cannot predict the form of any laws that may be enacted, or regulations that ultimately may be adopted in the future, or what effects they might have on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. If local laws or regulations were to change, the VIE institutions were found to be in violation of existing local laws or regulations, or regulators were to question the financial sustainability of the VIE

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institutions and/or whether the contractual arrangements were at fair value, local government agencies could, among other actions:

        If we are unable to receive economic benefits from these institutions, it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, if we are unable or limited in our ability to receive economic benefits from these institutions, we may be unable to consolidate the VIE institutions into our consolidated financial statements, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, including possible write-offs of all or a portion of our investment in the affected VIEs and a reduction in operating income, or we may be limited in our ability to recognize all of the institutions' earnings in our consolidated statements of operations.

        For example, on January 24, 2018, the New Law was passed by the Chilean Congress and, assuming that it passes review by the Constitutional Court, it is expected to be signed into law by the President of Chile as early as the first quarter of 2018. Among other things, the New Law will prohibit for-profit organizations, such as Laureate, from controlling the boards of universities in Chile. The New Law also prohibits conflicts of interests and related party transactions with notable exceptions, including the provision of services that are educational in nature or essential for the university's purposes. The New Law provides for a transition period of one year for related party transactions and two years for control. The incoming Chilean presidential administration, which took office on March 11, 2018, will have the responsibility to both interpret the legislative mandates and implement new compliance processes.

        The Company is currently reviewing the impact the New Law will have on its Chilean operations, including the extent to which it will affect existing contractual relationships that the Company maintains with its Chilean non-profit universities. As a result of the New Law, the Company currently expects that it will be required to deconsolidate its three Chilean non-profit universities, which are accounted for as variable interest entities, and its Chilean real estate subsidiary, although the Company expects it will retain an approximately 30% equity ownership interest in the real estate subsidiary. The deconsolidation could happen as early as the first quarter of 2018. The Company currently expects that the deconsolidation will result in a one-time write-off of the carrying value of the assets of between approximately $600 million and $850 million and a decrease of between approximately $410 million to $430 million in revenues on an annualized basis. In addition, on an annualized basis, the Company expects a decrease in operating income of approximately $35 million and a decrease in depreciation and amortization of approximately $35 million.

        The Company's continuing evaluation of the impact of the New Law may result in changes to its expectations due to changes in the Company's interpretations of the law, assumptions used, and additional guidance that may be issued. There is no assurance that the New Law will not have additional material adverse effects on the business, financial condition or results of operations of the Company. See "—Political and regulatory developments in Chile have materially adversely affected us and may continue to affect us." See also "—Political and regulatory developments in Turkey may materially adversely affect us."

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Our ability to control our institutions may be materially adversely affected by changes in laws affecting higher education in certain countries in which we operate.

        Our institutions are governed by the higher education laws of the various countries in which we operate, which may be amended or interpreted in ways that affect our ability to maintain control over the institutions through our ability to appoint the members of the institutions' governing bodies. If we are unable to maintain our rights of control of appointments to those governing bodies, our ability to realize economic benefits from these institutions may be severely limited, including not being able to transfer control of the institutions in a way that would yield us a return on our investment or not being able to implement or maintain service agreements with those institutions.

        It is possible that the governance and control structures that we implement at a specific institution to comply with local laws and regulations would not allow us to meet the standards for consolidation of that institution's financial statements into our own consolidated financial statements. If we determine that we do not control an institution or otherwise meet the standards for consolidation, deconsolidation of that institution would be required. In that event, or if our controlling financial interest in that institution is impaired, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        For example, in January 2018, the Chilean congress passed the New Law. See "—Political and regulatory developments in Chile have materially adversely affected us and may continue to affect us."

Our business may be materially adversely affected by a general economic slowdown or recession.

        Many countries around the world have recently experienced reduced economic activity, increased unemployment, substantial uncertainty about their financial services markets and, in some cases, economic recession. These events may reduce the demand for our programs among students, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. These adverse economic developments also may result in a reduction in the number of jobs available to our graduates and lower salaries being offered in connection with available employment which, in turn, may result in declines in our placement and retention rates. For example, in the United States, our professional-oriented graduate programs, such as master's degrees in teaching, are directly affected by the employment and promotion prospects for persons with advanced degrees. Efforts by states in recent years to reduce education funding by laying off younger teachers and curtailing pay increases for remaining teachers may have a material adverse effect on our ability to attract and retain students in our graduate education programs. In addition, in 2017 we generated approximately 83% of our revenues outside the United States. As a result, any general economic slowdown or recession that disproportionately impacts the countries in which our institutions operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The higher education market is very competitive, and we may not be able to compete effectively.

        Higher education markets around the world are highly fragmented and are very competitive and dynamic. Our institutions compete with traditional public and private colleges and universities and other proprietary institutions, including those that offer online professional-oriented programs. In each of the countries where we operate a private institution, our primary competitors are public and other private universities, some of which are larger, more widely known and have more established reputations than our institutions. Some of our competitors in both the public and private sectors may have greater financial and other resources than we have and have operated in their markets for many years. We also face potential competition from alternative education providers that prioritize open access education to students. A number of these providers have been formed recently to provide online curriculum from leading academics at little or no cost to the student. If this new modality is successful, it could disrupt the economics of the current education model (both for-profit and not-for-profit

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institutions). Other competitors may include large, well-capitalized companies that may pursue a strategy similar to ours of acquiring or establishing for-profit institutions. Public institutions receive substantial government subsidies, and public and private not-for-profit institutions have access to government and foundation grants, tax-deductible contributions and other financial resources generally not available to for-profit institutions. Accordingly, public and private not-for-profit institutions may have instructional and support resources superior to those in the for-profit sector, and public institutions can offer substantially lower tuition prices or other advantages that we cannot match.

        Any of these large, well-capitalized competitors may make it more difficult for us to acquire institutions as part of our strategy. They may also be able to charge lower tuitions or attract more students, which would adversely affect our growth and the profitability of our competing institutions. There is also an increased ability of traditional universities to offer online programs and we expect competition to increase as the online market matures. This may create greater pricing or operating pressure on us, which could have a material adverse effect on our institutions' enrollments, revenues and profit margins. We may not be able to compete successfully against current or future competitors and may face competitive pressures that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If our graduates are unable to obtain professional licenses or certifications required for employment in their chosen fields of study, our reputation may suffer and we may face declining enrollments and revenues or be subject to student litigation.

        Certain of our students require or desire professional licenses or certifications after graduation to obtain employment in their chosen fields. Their success in obtaining such licensure depends on several factors, including the individual merits of the student, whether the institution and the program were approved by the relevant government or by a professional association, whether the program from which the student graduated meets all governmental requirements and whether the institution is accredited. If one or more governmental authorities refuses to recognize our graduates for professional licensure in the future based on factors relating to us or our programs, the potential growth of our programs would be negatively affected, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we could be exposed to litigation that would force us to incur legal and other expenses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See "Item 3—Legal Proceedings" for more information. See also "—Risks Relating to Our Highly Regulated Industry in the United States—The inability of our graduates to obtain licensure or other specialized outcomes in their chosen professional fields of study could reduce our enrollments and revenues, and potentially lead to litigation that could be costly to us."

Our business may be materially adversely affected if we are not able to maintain or improve the content of our existing academic programs or to develop new programs on a timely basis and in a cost-effective manner.

        We continually seek to maintain and improve the content of our existing academic programs and develop new programs in order to meet changing market needs. Revisions to our existing academic programs and the development of new programs may not be accepted by existing or prospective students or employers in all instances. If we cannot respond effectively to market changes, our business may be materially adversely affected. Even if we are able to develop acceptable new programs, we may not be able to introduce these new programs as quickly as students or employers require or as quickly as our competitors are able to introduce competing programs. Our efforts to introduce a new academic program may be conditioned or delayed by requirements to obtain foreign, federal, state and accrediting agency approvals. The development of new programs and courses, both conventional and online, is subject to requirements and limitations imposed by the governmental regulatory bodies of the various countries in which our institutions are located, including the U.S. Department of Education ("DOE"), state licensing agencies and the relevant accrediting bodies. The imposition of restrictions on

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the initiation of new educational programs by regulatory agencies may delay such expansion plans. If we do not respond adequately to changes in market requirements, our ability to attract and retain students could be impaired and our financial results could suffer.

        Establishing new academic programs or modifying existing academic programs also may require us to make investments in specialized personnel and capital expenditures, increase marketing efforts and reallocate resources away from other uses. We may have limited experience with the subject matter of new programs and may need to modify our systems and strategy. If we are unable to increase the number of students, offer new programs in a cost-effective manner or otherwise manage effectively the operations of newly established academic programs, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

Failure to keep pace with changing market needs and technology could harm our ability to attract students.

        The success of our institutions depends to a significant extent on the willingness of prospective employers to hire our students upon graduation. Increasingly, employers demand that their employees possess appropriate technological skills and also appropriate "soft" skills, such as communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills. These skills can evolve rapidly in a changing economic and technological environment. Accordingly, it is important that our educational programs evolve in response to those economic and technological changes. The expansion of existing academic programs and the development of new programs may not be accepted by current or prospective students or by the employers of our graduates. Students and faculty increasingly rely on personal communication devices and expect that we will be able to adapt our information technology platforms and our educational delivery methods to support these devices and any new technologies that may develop. Even if our institutions are able to develop acceptable new programs and adapt to new technologies, our institutions may not be able to begin offering those new programs and technologies as quickly as required by prospective students and employers or as quickly as our competitors begin offering similar programs. If we are unable to adequately respond to changes in market requirements due to regulatory or financial constraints, unusually rapid technological changes or other factors, our ability to attract and retain students could be impaired, the rates at which our graduates obtain jobs involving their fields of study could suffer and our results of operations and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

If students who avail themselves of government-sponsored student financing programs in certain countries do not graduate and subsequently default on their loans, we may be responsible for repaying a significant portion of their loans.

        Our accredited Chilean institutions participate in a Chilean government-sponsored student financing program known as the CAE Program. The program was implemented by the Chilean government in 2006 to promote higher education in Chile for lower socio-economic level students with good academic standing. The CAE Program involves tuition financing and guarantees that are shared by our institutions and the government. As part of the program, our institutions provide guarantees resulting in contingent liabilities to third-party financing institutions, beginning at 90% of the tuition loans made directly to qualified students enrolled through the CAE Program and declining to 60%. The guarantees by our institutions are for the period in which the student is enrolled, and the guarantees are assumed entirely by the government upon the student's graduation. Additionally, when a student leaves one of our institutions and enrolls in another CAE-qualified institution, our institution will remain the guarantor of the tuition loans that have been granted to the student up to such date, and until the student's graduation from the new CAE-qualified institution. Assuming that all students at our institutions who are in the CAE Program, and all students who left our institutions and were part of the CAE Program, do not graduate, and that all of those students default on the full amount of the CAE-qualified loan balances, the maximum potential amount of payments our institutions could be required to make under the CAE Program was approximately $527 million at December 31, 2017. As

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of December 31, 2017, we had recorded $27.1 million as estimated guarantee liabilities for these obligations. If a significant portion of our students who participate in the CAE Program were to default, the financial condition and results of operations of each participating institution would be materially adversely affected.

        Similarly, students at substantially all of our Brazilian institutions are participating in a Brazilian government program known as FIES. FIES is a federal program established to provide financing to students enrolled in private institutions of higher education that meet certain academic standards and whose household incomes per capita are below a certain level. Under FIES, the government loans a portion of the tuition to eligible students, and then pays the corresponding loan amount to the higher education institution in special bonds, that the institution may use to pay its national social security tax and certain other federal taxes or, if the institution has a tax clearance certificate, that the institution can sell for cash in a public auction conducted by a government-sponsored bank.

        FIES underwent a major reform at the end of 2017, consolidating several changes in the FIES statute (Law n. 10.260/2001), effective for new contracts in 2018. Contracts executed under the previous FIES regulations remain governed by the statutes in force at the time.

        Under the new FIES regulation, in the case of a student's payment default on a FIES loan, the risk is borne by a new guarantee fund—called FG-FIES—which may have public contributions of up to BRL 3,000,000, and contributions from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that vary in range depending on the matriculation year of the student. The second financing offer—called P-FIES—has two variables and will be operated strictly by financial agents, who will also bear the risks of the operation. Since all variables are delinquency-related, HEI contributions to the fund may increase accordingly. Since there are no provisions for additional government contributions to the fund, extreme delinquency scenarios lead to a possible resources depletion.

        For contracts still governed by the former FIES regulations, HEIs are responsible for repaying up to 15% of the related delinquency (30% if an institution has one or more open tax disputes that are not being defended in compliance with the applicable security/bond requirements). There is also a government-mandated, private guarantee fund (the "FGEDUC") that allows participating educational institutions to insure themselves for 90% (or 13.5% of 15%) of their losses related to student defaults under the FIES program.

        In such cases, if a significant portion of our participating students were to default and their respective guarantors were to fail to fulfill the terms of their guarantee, or if the defaulting student was not required to provide a guarantor, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

Regulatory changes that affect the timing of government-sponsored student aid payments or receipt of government-sponsored financial aid could materially adversely affect our liquidity.

        New regulations may change the timing for the collection of government-sponsored student aid payments from our students. For example, in December 2014, regulators in Brazil announced several significant rule changes to FIES beginning in 2015; additional regulations were issued in December 2015. These changes raised the eligibility requirements, reduced the annual budget for the program and delayed payments to the post-secondary institutions that would otherwise have been due in 2015 and 2016. Such a delay in tuition payments from government-sponsored programs could negatively affect our liquidity and could require additional working capital or third-party funding to finance our operations. See "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—Brazil Regulation—Student Financing Program." See also "—Risks Relating to our Highly Regulated Industry in the United States—The DOE may change our U.S. Institutions' method of receiving Title IV program funds, which could materially affect our liquidity."

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We may have exposure to greater-than-anticipated tax liabilities.

        As a multinational corporation, we are subject to income taxes as well as non-income based taxes in the United States and various foreign jurisdictions.

        Our future income taxes could be materially adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory tax rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory tax rates. In addition, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in tax laws, regulations and accounting principles, could have a material adverse effect on our future income taxes.

        On December 22, 2017, the United States enacted comprehensive tax legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "2017 Tax Act"), which significantly changed the manner in which the United States imposes income tax on multinational corporations. The 2017 Tax Act mandates complex computations not previously required by U.S. tax law. Accordingly, the application of accounting guidance for such items is currently uncertain. Further, compliance with the 2017 Tax Act and the accounting for such provisions require preparation and analysis of information not previously required or regularly produced. In addition, the U.S. Department of Treasury has broad authority to issue regulations and interpretative guidance that may significantly impact how we will apply the law and impact our results of operations in future periods. Although we have provided a provisional estimate on the effect of the 2017 Tax Act in our consolidated financial statements (See Note 16, Income Taxes), further regulatory or GAAP accounting guidance relating to the 2017 Tax Act, our further analysis on the application of the law, and refinement of our initial estimates and calculations could materially change our current provisional estimates, which could in turn materially affect our tax obligations and effective tax rate.

        The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities requires significant judgment, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We have not recorded any deferred tax liabilities for undistributed foreign earnings either because of legal restrictions on distributions or because our historical strategy was to reinvest these earnings outside the United States. As circumstances change and if some or all of these undistributed foreign earnings are remitted to the United States, we may be required to recognize deferred tax liabilities on those amounts.

        Additionally, in certain countries in which we operate, higher education institutions are either exempt from paying certain taxes, including income taxes, or pay taxes at significantly reduced rates. This includes certain of our higher education institutions that are organized as VIEs, similar to not-for-profit institutions in the United States. If we were to lose this favorable tax treatment, either because a VIE institution is converted into a for-profit shareholder-owned entity, or because of a change in local tax laws, our tax liabilities could increase materially.

        We are subject to regular review and audit by both domestic and foreign tax authorities. Any adverse outcome of such a review or audit could have a negative effect on our operating results and financial condition. We are also subject to non-income based taxes, such as payroll, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property and goods and services taxes, in both the United States and various foreign jurisdictions. We are under regular audit by tax authorities with respect to these non-income based taxes and may have exposure to additional non-income based tax liabilities. Our acquisition activities have increased the volume and complexity of laws and regulations that we are subject to and with which we must comply.

        We have identified certain contingencies, primarily tax-related, that we have assessed as being reasonably possible of loss, but not probable of loss, and could have an adverse effect on our results of operations if the outcomes are unfavorable. In most cases, we have received indemnifications from the former owners and/or noncontrolling interest holders of the acquired businesses for contingencies. In cases where we are not indemnified, the unrecorded contingencies are primarily in Brazil and, in the

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aggregate, we estimate that the reasonably possible loss for these unrecorded contingencies in Brazil could be up to approximately $55 million if the outcomes were unfavorable in all cases. If we are not able to recover amounts that are subject to indemnification, the loss for these contingencies could be greater.

        During 2010, we were notified by the Spanish Taxing Authorities ("STA") (in this case, by the Regional Inspection Office of the Special Madrid Tax Unit) that an audit of some of our Spanish subsidiaries was being initiated for 2006 and 2007. On June 29, 2012, the STA issued a final assessment to Iniciativas Culturales de España, S.L. ("ICE"), our Spanish holding company, for approximately EUR 11.1 million ($13.1 million at December 31, 2017), including interest, for those two years based on its rejection of the tax deductibility of financial expenses related to certain intercompany acquisitions and the application of the Spanish ETVE regime. On July 25, 2012, we filed a claim with the Regional Economic-Administrative Court challenging this assessment and, in the same month, we issued a cash-collateralized letter of credit for the assessment amount, in order to suspend the payment of the tax due. Further, in July 2013, we were notified by the STA (in this case, by the Central Inspection Office for Large Taxpayers) that an audit of ICE was also being initiated for 2008 through 2010. On October 19, 2015, the STA issued a final assessment to ICE for approximately EUR 17.2 million ($20.4 million at December 31, 2017), including interest, for those three years. We have appealed this assessment and, in order to suspend the payment of the tax assessment until the court decision, we issued a cash-collateralized letter of credit for the assessment amount plus interest and surcharges. We believe the assessments in this case are without merit and intend to defend vigorously against them. During the second quarter of 2016, we were notified by the STA that tax audits of the Spanish subsidiaries were also being initiated for 2011 and 2012, and in July 2017 the tax audit was extended to include 2013; no assessments have yet been issued for these years. Also during the second quarter of 2016, the Regional Administrative Court issued a decision against the Company on its appeal. The Company has further appealed at the Highest Administrative Court level, which appeal has been rejected. The Company has appealed both decisions to the National Court. In the first quarter of 2018, the Company made payments to the STA totaling EUR 29.6 million (approximately US $35.1 million at December 31, 2017) in order to reduce the amount of future interest that could be incurred as the appeals process continues. The payments were made using cash that collateralized the letters of credit discussed above.

        During the quarter ended June 30, 2015, we reassessed our position regarding the ICE tax audit matters as a result of recent adverse decisions from the Spanish Supreme Court and Spanish National Court on cases for taxpayers with similar facts, and determined that we could no longer support a more-likely-than-not position. As a result, during the second quarter of 2015, we recorded a provision totaling EUR 37.6 million ($42.1 million) for the period from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2016. We plan to continue the appeals process for the periods already audited and assessed.

        Although we believe our estimates are reasonable, the ultimate tax outcome may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and may materially adversely affect our financial results in the period or periods for which such determination is made.

Our reported revenues and earnings may be negatively affected by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and currency exchange rates.

        We report revenues, costs and earnings in U.S. dollars, while our institutions generally collect tuition in the local currency. Exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the local currency in the countries where we operate institutions are likely to fluctuate from period to period. In 2017, approximately 83% of our revenues originated outside the United States. We translate revenues and other results denominated in foreign currencies into U.S. dollars for our consolidated financial statements. This translation is based on average exchange rates during a reporting period. In recent years, the U.S. dollar has strengthened against many international currencies, including the Brazilian

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real, euro and Mexican peso. As the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar strengthens, our reported international revenues and earnings are reduced because foreign currencies translate into fewer U.S. dollars. For the year ended December 31, 2017, a hypothetical 10% adverse change in average annual foreign currency exchange rates, excluding the impacts of our derivatives, would have decreased our operating income and our Adjusted EBITDA by $28.6 million and $80.2 million, respectively. For more information, see "Item 7A—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk—Foreign Currency Exchange Risk."

        To the extent that foreign revenues and expense transactions are not denominated in the local currency and/or to the extent foreign earnings are reinvested in a currency other than their functional currency, we are also subject to the risk of transaction losses. We occasionally enter into foreign exchange forward contracts or other hedging arrangements to reduce the earnings impact of non-functional currency denominated non-trade receivables and debt and to protect the U.S. dollar value of our assets and future cash flows with respect to exchange rate fluctuations. Given the volatility of exchange rates, there is no assurance that we will be able to effectively manage currency transaction and/or translation risks. Therefore, volatility in currency exchange rates may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

        Currency exchange rates and our reported revenues and earnings may also be negatively affected by inflation or hyperinflation. If a country in which we operate is designated as a highly inflationary economy in the future under GAAP, the U.S. dollar would become the functional currency for our operations in that country. As a result, all gains and losses resulting from the remeasurement of the financial results of operations in such country and other transactional foreign exchange gains and losses would be reflected in our earnings, which could result in volatility within our earnings, rather than as a component of our comprehensive income within stockholders' equity. Hyperinflation in any of the countries in which we operate may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles make up a significant portion of our total assets, and if we determine that goodwill or indefinite-lived intangibles become impaired in the future, net income and operating income in such years may be materially and adversely affected.

        As of December 31, 2017, the net carrying value of our goodwill and other intangible assets totaled approximately $3,286.2 million. Goodwill represents the excess of cost over the fair market value of net assets acquired in business combinations. Due to the revaluation of our assets at the time of the LBO and acquisitions we have completed historically, goodwill makes up a significant portion of our total assets. In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, we periodically review goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles for impairment and any excess in carrying value over the estimated fair value is charged to the results of operations. Our review of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles at December 31, 2017 resulted in an aggregate reduction of $8.5 million in the value of such assets in our financial statements. Future reviews of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles could result in reductions. Any reduction in net income and operating income resulting from the write down or impairment of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles could adversely affect our financial results. If economic or industry conditions deteriorate or if market valuations decline, including with respect to our Class A common stock, we may be required to impair goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles in future periods.

We experience seasonal fluctuations in our results of operations.

        Most of the institutions in our network have a summer break, during which classes are generally not in session and minimal revenues are recognized. In addition to the timing of summer breaks, holidays such as Easter also have an impact on our academic calendar. Operating expenses, however, do not fully correlate to the enrollment and revenue cycles, as the institutions continue to incur

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expenses during summer breaks. Given the geographic diversity of our institutions and differences in timing of summer breaks, our second and fourth quarters are stronger revenue quarters as the majority of our institutions are in session for most of these respective quarters. Our first and third fiscal quarters are weaker revenue quarters because the majority of our institutions have summer breaks for some portion of one of these two quarters. Because a significant portion of our expenses do not vary proportionately with the fluctuations in our revenues, our results in a particular fiscal quarter may not indicate accurately the results we will achieve in a subsequent quarter or for the full fiscal year.

Connectivity constraints or technology system disruptions to our computer networks could have a material adverse effect on our ability to attract and retain students.

        We run the online operations of our institutions on different platforms, which are in various stages of development. The performance and reliability of these online operations are critical to the reputation of our institutions and our ability to attract and retain students. Any computer system error or failure, or a sudden and significant increase in traffic on our institutions' computer networks may result in the unavailability of these computer networks. In addition, any significant failure of our computer networks could disrupt our on-campus operations. Individual, sustained or repeated occurrences could significantly damage the reputation of our institutions' operations and result in a loss of potential or existing students. Additionally, the computer systems and operations of our institutions are vulnerable to interruption or malfunction due to events beyond our control, including natural disasters and other catastrophic events and network and telecommunications failures. The disaster recovery plans and backup systems that we have in place may not be effective in addressing a natural disaster or catastrophic event that results in the destruction or disruption of any of our critical business or information technology and infrastructure systems. As a result of any of these events, we may not be able to conduct normal business operations and may be required to incur significant expenses in order to resume normal business operations. As a result, our revenues and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

We rely on computer systems for financial reporting and other operations and any disruptions in our systems would materially adversely affect us.

        We rely on computer systems to support our financial reporting capabilities, including our SSOs, and other operations. As with any computer systems, unforeseen issues may arise that could affect our ability to receive adequate, accurate and timely financial information, which in turn could inhibit effective and timely decisions. Furthermore, it is possible that our information systems could experience a complete or partial shutdown. If such a shutdown occurred, it could materially adversely affect our ability to report our financial results in a timely manner or to otherwise operate our business.

We are subject to privacy and information security laws and regulations due to our collection and use of personal information, and any violations of those laws or regulations, or any breach, theft or loss of that information, could materially adversely affect our reputation and operations.

        Possession and use of personal information in our operations subjects us to risks and costs that could harm our business. Our institutions collect, use and retain large amounts of personal information regarding our students and their families, including social security numbers, tax return information, personal and family financial data and credit card numbers. We also collect and maintain personal information of our employees in the ordinary course of our business. In addition, we collect and maintain other types of information, such as leads, that may include personal information of our business contacts in the ordinary course of our business. Our computer networks and the networks of certain of our vendors that hold and manage confidential information on our behalf may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer hackers, computer viruses, cyber-attacks and other security threats. Confidential information also may become available to third parties inadvertently when we integrate or

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convert computer networks into our network following an acquisition of an institution or in connection with upgrades from time to time.

        Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained on our networks, such as students' grades, our networks may be targeted by hackers. A user who circumvents security measures could misappropriate proprietary information or cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations. Although we use security and business controls to limit access and use of personal information, a third party may be able to circumvent those security and business controls, which could result in a breach of student or employee privacy. In addition, errors in the storage, use or transmission of personal information could result in a breach of student or employee privacy. Possession and use of personal information in our operations also subjects us to legislative and regulatory burdens that could require notification of data breaches and restrict our use of personal information. As a result, we may be required to expend significant resources to protect against the threat of these security breaches or to alleviate problems caused by these breaches. A wide range of high profile data breaches in recent years has led to renewed interested in data and cybersecurity legislation that could materially increase our costs and/or require changes in our operating procedures or systems. Any breach of student or employee privacy or errors in storing, using or transmitting personal information could violate the privacy laws and regulations of one or more of the countries in which we operate, resulting in fines or other penalties. A breach, theft or loss of personal information regarding our students and their families, our employees, or other persons that is held by us or our vendors, or a violation of the laws and regulations governing privacy in one or more of the countries in which we operate, could have a material adverse effect on our reputation or result in lawsuits, additional regulation, remediation and compliance costs or investments in additional security systems or networks, the costs of which may be substantial.

We may lose the right to license certain intellectual property which is integral to our online course offerings.

        With our mandate that all of our institutions offer a certain percentage of online course offerings, we rely heavily upon the licensing of third-party materials, including e-textbooks and graphic, video and audio media, which are incorporated into our globally offered course content. Our institutions contract with large vendors which offer volumes of such course content. We could lose the right to license some percentage or all of those third-party materials for several reasons, including our licensors' infringement of third-party materials, going out of business, or terminating our content licenses for one or more business reasons. We rely on the negotiation of extensive licensing rights to mitigate this eventuality and contract with known, reliable vendors. If we lose the right to a significant percentage of such content, our course offerings and programs could be negatively affected because those materials must be removed from our course offerings, resulting in significant cost to us to revise the affected courses and a poor educational experience for our students, which could negatively affect our reputation, and our financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

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We may infringe the intellectual property rights of one or more of our third-party licensors.

        All of our institutions offer a certain percentage of online course offerings. The educational content contained in such online course offerings is inherently more susceptible to infringement than campus-based learning materials because it is easier to make many digital copies of an online text, picture, video or audio file than it is to reproduce hard-copy materials. Also, intellectual property laws can vary from country to country, resulting in additional risk of infringement when licensing the same materials in multiple countries. Our institutions take reasonable precautions to ensure that all course content offerings used by them are properly licensed and distributed; however, there is no assurance that all of our course content offerings are properly licensed. Additionally, we create universally applicable course and program offerings that are licensed throughout our institutions, meaning that a single act of infringement could adversely affect multiple institutions around the world. Intellectual property infringement by us and our institutions can result in damaged vendor relationships, legal proceedings, loss of course content, and reputational loss, which could negatively affect our reputation, and our financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

We may be unable to bring the Laureate brand into new markets due to preexisting trademark owners.

        We file for and seek trademark protection for at least one of the Laureate brands, including "Laureate," "Laureate Education, Inc.," "Laureate Online Education," "Laureate Online International," and "Laureate International Universities" in all jurisdictions in which we operate. Our business model includes expanding into new markets through the creation and/or acquisition of new institutions in new or existing countries. Preexisting trademark owners already could have rights to some variant of the Laureate trademark in the education industry in certain new countries and this may prevent Laureate from introducing its brand to these markets. This could prevent Laureate from achieving a comprehensively global educational brand.

Our trademarks are subject to infringement.

        As a global education services brand, our trademarks are subject to infringement by third parties attempting to trade on the Laureate brand's goodwill. We have spent considerable time and resources over the years in defending our trademark rights in the United States and abroad. It is difficult to assess the cost and likelihood of success in any legal proceeding related to trademark infringement, but we have implemented a policy of obtaining trademark rights for all of our brands in all countries in which we operate or plan to operate now and in the future and defending those rights vigorously. For example, in 2014, we filed a trademark infringement suit against an alleged infringer of the Laureate trademark located in the state of Georgia. The alleged infringer has formed several companies which incorporate the name "Laureate" and which purport to operate in the field of educational services. Although we won the case, the defendant has appealed. To date, the alleged infringer has not presented evidence that its use predates our use of the trademark "Laureate" in the field of educational services. An unfavorable result in a trademark infringement case such as this could lead to us being barred from using our trademark in certain jurisdictions around the world and negatively affect our reputation.

Student protests and strikes may disrupt our ability to hold classes as well as our ability to attract and retain students, which could materially adversely affect our operations.

        Political, social and economic developments in the countries in which we operate may cause protests and disturbances against conditions in those countries, including policies relating to the operation and funding of higher education institutions. These disturbances may involve protests on university campuses, including the occupation of university buildings and the disruption of classes. We are unable to predict whether students at institutions in the Laureate International Universities network will engage in various forms of protest in the future. Should we sustain student strikes, protests or

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occupations in the future, it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and on our overall financial condition. Further, we may need to make additional investments in security infrastructure and personnel on our campuses in order to prevent future student protests from disrupting the ability of our institutions to hold classes. If we are required to make substantial additional investments in security, or if we are unable to identify security enhancements that would prevent future disruptions of classes, that could cause an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we may need to pay overtime compensation to certain of our faculty and staff, which may increase our overall costs.

We may be unable to operate one or more of our institutions or suffer liability or loss due to a natural or other disaster.

        Our institutions are vulnerable to natural or other disasters, including fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and other events beyond our control. A number of our institutions are located in areas such as Mexico and Central America that are prone to hurricane damage, which may be substantial. A number of our institutions are also located in areas, such as Chile, Mexico, Peru and Turkey, that are prone to earthquake damage. For example, in 2017, Peru's normally arid regions experienced historic, torrential rainfall and subsequent flooding. At least one of our campuses located there suffered flood-related damage. There, as elsewhere in the country, flood-related damage caused a range of disruptions, including in our case a delay in the regularly scheduled start of classes for the semester, which caused revenue anticipated to occur in the first quarter of 2017 not to be recognized until the second quarter. On September 19, 2017, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico causing a temporary suspension of activities at several UVM and UNITEC campuses located in the affected states of Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Morelos, Chiapas and Estado de México. UVM and UNITEC temporarily suspended all activities on 21 campuses at the request of the Ministry of Education. The temporary suspension lasted 12 days on average and we incurred direct costs for repairs due to the earthquake of approximately $3.3 million. It is possible that one or more of our institutions would be unable to operate for an extended period of time in the event of a hurricane, earthquake or other disaster which does substantial damage to the area in which an institution is located. The failure of one or more of our institutions to operate for a substantial period of time could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. In the event of a major natural or other disaster, we could also experience loss of life of students, faculty members and administrative staff, or liability for damages or injuries.

If there is an outbreak of disease in one or more of our locations, our ability to recruit new students or hold classes may be interrupted.

        In recent years, there have been numerous outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as Zika, SARS and the H1N1 virus, that have spread quickly through populations in countries in which we operate, and have had serious impact on businesses that operate in those countries. Concentrated populations, such as students in upper secondary schools and universities, may be particularly susceptible to these diseases, requiring local governments to take various measures, including suspension of business and quarantines, to control their spread. If there is an outbreak of disease in a country in which we operate, our recruiters may be prevented from visiting local upper secondary schools during the student recruitment season, which could have a material adverse effect on our new student enrollments during the following academic term. In addition, an outbreak during the academic year could result in a shutdown of one or more campuses, or a quarantine that could prevent students and faculty from entering a campus or, in the case of a residential campus, a quarantine of students on campus without faculty access, resulting in a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

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We may be unable to recruit, train and retain qualified and experienced faculty and administrative staff at our institutions.

        Our success and ability to grow depend on the ability to hire and retain large numbers of talented people. The process of hiring employees with the combination of skills and attributes required to implement our business strategy can be difficult and time-consuming. Our faculty members in particular are key to the success of our institutions. Our rapid global expansion has presented challenges for recruiting talented people with the right experience and skills for our needs. We face competition in attracting and retaining faculty members who possess the necessary experience and accreditation to teach at our institutions. As we expand and add personnel, it may be difficult to maintain consistency in the quality of our faculty and administrative staff. If we are unable to, or are perceived to be unable to, attract and retain experienced and qualified faculty, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

High crime levels in certain countries and regions in which we operate institutions may have an impact on our ability to attract and retain students and may increase our operating expenses.

        Many of our institutions are located in countries and regions that have high rates of violent crime, drug trafficking and vandalism. If we are unable to maintain adequate security levels on our campuses, and to work with local authorities to maintain adequate security in the areas adjacent to our campuses, we may not be able to continue to attract and retain students, or we may have to close a campus either temporarily or permanently. For example, in 2014 we closed a small campus of one of our universities in Mexico because of threats from a local drug cartel. In addition, high crime rates may require us to make additional investments in security infrastructure and personnel, which may cause us to increase our tuition rates in order to maintain operating margins. Certain security measures may materially adversely affect the campus experience by making access by students more cumbersome, which may be viewed negatively by some of our existing or prospective students. If we are not able to attract and retain students because of our inability to provide them with a safe environment, or if we are required to make substantial additional investments in security, that could cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we are unable to upgrade our campuses, they may become less attractive to parents and students and we may fail to grow our business.

        All of our institutions require periodic upgrades to remain attractive to parents and students. Upgrading the facilities at our institutions could be difficult for a number of reasons, including the following:

        Our failure to upgrade the facilities of our institutions could lead to lower enrollment and could cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Our planned growth will require occupying increasing amounts of real estate that can be difficult to obtain and are subject to local regulation and control by landlords.

        In order to continue to expand, we must continue to buy or lease additional real estate and construct new campus buildings. Construction of new campus buildings requires us to obtain permits from local authorities and to manage complex construction projects, which may result in unanticipated delays or expenditures. In 2013, the opening of a new campus building at UNAB was delayed, resulting in the need to relocate students to temporary facilities while the building was completed. UNAB incurred expenses to rent temporary facilities and provided tuition discounts to those students affected by the delay. The real estate that institutions in the Laureate International Universities network occupy is subject to local regulations, some of which may affect their ability to expand their operations. For example, in some locations, institutions are required by local regulations to provide a specific number of parking spaces per student enrolled or per area constructed. Even if there were adequate space in the academic facilities to expand the number of programs offered or students enrolled, we may not be able to expand if we are not able to provide adequate parking at a reasonable cost. Approximately half of the real estate that institutions in the Laureate International Universities network occupy is leased and may be subject to lease provisions that give the landlord the ability to affect the operation of the academic programs. For example, in certain jurisdictions, the landlord may be responsible for obtaining and maintaining occupancy permits or licenses, without which we cannot operate. If the landlord does not maintain the required permits or licenses, the institution may be required to suspend operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. In Brazil, real estate laws provide that rent terms under certain types of leases are subject to periodic adjustments to reflect local economic conditions. These rent increases can be substantial, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We currently have leases with various expiration dates, some of which have renewal options. Our ability to renegotiate favorable terms on an expiring lease or to negotiate favorable terms for a suitable alternate location, and our ability to negotiate favorable lease terms for additional locations, will depend on conditions in the real estate market, competition for desirable properties and our relationships with current and prospective landlords or may depend on other factors that are not within our control. Any or all of these factors and conditions could negatively affect our growth.

We have recently experienced a significant transition at the executive management level. If our new executive team is unable to engage and align mid-management or attract and retain the key talent needed for us to timely achieve our business objectives, our business and results of operations could be harmed.

        Effective January 1, 2018, our former President and Chief Administrative Officer, Eilif Serck-Hanssen, became Chief Executive Officer, and our former Chief Operating Officer, Ricardo Berckemeyer, assumed the additional title of President. Simultaneously, our Founder, Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Becker, assumed the role of non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

        During the 2017 fiscal year, we experienced additional changes in our senior management, including the following departures from the Company: Timothy Daniels, former CEO of our EMEAA segment; Jonathan Kaplan, former President/CEO of Walden University and CEO of Laureate Online; Alfonso Martinez, Chief Human Resources Officer; Richard Patro, CEO, Global Products and Services; Karl Salnoske, Chief Information Officer; and Robert Zentz, Senior Vice President, Secretary, General Counsel. We also added the following individuals: Jean-Jacques Charhon, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Neel Broker, CEO of our EMEAA segment; Juan José Hurtado, Senior Vice President, Operations and Chief of Learning and Innovation; Jose Roberto Loureiro, CEO of our Brazil segment; and Victoria Silbey, Senior Vice President, Secretary, and Chief Legal Officer.

        While the individual members of our executive management team each have significant industry-related experience, they previously have not worked together as a group and it will take time for them

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to become an integrated management team. Delays in the integration of our management team could affect our ability to implement our business strategy, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

        In addition, the marketplace for senior executive management candidates is very competitive. Our growth may be adversely affected if we are unable to attract and retain such key employees. Turnover of senior management can adversely affect our stock price, our results of operations and our client relationships, and can make recruiting for future management positions more difficult. Competition for senior leadership may increase our compensation expenses, which may negatively affect our profitability.

Our status as a Certified B Corporation may not result in the benefits that we anticipate.

        While not required by Delaware law or the terms of our certificate of incorporation, we have elected to have our social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency assessed against the proprietary criteria established by an independent non-profit organization. As a result of this assessment, we have been designated as a "Certified B CorporationTM," which refers to companies that are certified as meeting certain levels of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The standards for Certified B Corporation certification are set by an independent organization and may change over time. See "Item 1—Business—Certified B Corporation." Our reputation could be harmed if we lose our status as a Certified B Corporation, whether by our choice or by our failure to continue to meet the certification requirements, if that failure or change were to create a perception that we are more focused on financial performance and are no longer as committed to the values shared by Certified B Corporations. Likewise, our reputation could be harmed if our publicly reported Certified B Corporation score declines.

The minority owners of our institutions may disagree with the way we operate the institutions or plan to expand the institutions, which could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

        Although we control all of our institutions, we share ownership or control of several of our institutions with minority stockholders. We currently do not have the right to buy out all of these minority interests. The minority owners could assert that our business decisions at the institution adversely affected the value of their investment. In certain of our institutions, minority owners continue to occupy key management positions and may have the ability to enter into agreements with third parties or take other actions that are inconsistent with our corporate policies, which could create legal burdens and additional expense for us. In addition, disagreements with the minority owners may distract management and may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Litigation may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Our business is subject to the risk of litigation by employees, students, suppliers, competitors, minority partners, stockholders, government agencies or others through private actions, class actions, administrative proceedings, regulatory actions or other litigation. The outcome of litigation, particularly class action lawsuits, regulatory actions and intellectual property claims, is difficult to assess or quantify. Plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits may seek recovery of very large or indeterminate amounts, and the magnitude of the potential loss relating to these lawsuits may remain unknown for substantial periods of time. In addition, certain of these lawsuits, if decided adversely to us or settled by us, may result in liability material to our financial statements as a whole or may negatively affect our operating results if changes to our business operation are required. The cost to defend future litigation may be significant. There also may be adverse publicity associated with litigation that could negatively affect customer perception of our business, regardless of whether the allegations are valid or whether we are ultimately

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found liable. As a result, litigation may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. See "Item 3—Legal Proceedings."

We are subject to anti-corruption laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the "FCPA"), as well as trade compliance and economic sanctions laws and regulations. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could subject us to civil and criminal penalties, harm our reputation and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Doing business on a worldwide basis requires us to comply with the laws and regulations of numerous jurisdictions. These laws and regulations place restrictions on our operations and business practices. In particular, we are subject to the FCPA, which generally prohibits companies and their intermediaries from providing anything of value to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or securing any improper business advantage, along with various other anti-corruption laws. As a result of doing business in foreign countries and with foreign partners, we are exposed to a heightened risk of violating anti-corruption laws. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure that we, our employees and other intermediaries comply with the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws to which we are subject, there is no assurance that such policies or procedures will work effectively all of the time or protect us against liability under the FCPA or other laws for actions taken by our employees and other intermediaries with respect to our business or any businesses that we may acquire. We cannot assure you that all of our local partners will comply with these laws, in which case we could be held liable for actions taken inside or outside of the United States, even though our partners may not be subject to these laws. Our continued international expansion, and any development of new partnerships and joint venture relationships worldwide, increase the risk of FCPA violations in the future.

        Violations of anti-corruption laws, export control laws and regulations, and economic sanctions laws and regulations are punishable by civil penalties, including fines, as well as criminal fines and imprisonment. If we fail to comply with the FCPA or other laws governing the conduct of international operations, we may be subject to criminal and civil penalties and other remedial measures, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. Any investigation of any potential violations of the FCPA or other anti-corruption laws, export control laws and regulations, and economic sanctions laws and regulations by the United States or foreign authorities could also materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.

We may not generate anticipated savings from our EiP program or our SSOs.

        In 2014, we launched EiP as an enterprise wide initiative to optimize and standardize our processes to enable sustained growth and margin expansion. The program, which we refer to as EiP Wave 1, was developed to enable vertical integration of procurement, information technology, finance, accounting, and human resources, thus enabling us to fully leverage the growing size and scope of our local operations while also enhancing our internal controls. This initiative is largely completed and has generated significant cost savings. The savings we have generated from this initiative, however, could be offset by many factors, including, among others, lack of acceptance by local regulators and institutions, inability to identify and hire qualified personnel to staff SSOs and unanticipated technical difficulties.

        Following implementation of EiP Wave 1, we further evaluated additional opportunities for efficiencies and savings related to the mid-office functions (including, for example, student information systems and the enrollment-to-graduation cycle) as well as general and administrative structure and certain student-facing activities. We anticipate realizing $75 to $100 million of annual savings (generated primarily from general and administrative expense and technology-enabled efficiency solutions) by year end 2019. To achieve these savings, we expect to have approximately $125 million of

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one-time costs associated with severance and restructuring expenses, as well as costs related to technology investments. Approximately 50% of these one-time costs were incurred in 2017; we anticipate that the remainder will be incurred in 2018 and 2019. There can be no assurance that we will achieve these savings goals or that we will not have to make additional investments in these programs to do so.

        If we are not able to fully implement the EiP program and the SSOs successfully and timely and at the costs that we currently anticipate, or if these initiatives do not generate their intended operating efficiencies, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are conducting an internal investigation of one of our network institutions for violations of the Company's policies, and possible violations of the FCPA and other applicable laws. A violation of these laws and regulations could subject us to penalties, harm our reputation and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        As previously disclosed, during the fourth quarter of 2014, we recorded an operating expense of $18.0 million (the value of 40.0 million Turkish Liras at the date of donation) for a donation by our network institution in Turkey to a charitable foundation. We believed the donation was encouraged by the Turkish government to further a public project supported by the government and expected that it would enhance the position and ongoing operations of our institution in Turkey. The Company has learned that the charitable foundation which received the donation disbursed the funds at the direction of a former senior executive at our network institution in Turkey and other external individuals to a third party without our knowledge or approval.

        In June 2016, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors initiated an internal investigation into this matter with the assistance of external counsel. The investigation concerns the facts surrounding the donation, violations of the Company's policies, and possible violations of the FCPA and other applicable laws in what appears to be a fraud perpetrated by the former senior executive at our network institution in Turkey and other external individuals. This includes an investigation to determine if the diversion was part of a scheme to misappropriate the funds and whether any portion of the funds was paid to government officials. As of the date of this Form 10-K, we have not identified that any other officers or employees outside of Turkey were involved in the diversion of the intended donation. Although we are pursuing efforts to recover the diverted funds, including through legal proceedings, there is no assurance that we will be successful. As a result of the investigation, we took steps to remove the former senior executive at our network institution in Turkey and he is no longer affiliated with that institution.

        We have been advised by Turkish counsel that, under Turkish law, a Foundation University may not make payments that cause a decrease in the university's wealth or do not otherwise benefit the university. Given the uncertainty of recovery of the diverted donation and to mitigate any potential regulatory issues in Turkey relating to the donation, certain Laureate-owned entities that are members of the foundation that controls our network institution in Turkey have contributed an amount of approximately $13.0 million (the value of 40.0 million Turkish Liras on November 4, 2016, the date of contribution) to our network institution in Turkey to reimburse it for the donation.

        In September 2016, we voluntarily disclosed the investigation to the U.S. Department of Justice (the "DOJ") and the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). The Company is fully cooperating with these agencies in their investigations and inquiries relating to this matter. The Company has internal controls and compliance policies and procedures that are designed to prevent misconduct of this nature and support compliance with laws and best practices throughout its global operations. The Company is taking steps to enhance these internal controls and compliance policies and procedures. The governmental and Company investigations relating to these matters are ongoing,

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and we cannot predict the outcome at this time, or the impact, if any, to the Company's consolidated financial statements or predict how the resulting consequences, if any, may impact our internal controls and compliance policies and procedures, business, ability or right to operate in Turkey, results of operations or financial position. If we are found to have violated the FCPA or other laws applicable to us, we may be subject to criminal and civil penalties and other remedial measures, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

        See "—We currently have four material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting that, if not corrected, could result in material misstatements of our financial statements" and "—Our institutions are subject to uncertain and varying laws and regulations, and any changes to these laws or regulations or their application to us may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and result of operations."

We currently have four material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting that, if not corrected, could result in material misstatements of our financial statements.

        In the course of preparing our consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2013, we identified certain material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim consolidated financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weaknesses related to (1) an inadequate contract management process, (2) inadequate accounting for tax matters, (3) inadequate knowledge of GAAP in the non-U.S. finance organization, (4) inadequate journal entry review processes and (5) inadequate controls over key reports and spreadsheets. We have remediated four of the five material weaknesses; however, as described below, the material weakness related to inadequate controls over key reports and spreadsheets remained at December 31, 2017.

        As of December 31, 2017, we identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting related to inadequate controls over key reports and spreadsheets, as discussed above. Specifically, we did not design adequate controls to address the completeness and accuracy of key reports and spreadsheets. This material weakness (in combination with other prior material weaknesses discussed above, which have since been remediated) contributed to a revision to our audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013. This material weakness could result in additional misstatements to accounts and disclosures that would result in a material misstatement of our consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.

        As of December 31, 2016, we identified three additional material weaknesses which still exist as of December 31, 2017, as follows:

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        These IT deficiencies did not result in a material misstatement to the financial statements, however, the deficiencies, when aggregated, could impact the effectiveness of IT-dependent controls (such as automated controls that address the risk of material misstatement to one or more assertions, along with the IT controls and underlying data that support the effectiveness of system-generated data and reports) that could result in misstatements potentially affecting all financial statement accounts and disclosures that would not be prevented or detected in a timely manner.

        We have commenced the remediation of these material weaknesses and other deficiencies. Our efforts to remediate these material weaknesses may not be effective. If our efforts to remediate these material weaknesses are not successful, the remediated material weaknesses may reoccur, the current material weaknesses may not be remediated in a timely manner, or other material weaknesses could occur in the future.

        As a result of these material weaknesses, we may be unable to report our financial results accurately on a timely basis, which could cause our reported financial results to be materially misstated and result in the loss of investor confidence or delisting of our Class A common stock and could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline. As a result of such failures, we could also become subject to investigations by the stock exchange on which our Class A common stock is listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, and become subject to litigation from investors, which could harm our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations, and divert financial and management resources from our core business.

        Further, if as a result of these material weaknesses we are unable to provide the DOE with required financial statements by specified deadlines, the DOE could take action to materially limit or terminate our U.S. Institutions' participation in the Title IV federal student aid programs, which could result in a material or adverse decline in revenues, financial condition or results of operations. Furthermore, the U.S. Institutions would then be unable to continue their business as currently conducted, which could be expected to have a material adverse effect on our U.S. Institutions' ability to continue as going concerns.

        See "—We are conducting an internal investigation of one of our network institutions for violations of the Company's policies, and possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable laws. A violation of these laws and regulations could subject us to penalties, harm our reputation and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations."

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        We may in the future discover areas of our internal financial and accounting controls and procedures that need improvement. Our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. A control system, regardless of how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system's objectives will be met. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud will be detected.

        If we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a timely manner, or if we are unable to maintain proper and effective internal controls, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements, and we or our independent registered public accounting firm may conclude that our internal controls over financial reporting are not effective or our independent registered public accounting firm may not be able to provide us with an unqualified opinion as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If that were to happen, investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could lead to a decline in the market price of our Class A common stock and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the stock exchange on which our Class A common stock is listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities.

        Additionally, the existence of any material weakness could require management to devote significant time and incur significant expense to remediate any such material weakness and management may not be able to remediate any such material weakness in a timely manner. The existence of any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting could also result in errors in our financial statements that could require us to restate our financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and cause the holders of our Class A common stock to lose confidence in our reported financial information, all of which could materially adversely affect our business and share price.

Risks Relating to Our Highly Regulated Industry in the United States

Failure of any of our U.S. Institutions to comply with extensive regulatory requirements could result in significant monetary liabilities, fines and penalties, restrictions on our operations, limitations on our growth, or loss of access to federal student loans and grants for our students, on which we are substantially dependent.

        Our U.S. Institutions are subject to extensive regulatory requirements, including at the federal, state, and accrediting agency levels. Many students at our U.S. Institutions rely on the availability of federal student financial aid programs, known as Title IV programs, which are administered by the DOE, to finance their cost of attending our institutions. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, Kendall College, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, St. Augustine and Walden University derived approximately 31%, 35%, 65% and 73%, respectively, of their revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from Title IV program funds. In the aggregate, our U.S. Institutions derived approximately $498 million of revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from Title IV programs during the year ended December 31, 2017.

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        To participate in Title IV programs, our U.S. Institutions must be authorized by the appropriate state education agency or agencies, be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the DOE, and be certified as an eligible institution by the DOE. As a result, our U.S. Institutions are subject to extensive regulation and review by these agencies and commissions which cover the vast majority of our U.S. operations, including our educational programs, instructional and administrative staff, administrative procedures, marketing, student recruiting and admissions, and financial operations. These regulations also affect our ability to acquire or open additional institutions, add new educational programs, substantially change existing programs or change our corporate or ownership structure. The agencies and commissions that regulate our operations periodically revise their requirements and modify their interpretations of existing requirements. Regulatory requirements are not always precise and clear, and regulatory agencies may sometimes disagree with the way we interpret or apply these requirements. If we misinterpret or are found to have not complied with any of these regulatory requirements, our U.S. Institutions could suffer financial penalties, limitations on their operations, loss of accreditation, termination of or limitations on their ability to grant degrees and certificates, or limitations on or termination of their eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, each of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if we are charged with regulatory violations, our reputation could be damaged, which could have a negative impact on our enrollments and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We cannot predict with certainty how all of these regulatory requirements will be applied, or whether we will be able to comply with all of the applicable requirements in the future.

        If any of our U.S. Institutions were to lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, we would experience a material and adverse decline in revenues, financial condition, results of operations, and future growth prospects. Furthermore, the affected U.S. Institution would be unable to continue its business as it is currently conducted, which could have a material adverse effect on the institution's ability to continue as a going concern.

If any of the U.S. education regulatory agencies or commissions that regulate us do not approve or delay any required approvals of transactions involving a change of control, our ability to operate or participate in Title IV programs may be impaired.

        If we or one of our U.S. Institutions experiences a change of ownership or control under the standards of the DOE, any applicable accrediting agency, any applicable state educational licensing agency, or any specialized accrediting agency, we must notify or seek approval of each such agency or commission. These agencies do not have uniform criteria for what constitutes a change of ownership or control. Transactions or events that typically constitute a change of ownership or control include significant acquisitions or dispositions of shares of the voting stock of an institution or its parent company, and significant changes in the composition of the board of directors of an institution or its parent company. The occurrence of some of these transactions or events may be beyond our control. Our failure to obtain, or a delay in receiving, approval of any change of control from the DOE or any applicable accrediting agency or state educational licensing agency, could impair our U.S. Institutions' ability to operate or participate in Title IV programs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Failure to obtain, or a delay in receiving, approval of any change of control from any state in which our U.S. Institutions are currently licensed or authorized, or from any applicable accrediting agency, could require us to suspend our activities in that state or suspend offering applicable programs until we receive the required approval, or could otherwise impair our operations.

        Our failure to obtain any required approval of any transactions from the DOE, the institutional accrediting agencies, or the pertinent state educational agencies could result in one or more of our U.S. Institutions losing continued eligibility to participate in the Title IV programs, accreditation or state

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licensure, which could have a material adverse effect on our U.S. business, financial condition and results of operations.

Congress may revise the laws governing Title IV programs or reduce funding for those and other student financial assistance programs, and the DOE may revise its regulations administering Title IV programs, any of which could reduce our enrollment and revenues and increase costs of operations.

        The U.S. Higher Education Act (the "HEA") is a federal law that governs Title IV programs. The U.S. Congress must authorize and appropriate funding for Title IV programs under the HEA and can change the laws governing Title IV programs at any time. The HEA was most recently reauthorized in August 2008. Congress is currently in the process of reauthorizing the HEA and has conducted hearings examining various issues including, but not limited to, the streamlining of Title IV financial aid programs and repayment systems, the role of consumer information in college choices by students and families, whether Title IV programs should include institutional risk sharing, and the role of accrediting agencies in ensuring institutional quality, among other items. On December 13, 2017, the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to reauthorize the HEA, titled the "Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act" (PROSPER Act). If enacted in its current form, this legislation would substantially amend the HEA, including but not limited to changes to Title IV programs and provisions governing institutional participation therein. We cannot predict the timing and terms of any eventual HEA reauthorization, including any potential changes to institutional participation or student eligibility requirements or funding levels for particular Title IV programs, which terms may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Apart from Title IV programs, eligible veterans and military personnel may receive educational benefits for the pursuit of higher education. A reduction in federal funding levels for Title IV programs, or for programs providing educational benefits to veterans and military personnel, could reduce the ability of some students to finance their education. We cannot predict with certainty the future funding levels for Title IV programs, or for programs providing educational benefits to veterans and military personnel, or the nature of any future revisions to the law or regulations related to these programs. Because a significant percentage of the revenues of our U.S. Institutions is and is expected to be derived from Title IV programs, any action by the U.S. Congress that significantly reduces Title IV program funding or the ability of our U.S. students to participate in Title IV programs could have a material adverse effect on our U.S. Institutions' enrollments, business, financial condition and results of operations. Congressional action also may require our U.S. Institutions to modify their practices in ways that could increase administrative costs and reduce profit margins, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        In recent years, the DOE has promulgated a substantial number of new regulations that impact our U.S. Institutions, including, but not limited to, state authorization, gainful employment, financial responsibility, borrower defenses to repayment, and the definition of a credit hour for the purpose of determining program eligibility for Title IV student financial aid. On October 30, 2014, the DOE published regulations to define "gainful employment" for the purposes of the Title IV program requirement that educational programs offered by proprietary institutions prepare students for gainful employment in recognized occupations, which became effective on July 1, 2015. On July 5, 2017, the DOE further announced that it would allow additional time, until July 1, 2018, for institutions to comply with certain disclosure requirements in the gainful employment regulations. On June 16, 2017, the DOE published a notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to the gainful employment regulations. The DOE held negotiated rulemaking sessions on the gainful employment rule in December 2017 and February 2018, and will hold another negotiated rulemaking session in March 2018. If issued, any new gainful employment regulations would be effective July 1, 2019. We cannot predict with any certainty the outcome of the negotiated

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rulemaking or the extent to which revised gainful employment regulations may differ from the current regulations.

        On December 19, 2016, the DOE published final regulations regarding state authorization for programs offered through distance education and state authorization for foreign locations of institutions. Among other provisions, these final regulations require that an institution participating in the Title IV federal student aid programs and offering post-secondary education through distance education be authorized by each state in which the institution enrolls students, if such authorization is required by the state. The DOE would recognize authorization through participation in a state authorization reciprocity agreement, if the agreement does not prevent a state from enforcing its own laws. The final regulations also require that foreign additional locations and branch campuses be authorized by the appropriate foreign government agency and, if at least 50% of a program can be completed at the location/branch, be approved by the institution's accrediting agency and be reported to the state where the main campus is located. The final regulations would also require institutions to: document the state process for resolving complaints from students enrolled in programs offered through distance education or correspondence courses; and make certain public and individualized disclosures to enrolled and prospective students about their distance education programs. These final regulations are effective July 1, 2018.

The DOE may adopt regulations governing federal student loan debt forgiveness that could result in liability for amounts based on borrower defenses or affect the DOE's assessment of our institutional capability.

        Under the DOE's current regulations, a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (the "Direct Loan Program") borrower may assert as a defense to repayment any "act or omission of the school attended by the student that would give rise to a cause of action against the school under applicable State law." On November 1, 2016, the DOE published a rule that, among other provisions, established new standards and processes for determining whether a Direct Loan Program borrower has a defense to repayment ("DTR") on a loan due to acts or omissions by the institution at which the loan was used by the borrower for educational expenses. The regulations were to take effect on July 1, 2017. On June 15, 2017, the DOE announced an indefinite delay to its implementation of the regulations, and on June 16, 2017 published a notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to the rule.

        Among other topics, the now-delayed rule established permissible borrower defense claims for discharge, procedural rules under which claims would be adjudicated, time limits for borrowers' claims, and guidelines for recoupment by the DOE of discharged loan amounts from institutions of higher education. It also prohibited schools from using any pre-dispute arbitration agreements, prohibited schools from prohibiting relief in the form of class actions by student borrowers, and invalidated clauses imposing requirements that students pursue an internal dispute resolution process before contacting authorities regarding concerns about an institution. For proprietary institutions, the now-delayed rule described the threshold for loan repayment rates that would require specific disclosures to current and prospective students and the applicable loan repayment rate methodology. The now-delayed rule also established important new financial responsibility and administrative capacity requirements for both not-for-profit and for-profit institutions participating in the Title IV programs. Under the now-delayed rule, certain events would automatically trigger a letter of credit, and the DOE retained discretion to impose a letter of credit upon the occurrence of other events.

        The DOE held negotiated rulemaking sessions in November 2017, January 2018 and February 2018 regarding the DTR regulations. The DOE and negotiators failed to reach consensus on revised DTR regulations, and the DOE is now expected to issue revised DTR regulations for comment by the summer of 2018, with the rules becoming final by November 1, 2018. If issued, any new DTR regulations would be effective July 1, 2019. We cannot state with any certainly how the revised DTR regulations will differ from the now-delayed rule. Any new DTR regulations, whether or not they are

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similar to the now-delayed regulations, could have a direct and substantial impact on our U.S. Institutions. In the meantime, regardless of the status of new DTR regulations, our U.S. Institutions are subject to student loan discharge liabilities. If we are required to repay the DOE for any successful DTR claims by students who attended our U.S. Institutions, or we are required to obtain additional letters of credit or increase our current letter of credit, it could materially affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations. We cannot predict with any certainty the outcome of the litigation brought against the DOE, the extent to which a revised DTR rule may differ from the previously promulgated DTR regulations, or the impact that such a revised rule might have on our business.

Hearings and examinations of the for-profit educational industry could result in negative publicity, additional legislation, rulemaking by the DOE and other federal regulatory agencies, and other restrictions on our business.

        The U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense ("DoD") have increased their focus in recent years on DoD tuition assistance that is used for distance education and programs at proprietary institutions. On multiple occasions since an April 2012 Executive Order, the DoD has revised its standard Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") to include additional provisions applicable to all higher educational institutions providing educational programs through the DoD tuition assistance program. Our U.S. Institutions utilizing tuition assistance have signed DoD's standard MOU.

        We cannot predict whether, or the extent to which, this scrutiny will result in legislation or further rulemaking affecting our participation in Title IV programs, or in programs providing educational benefits to veterans and military personnel. To the extent that any laws or regulations are adopted that limit our participation in Title IV programs, programs providing educational benefits to veterans and military personnel, or the amount of student financial aid for which the students at our U.S. Institutions are eligible, those institutions' enrollments, revenues and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

Our U.S. Institutions must periodically seek recertification to participate in Title IV programs and, if the DOE does not recertify the institutions to continue participating in Title IV programs, our students would lose their access to Title IV program funds, or the institutions could be recertified but required to accept significant limitations as a condition of continued participation in Title IV programs.

        DOE certification to participate in Title IV programs lasts a maximum of six years, and institutions are required to seek recertification from the DOE on a regular basis to continue their participation in Title IV programs. An institution must also apply for recertification by the DOE if it undergoes a change in control, as defined by DOE regulations, and may be subject to similar review if it expands its operations or educational programs in certain ways. Generally, the recertification process includes a review by the DOE of the institution's educational programs and locations, administrative capability, financial responsibility and other oversight categories. The DOE could limit, suspend or terminate an institution's participation in Title IV programs for violations of the HEA or Title IV regulations. As discussed in more detail under "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—U.S. Regulation," each of our U.S. Institutions currently participates in the Title IV programs pursuant to the DOE's provisional form of certification.

        If the DOE does not renew or withdraws any of our U.S. Institutions' certifications to participate in Title IV programs at any time, students in the affected institution(s) would no longer be able to receive Title IV program funds. Similarly, the DOE could renew our U.S. Institutions' certifications, but restrict or delay Title IV funding, limit the number of students to whom it could disburse such funds or impose other restrictions. In addition, the DOE may take emergency action to suspend any of our U.S. Institutions' certifications without advance notice if it receives reliable information that an institution is violating Title IV requirements and it determines that immediate action is necessary to

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prevent misuse of Title IV funds. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our U.S. Institutions' enrollments and our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our U.S. Institutions would lose their ability to participate in Title IV programs if they fail to maintain their institutional accreditation, and our student enrollments could decline if we fail to maintain any of our accreditations or approvals.

        An institution must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the DOE to participate in Title IV programs. Each of our U.S. Institutions is so accredited, and such accreditation is subject to renewal or review periodically or when necessary. If any of our U.S. Institutions fails to satisfy any of its respective accrediting commissions' standards, that institution could lose its accreditation by its respective accrediting commission, which would cause the institution to lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs and experience a significant decline in total student enrollments. In addition, many of our U.S. Institutions' individual educational programs are accredited by specialized accrediting commissions or approved by specialized state agencies. If any of our U.S. Institutions fails to satisfy the standards of any of those specialized accrediting commissions or state agencies, that institution could lose the specialized accreditation or approval for the affected programs, which could result in materially reduced student enrollments in those programs and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if an accrediting body of one of our U.S. Institutions loses recognition by the DOE, that institution could lose its ability to participate in Title IV programs.

If any of our U.S. Institutions fail to obtain or maintain any of its state authorizations in states where such authorization is required, that institution may not be able to operate or enroll students in that state, and may not be able to award Title IV program funds to students.

        The DOE requires that an educational institution be authorized in each state where it physically operates in order to participate in Title IV programs. The level of regulatory oversight varies substantially from state to state. Our campus-based U.S. Institutions are authorized by applicable state educational licensing agencies to operate and to grant degrees or diplomas, which authorizations are required for students at these institutions to be eligible to receive funding under Title IV programs. If any of our U.S. Institutions fail to continuously satisfy applicable standards for maintaining its state authorization in a state in which that institution is physically located, that institution could lose its authorization from the applicable state educational agency to offer educational programs and could be forced to cease operations in that state. Such a loss of authorization would also cause that institution's location in the state to lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Many states also have sought to assert jurisdiction, whether through adoption of new laws and regulations or new interpretations of existing laws and regulations, over out-of-state educational institutions offering online degree programs that have no physical location or other presence in the state but that have some activity in the state, such as enrolling or offering educational services to students who reside in the state, employing faculty who reside in the state or advertising to or recruiting prospective students in the state. State regulatory requirements for online education are inconsistent between states and not well developed in many jurisdictions. As such, these requirements change frequently and, in some instances, are not clear or are left to the discretion of state employees or agents. State regulatory agencies may sometimes disagree with the way we have interpreted or applied these requirements. Any misinterpretation by us of these regulatory requirements or adverse changes in regulations or interpretations of these regulations by state licensing agencies could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Our online educational programs offered by our U.S. Institutions and the constantly changing regulatory environment require us to continually evaluate our state regulatory compliance activities. We

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review the licensure requirements of other states when appropriate to determine whether our activities in those states constitute a presence or otherwise require licensure or authorization by the respective state education agencies. Therefore, in addition to the states where we maintain physical facilities, we have obtained, or are in the process of obtaining, approvals or exemptions that we believe are necessary in connection with our activities that may constitute a presence in such other states requiring licensure or authorization by the state educational agency based on the laws, rules or regulations of that state. Some of our approvals are pending or are in the renewal process. Some of our U.S. Institutions do not have current approvals or exemptions from all of the state educational agencies that may require such an approval or exemption due to the U.S. Institution enrolling students via distance education in the state. If any of our U.S. Institutions fail to comply with state licensure or authorization requirements, we could be subject to various sanctions, including restrictions on recruiting students, providing educational programs and other activities in that state, and fines and penalties. Additionally, new laws, regulations or interpretations related to providing online educational programs and services could increase our cost of doing business and affect our ability to recruit students in particular states, which could, in turn, negatively affect enrollments and revenues and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        The failure to maintain any required state licensure or authorization for our distance education programs in the United States could prohibit us from recruiting prospective students or offering educational services to current students in one or more states, which could significantly reduce enrollments and revenues and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations in the United States. Additionally, on December 19, 2016, the DOE published final regulations regarding state authorization for programs offered through distance education and state authorization for foreign locations of institutions. For additional information regarding these final regulations, see "—Congress may revise the laws governing Title IV programs or reduce funding for those and other student financial assistance programs, and the DOE may revise its regulations administering Title IV programs, any of which could reduce our enrollment and revenues and increase costs of operations." Any failure to comply with state requirements, or any new or modified regulations at the federal or state level, could result in our inability to enroll students or receive Title IV funds for students in those states and could result in restrictions on our growth and enrollments.

Increased regulatory and enforcement effort aimed at proprietary education institutions could be a catalyst for legislative or regulatory restrictions, investigations, enforcement actions and claims that could, individually or in the aggregate, materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

        In recent years, the proprietary education industry has experienced broad-based, intensifying scrutiny in the form of increased investigations and enforcement actions. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the "FTC") has issued civil investigative demands to several other U.S. proprietary educational institutions, which require the institutions to provide documents and information related to the advertising, marketing, or sale of secondary or postsecondary educational products or services, or educational accreditation products or services. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") has also initiated a series of investigations against other U.S. proprietary educational institutions alleging that certain institutions' lending practices violate various consumer finance laws. In addition, attorneys general in several states have become more active in enforcing consumer protection laws, especially related to recruiting practices and the financing of education at proprietary educational institutions.

        In the event that any of our past or current business practices are found to violate applicable consumer protection laws, or if we are found to have made misrepresentations to our current or prospective students about our educational programs, we could be subject to monetary fines or penalties and possible limitations on the manner in which we conduct our business, which could

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materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. To the extent that more states or government agencies commence investigations, act in concert, or direct their focus on our U.S. Institutions, the cost of responding to these inquiries and investigations could increase significantly, and the potential impact on our business would be substantially greater.

Our failure to comply with the laws and regulations of various states could result in actions that would have a material adverse effect on our enrollments, revenues and results of operations.

        We are subject to extensive laws and regulations by the states in which we are authorized or licensed to operate. State laws typically establish standards for instruction, qualifications of faculty, administrative procedures, marketing, recruiting, financial operations and other operational matters. State laws and regulations may limit our ability to offer educational programs and to award degrees and may limit the ability of our students to sit for certification exams in their chosen fields of study. In addition, as mentioned above, attorneys general in several states have become more active in enforcing consumer protection laws, and in some instances have partnered with the CFPB. In addition, we may be subject to litigation by private parties alleging that we violated state laws regarding the educational programs provided by our U.S. Institutions and their operations. For more information on these lawsuits, see "Item 3—Legal Proceedings."

        On September 8, 2016, as part of a program review that the Minnesota Office of Higher Education ("MOHE") is conducting of Walden University's doctoral programs, MOHE sent to Walden University an information request regarding its doctoral programs and complaints filed by doctoral students. We have been informed by MOHE that in an effort to better understand the context, background and issues related to doctoral student complaints in Minnesota, MOHE is initiating a full review of doctoral programs for certain institutions registered in Minnesota. MOHE has informed us that it expects to issue a report regarding its program review in 2018. We cannot predict the outcome of this matter. However, if MOHE makes an adverse determination, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The inability of our graduates to obtain licensure or other specialized outcomes in their chosen professional fields of study could reduce our enrollments and revenues, and potentially lead to litigation that could be costly to us.

        Certain of our graduates seek professional licensure or other specialized outcomes in their chosen fields following graduation. Their success in obtaining these outcomes depends on several factors, including the individual merits of the learner, but also may depend on whether the institution and the program were approved by the state or by a professional association, whether the program from which the learner graduated meets all state requirements and whether the institution is accredited. In addition, professional associations may refuse to certify specialized outcomes for our learners for similar reasons. The state requirements for licensure are subject to change, as are the professional certification standards, and we may not immediately become aware of changes that may impact our learners in certain instances. Also, as described below, the final gainful employment regulations require an institution to certify to the DOE that its educational programs subject to the gainful employment requirements, which include all programs offered by our U.S. Institutions, meet the applicable requirements for graduates to be professionally or occupationally certified in the state in which the institution is located. In the event that one or more states refuses to recognize our learners for professional licensure, and/or professional associations refuse to certify specialized outcomes for our learners, based on factors relating to our institution or programs, the potential growth of our programs would be negatively affected, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, we could be exposed to litigation that would force us to incur legal and other expenses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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If any of our U.S. Institutions do not comply with the DOE's "administrative capability" standards, we could suffer financial penalties, be required to accept other limitations to continue participating in Title IV programs or lose our eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

        DOE regulations specify extensive criteria an institution must satisfy to establish that it has the requisite "administrative capability" to participate in Title IV programs. These criteria require, among other things, that we comply with all applicable Title IV program regulations; have capable and sufficient personnel to administer the federal student financial aid programs; not have student loan cohort default rates in excess of specified levels; have acceptable methods of defining and measuring the satisfactory academic progress of our students; have various procedures in place for safeguarding federal funds; not be, and not have any principal or affiliate who is, debarred or suspended from federal contracting or engaging in activity that is cause for debarment or suspension; provide financial aid counseling to our students; refer to the DOE's Office of Inspector General any credible information indicating that any applicant, student, employee or agent of the institution has been engaged in any fraud or other illegal conduct involving Title IV programs; submit in a timely manner all reports and financial statements required by Title IV regulations; and not otherwise appear to lack administrative capability. If an institution fails to satisfy any of these criteria or comply with any other DOE regulations, the DOE may change the institution's method of receiving Title IV program funds, which in some cases may result in a significant delay in the institution's receipt of those funds; place the institution on provisional certification status; or commence a proceeding to impose a fine or to limit, suspend or terminate the participation of the institution in Title IV programs. Thus, if any of our U.S. Institutions were found not to have satisfied the DOE's "administrative capability" requirements, we could be limited in our access to, or lose, Title IV program funding, which could significantly reduce our enrollments and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If any of our U.S. Institutions do not meet specific financial responsibility standards established by the DOE, that institution may be required to post a letter of credit or accept other limitations to continue participating in Title IV programs, or that institution could lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

        To participate in Title IV programs, our U.S. Institutions must satisfy specific measures of financial responsibility prescribed by the DOE, or post a letter of credit in favor of the DOE and possibly accept other conditions on its participation in Title IV programs. These financial responsibility tests are applied on an annual basis based on an institution's audited financial statements, and may be applied at other times, such as if an institution undergoes a change in control. The DOE may also apply such measures of financial responsibility to an eligible institution's operating company and ownership entities and, if such measures are not satisfied by the operating company or ownership entities, require the institution to post a letter of credit in favor of the DOE and possibly accept other conditions on its participation in Title IV programs. The operating restrictions that may be placed on an institution that does not meet the quantitative standards of financial responsibility include changes to the method of receiving Title IV program funds, which in some cases may result in a significant delay in the institution's receipt of those funds. Limitations on, or termination of, our participation in Title IV programs as a result of our failure to demonstrate financial responsibility would limit our students' access to Title IV program funds, which could significantly reduce enrollments and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        As described in more detail under "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—U.S. Regulation," the DOE annually assesses our U.S. Institutions' financial responsibility through a composite score determination based on the Laureate consolidated audited financial statements and not at the individual institutional level. Based on Laureate's composite score for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the DOE determined that it, and consequently, Walden University, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Kendall College and St. Augustine failed to meet the standards of financial

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responsibility. As a result, in a letter dated October 30, 2017, the Department required Laureate to increase its existing letter of credit to $136,887,941 (15% of the Title IV program funds that the schools received during the most recently completed fiscal year), continued the institutions on Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 and required Laureate to continue to comply with additional notification and reporting requirements, including submitting bi-weekly cash flow statements for Laureate and monthly student rosters of the institutions. In a letter dated March 1, 2018, the DOE required Laureate to provide additional ongoing information about its current operations and future plans, including bi-weekly updates on its cash balances and monthly cash flow statements and student rosters for its U.S. Institutions, beginning in April 2018.

        In December 2015, the DOE sent us a letter requiring us to post a letter of credit in the amount of $14,967 for St. Augustine (25% of the total Title IV program refunds the institution made or should have made during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014). This requirement was due to the fact that St. Augustine was found to have untimely processed refunds of Title IV program funds for withdrawn students for more than 5% of the students in its auditor's sample for the 2014 fiscal year. We have obtained this letter of credit. Any obligation to post, maintain or increase a letter of credit could materially adversely affect our liquidity or increase our costs of regulatory compliance. The DOE has the discretion to increase our letter of credit requirements at any time. If we are unable to secure any required letter of credit, our U.S. Institutions would lose their eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        On November 1, 2016, as part of its defense to repayment rulemaking, the DOE issued a rule to revise its general standards of financial responsibility to include various actions and events that would require institutions to provide the DOE with irrevocable letters of credit upon the occurrence of certain triggering events. In June 2017, the DOE announced an indefinite delay in implementing these regulations and also announced its intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to these regulations. For additional information regarding this rule and current rulemaking, see "—The DOE may adopt regulations governing federal student loan debt forgiveness that could result in liability for amounts based on borrower defenses or affect the DOE's assessment of our institutional capability." If we are required to repay the DOE for any successful DTR claims by students who attended our U.S. Institutions, or we are required to obtain additional letters of credit or increase our current letter of credit, it could materially affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations.

The DOE may change our U.S. Institutions' method of receiving Title IV program funds, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity.

        The DOE can impose sanctions for violating the statutory and regulatory requirements of Title IV programs, including transferring one or more of our U.S. Institutions from the advance method or the heightened cash monitoring level one method of Title IV payment, each of which permits an institution to receive Title IV funds before or concurrently with disbursing them to students, to the heightened cash monitoring level two method of payment or to the reimbursement method of payment, each of which may significantly delay an institution's receipt of Title IV funds until student eligibility has been verified by the DOE. Any such delay in our U.S. Institutions' receipt of Title IV program funds may materially adversely affect our cash flows and we may require additional working capital or third-party funding to finance our operations.

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Our U.S. Institutions may lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if the percentage of our U.S. Institutions revenues derived from Title IV programs is too high.

        A provision of the HEA commonly referred to as the "90/10 Rule" provides that a for-profit educational institution loses its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if, under a complex regulatory formula that requires cash basis accounting and other adjustments to the calculation of revenues, the institution derives more than 90% of its revenues from Title IV program funds for any two consecutive fiscal years. If any of our U.S. Institutions were to violate the 90/10 Rule, that institution would become ineligible to participate in Title IV programs as of the first day of the fiscal year following the second consecutive fiscal year in which the institution exceeded the 90% threshold and would be unable to regain eligibility for two fiscal years thereafter. In addition, an institution that derives more than 90% of its revenue (on a cash basis) from Title IV programs for any single fiscal year will be placed on provisional certification for at least two fiscal years and may be subject to additional conditions or sanctions imposed by the DOE. Using the DOE's formula under the "90/10 Rule," Kendall College, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, St. Augustine and Walden University derived approximately 31%, 35%, 65% and 73% of their revenues (calculated on a cash basis), respectively, from Title IV program funds for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

        Our U.S. Institutions' ratios could increase in the future. Congressional increases in students' Title IV grant and loan limits may result in an increase in the revenues we receive from Title IV programs. In recent years, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would revise the 90/10 Rule to consider educational benefits for veterans and military personnel from the Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense, respectively, in the same manner as Title IV funds for purposes of the rule, to prohibit institutions from participating in Title IV programs for one year if they derive more than 90% of their total revenues (calculated on a cash basis) from the Title IV programs and these other federal programs in a single fiscal year rather than the current rule of two consecutive fiscal years, and to revise the 90/10 Rule to an 85/15 rule. We cannot predict whether, or the extent to which, any of these proposed revisions could be enacted into law or result in further rulemaking. In addition, reductions in state appropriations in a number of areas, including with respect to the amount of financial assistance provided to post-secondary students, could further increase our U.S. Institutions' percentages of revenues derived from Title IV program funds. The employment circumstances of our students or their parents could also increase reliance on Title IV program funds. If any of our U.S. Institutions become ineligible to participate in Title IV programs as a result of noncompliance with the 90/10 Rule, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any of our U.S. Institutions may lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if their respective student loan default rates are too high.

        An educational institution may lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if, for three consecutive years, 30% or more of its students who were required to begin repayment on their federal student loans in the relevant fiscal year default on their payment by the end of the next federal fiscal year. In addition, an institution may lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if the default rate as determined by the DOE of its students exceeds 40% for any single year. The Department of Education generally publishes official cohort default rates annually in September for the repayment period that ended the prior September 30.

        Kendall College's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 11.3%, 10.0% and 7.9%, respectively. NewSchool of Architecture and Design's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 5.2%, 5.1% and 10.2%, respectively. St. Augustine's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 0.0%, 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively. Walden University's official cohort default rates for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 federal fiscal years were 7.5%, 6.7% and 6.8%, respectively. The average national student loan

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default rates published by the DOE for all institutions that participated in the federal student aid programs for 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 11.5%, 11.3% and 11.8%, respectively, and for all proprietary institutions that participated in the federal student aid programs for 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 15.5%, 15.0% and 15.8%, respectively.

        While we believe our U.S. Institutions are not in danger of exceeding the regulatory default rate thresholds for other Title IV programs, we cannot provide any assurance that this will continue to be the case. Any increase in interest rates or reliance on "self-pay" students, as well as declines in income or job losses for our students, could contribute to higher default rates on student loans. Exceeding the student loan default rate thresholds and losing eligibility to participate in Title IV programs would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any future changes in the formula for calculating student loan default rates, economic conditions or other factors that cause our default rates to increase, could place our U.S. Institutions in danger of losing their eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We could be subject to sanctions or other adverse legal actions if any of our U.S. Institutions were to pay impermissible commissions, bonuses or other incentive payments to individuals involved in or with responsibility for certain recruiting, admission or financial aid activities.

        Under the HEA, an educational institution that participates in Title IV programs may not make any commission, bonus or other incentive payments to any persons or entities involved in recruitment or admissions activities or in the awarding of financial aid. The requirement only pertains to the recruitment of students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents and others temporarily residing in the United States with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident. Under regulations that took effect on July 1, 2011, the DOE effectively has taken the position that any commission, bonus or other incentive compensation payment based in any part, directly or indirectly, or securing enrollment or awarding financial aid is inconsistent with the statutory prohibition against incentive compensation. The DOE has maintained that institutions may make merit-based adjustments to employee compensation, provided that those adjustments are not based, in any part, directly or indirectly, upon securing enrollments or awarding financial aid. In sub-regulatory correspondence to institutions, the DOE provided additional guidance regarding the scope of the prohibition on incentive compensation and to what employees and types of activities the prohibition applies. Based on these regulatory changes, we modified some of our compensation practices, which could make it more difficult to attract and retain key employees and executives, and affect our ability to grow and maintain our business and enrollments.

        In addition, in recent years, several for-profit education companies have been faced with whistleblower lawsuits under the Federal False Claims Act, known as "qui tam" cases, by current or former employees alleging violations of the prohibition against incentive compensation. If the DOE were to determine that we or any of our U.S. Institutions violated this requirement of Title IV programs, or if we were to be found liable in a False Claims action alleging a violation of this law, or if any third parties we have engaged were to violate this law, we could be fined or sanctioned by the DOE, or subjected to other monetary liability or penalties that could be substantial, including the possibility of treble damages under a False Claims action, any of which could harm our reputation, impose significant costs and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We could be subject to sanctions if any of our U.S. Institutions fails to correctly calculate and timely return Title IV program funds for students who withdraw before completing their educational program.

        An institution participating in Title IV programs must calculate the amount of unearned Title IV program funds that it has disbursed to students who withdraw from their educational programs before

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completing such programs and must return those unearned funds to the appropriate lender or the DOE in a timely manner, generally within 45 days of the date the institution determines that the student has withdrawn. If any of our U.S. Institutions does not properly calculate and timely return the unearned funds for a sufficient percentage of students, that institution may have to post a letter of credit in favor of the DOE equal to 25% of Title IV program funds that should have been returned for such students in the prior fiscal year. Additionally, if any of our U.S. Institutions does not correctly calculate and timely return unearned Title IV program funds, that institution may be liable for repayment of Title IV funds and related interest and may be fined, sanctioned, or otherwise subject to adverse actions by the DOE, including termination of that institution's participation in Title IV programs. Any of these adverse actions could increase our cost of regulatory compliance and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        We could also be subject to fines or penalties related to findings cited in our regulatory compliance reviews. For more information, see "—Government, regulatory agencies, accrediting bodies and third parties may conduct compliance reviews, bring claims or initiate litigation against us."

We or certain of our educational programs at our U.S. Institutions may lose eligibility to participate in Title IV programs if any of our U.S. Institutions or certain of their educational programs cannot satisfy the DOE's "gainful employment" requirements.

        Under the HEA, proprietary schools generally are eligible to participate in Title IV programs in respect of educational programs that lead to "gainful employment in a recognized occupation." Historically, the concept of "gainful employment" has not been defined in detail. On October 30, 2014, the DOE published regulations to define "gainful employment," which became effective on July 1, 2015. The regulations define this concept using two ratios, one based on annual debt-to-annual earnings ("DTE") and another based on annual debt-to-discretionary income ("DTI") ratio. Under the regulations, an educational program with a DTE ratio at or below 8% or a DTI ratio at or below 20% is considered "passing." An educational program with a DTE ratio greater than 8% but less than or equal to 12% or a DTI ratio greater than 20% but less than or equal to 30% is considered to be "in the zone." An educational program with a DTE ratio greater than 12% and a DTI ratio greater than 30% is considered "failing." An educational program will cease to be eligible for students to receive Title IV program funds if its DTE and DTI ratios are failing in two out of any three consecutive award years or if both of those rates are failing or in the zone for four consecutive award years. The regulations also require an institution to provide warnings to current and prospective students in programs which may lose Title IV eligibility at the end of an award or fiscal year. For more information see "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation—U.S. Regulation—Regulation of Federal Student Financial Aid Programs—Gainful Employment."

        In January 2017, the DOE issued final DTE rates to institutions. Among the Classification of Instructional Programs reported within NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Kendall College and Walden University, the DOE has indicated that we had one that failed and five in the zone. This represents a total of one educational program that failed and ten in the zone. St. Augustine had no programs that failed or were in the zone. The percentage of students enrolled in the educational program that failed represents approximately 1% of the students currently enrolled in our U.S. Institutions. The percentage of students enrolled in the educational programs that were in the zone represents approximately 5%. We are currently examining and implementing options for each of these programs and their students. We are discontinuing the program that failed. For one of the programs in the zone, we conducted an alternate salary survey and are appealing the zone score to the DOE. Additionally, the regulations require an institution to certify to the DOE that its educational programs subject to the gainful employment requirements, which include all programs offered by our U.S. Institutions, meet the applicable requirements for graduates to be professionally or occupationally licensed or certified in the state in which the institution is located. The regulations also include

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requirements for the reporting of student and program data by institutions to the DOE and expand the disclosure requirements that have been in effect since July 1, 2011. On July 5, 2017, the DOE announced that it would allow additional time, until July 1, 2018, for institutions to comply with certain disclosure requirements in the gainful employment regulations.

        On June 16, 2017 the DOE published a notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed revisions to the gainful employment regulations. The DOE held negotiated rulemaking sessions on the gainful employment rule in December 2017 and February 2018, and will hold another negotiated rulemaking session in March 2018 nt. If issued, any revised gainful employment regulations would be effective July 1, 2019. We cannot predict with any certainty the outcome of the negotiated rulemaking or the extent to which revised gainful employment regulations may differ from the current regulations.

        The failure of any program or programs offered by any of our U.S. Institutions to satisfy any gainful employment regulations could render that program or programs ineligible for Title IV program funds. Additionally, any gainful employment data released by the DOE about our U.S. Institutions or warnings provided under the regulations could influence current students not to continue their studies, discourage prospective students from enrolling in our programs or negatively impact our reputation. If a particular educational program ceased to become eligible for Title IV program funds, either because it fails to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation or due to other factors, we may choose to cease offering the program. It is possible that several programs offered by our schools may be adversely affected by the regulations due to lack of specialized program accreditation or certification or in the states in which such institutions are based. We also could be required to make changes to certain programs in the future in order to comply with the rule or to avoid the uncertainty associated with such compliance. Any of these factors could reduce enrollments, impact tuition prices, and have a material adverse effect on our U.S. Institutions' business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to maintain adequate systems and processes to detect and prevent fraudulent activity in student enrollment and financial aid, our business could be materially adversely affected.

        Higher educational institutions are susceptible to an increased risk of fraudulent activity by outside parties with respect to student enrollment and student financial aid programs. The DOE's regulations require institutions that participate in Title IV programs to refer to the Office of Inspector General credible information indicating that any applicant, employee, third-party servicer or agent of the institution that acts in a capacity that involves administration of the Title IV programs has been engaged in any fraud or other illegal conduct involving Title IV programs. We cannot be certain that our systems and processes will always be adequate in the face of increasingly sophisticated and ever-changing fraud schemes. The potential for outside parties to perpetrate fraud in connection with the award and disbursement of Title IV program funds, including as a result of identity theft, may be heightened due to our U.S. Institutions offering various educational programs via distance education. Any significant failure by one or more of our U.S. Institutions to adequately detect fraudulent activity related to student enrollment and financial aid could result in loss of accreditation at the discretion of the institutions' accrediting agency, which would result in the institution losing eligibility for Title IV programs, or in direct action by the DOE to limit or terminate the institution's Title IV program participation. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any substantial misrepresentation regarding our U.S. Institutions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        The DOE's regulation regarding substantial misrepresentations includes statements about the nature of its educational programs, its financial charges or the employability of its graduates. Under the

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regulation as promulgated by the DOE, any false, erroneous, or misleading statement, or statement that has the likelihood or tendency to deceive, that an institution, one of its representatives, or person or entity with whom the institution has an agreement to provide educational programs, marketing, advertising, recruiting or admissions services, makes directly or indirectly to a student, prospective student, any member of the public, an accrediting agency, a state licensing agency or the DOE could be deemed a misrepresentation by the institution. In the event that the DOE determines that an institution engaged in a substantial misrepresentation, it can revoke the institution's program participation agreement, impose limitations on the institution's participation in Title IV programs, deny participation applications on behalf of the institution, or seek to fine, suspend or terminate the institution's participation in Title IV programs. These regulations create broad grounds for the DOE to monitor and enforce violations of the regulations on substantial misrepresentation, and the DOE has recently taken actions to terminate the Title IV Program participation of, and impose significant financial penalties on other institutions based on its determination of such violations. These regulations also provide grounds for private litigants to seek to enforce the expanded regulations through False Claims Act litigation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The requirement to notify the DOE in advance of introducing new programs, and to obtain approvals for new programs, could delay the introduction of such programs and negatively impact growth.

        All of our U.S. Institutions are currently provisionally certified by the DOE and remain subject to certain program approval requirements otherwise applicable to provisionally certified institutions. Any delay in obtaining a required DOE approval could delay the introduction of the program, which could negatively impact our enrollment growth.

A bankruptcy filing by us, or by any of our subsidiaries that operate our U.S. Institutions or a closure of one of our U.S. Institutions or their affiliates, would lead to an immediate loss of the institution's eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

        In the event of a bankruptcy filing by us, or by any of our subsidiaries that operate our U.S. Institutions, the U.S. Institutions owned by us or the bankrupt subsidiary would lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs, pursuant to statutory provisions of the HEA and notwithstanding the automatic stay provisions of federal bankruptcy law, which would make any reorganization difficult to implement. Additionally, in the event of any bankruptcy affecting one or more of our U.S. Institutions, the DOE could hold our other U.S. Institutions jointly liable for any Title IV program liabilities, whether asserted or unasserted at the time of such bankruptcy, of our U.S. Institutions whose Title IV program eligibility was terminated.

        Further, in the event that an institution closes and fails to pay liabilities or other amounts owed to the DOE, the DOE can attribute the liabilities of that institution to other institutions under common ownership. If any one of our U.S. Institutions or affiliates were to close or have unpaid DOE liabilities, the DOE could seek to have those liabilities repaid by one of our other U.S. Institutions. In addition, the ultimate controlling owner of SFUAD is Wengen, which is also the ultimate controlling owner of Laureate. As a result, it is possible that the DOE could attempt to attribute any unpaid Title IV related liabilities of SFUAD to our other U.S. Institutions, or determine that our U.S. Institutions do not meet the DOE financial responsibility regulations, due to their common ownership. On April 12, 2017, SFUAD announced that it plans to close after the end of the 2017-2018 academic year and will work with its students on a phased teach-out and transfer process leading up to the graduation of students who are eligible to complete their degrees by May 2018 and appropriate transfer opportunities for other students.

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Government, regulatory agencies, accrediting bodies and third parties may conduct compliance reviews, bring claims or initiate litigation against us.

        Because we operate in a highly regulated industry, we may be subject to compliance reviews and claims of noncompliance and lawsuits by government agencies, regulatory agencies and third parties, including claims brought by third parties on behalf of the federal government. On September 21, 2015, the Higher Learning Commission notified Kendall College that the Higher Learning Commission placed the school on ongoing financial monitoring over the next 24 months. Such action was primarily due to concerns over the school's continued reliance upon Laureate to provide financial support to sustain its operations. See also "—We could be subject to sanctions if any of our U.S. Institutions fails to correctly calculate and timely return Title IV program funds for students who withdraw before completing their educational program." The Higher Learning Commission also conducted an on-site mid-cycle review of Kendall on May 1, 2017. At its March 2018 meeting, the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission will consider the report for that mid-cycle review and Kendall's response. The Institutional Actions Council's recommendation will be considered by the Higher Learning Commission Board at its June 2018 meeting.

        On September 8, 2016, as part of a program review that MOHE is conducting of Walden University's doctoral programs, MOHE sent to Walden University an information request regarding its doctoral programs and complaints filed by doctoral students. We have been informed by MOHE that in an effort to better understand the context, background and issues related to doctoral student complaints in Minnesota, MOHE is initiating a full review of doctoral programs for certain institutions registered in Minnesota. MOHE has informed us that it expects to issue a report regarding its program review in 2018.

        The Higher Learning Commission conducted an on-site mid-cycle review of Walden University on May 1, 2017. The Higher Learning Commission determined that Walden University met the accreditation criteria, with the exception of two, for which it is requiring the school to submit follow-up reports. Specifically, Walden University must submit an interim report by May 2018 regarding its progress in addressing the "material weakness" (pertaining to Laureate's control over information technology systems) as identified by its auditors in its December 31, 2016 financial statements, and a second interim report by May 2019 regarding retention and graduation rate improvements to doctoral programs.

        If the results of these or other reviews or proceedings are unfavorable to us, or if we are unable to defend successfully against lawsuits or claims, we may be required to pay money damages or be subject to fines, limitations, loss of eligibility for Title IV program funding at our U.S. Institutions, injunctions or other penalties. We may also lose or have limitations imposed on our accreditations, licensing or Title IV program participation, be required to pay monetary damages or be limited in our ability to open new institutions or add new program offerings. Even if we adequately address issues raised by an agency review or successfully defend a lawsuit or claim, we may have to divert significant financial and management resources from our ongoing business operations to address issues raised by those reviews or to defend against those lawsuits or claims. Additionally, we may experience adverse collateral consequences, including declines in the number of students enrolling at our institutions and the willingness of third parties to deal with us or our institutions, as a result of any negative publicity associated with such reviews, claims or litigation. Claims and lawsuits brought against us may damage our reputation or cause us to incur expenses, even if such claims and lawsuits are without merit, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness

The fact that we have substantial debt could materially adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations and limit our ability to pursue our strategy or to react to changes in the economy or our industry.

        We have substantial debt. As of December 31, 2017 we had outstanding: (a) a senior secured credit facility (the "Senior Secured Credit Facilities") consisting of (1) a multi currency revolving credit facility scheduled to mature in April 2022 and (2) a senior secured term loan facility scheduled to mature in April 2024 (the "2024 Term Loan"); (b) senior notes consisting of Senior Notes due 2025; and (c) other long term indebtedness, consisting of capital lease obligations, notes payable, seller notes and borrowings against certain lines of credit. Our debt could have important negative consequences to our business, including:

        We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, subject to the restrictions contained in the senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025. If new indebtedness is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful.

        Our ability to make scheduled payments on or to refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which is subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business and other factors beyond our control. We may be unable to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness.

        If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures, or to sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. In the absence of such operating results and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations to meet our debt service and other obligations. Our senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025 restrict our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from the

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disposition. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain the proceeds that we could realize from them and these proceeds may not be adequate to meet any debt service obligations then due.

Repayment of our debt is dependent on cash flow generated by our subsidiaries and their ability to make distributions to us or return cash via other repatriation strategies.

        Our subsidiaries own a significant portion of our assets and conduct a significant portion of our operations. Accordingly, repayment of our indebtedness is dependent, to a significant extent, on the generation of cash flow by our subsidiaries and their ability to make such cash available to us, by dividend, debt repayment or otherwise. Because the majority of our indebtedness is denominated in U.S. dollars, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the local currencies in countries where we have significant operations has an adverse impact on our cash flows when translated into U.S. dollars and, accordingly, could have a material adverse impact on our ability to repay the obligations under our outstanding indebtedness. Unless they are guarantors of our Senior Secured Credit Facilities or our outstanding notes, our subsidiaries do not have any obligation to pay amounts due on our indebtedness or to make funds available for that purpose. Our subsidiaries may not be able to, or may not be permitted to, make distributions to enable us to make payments in respect of our indebtedness. Each subsidiary is a distinct legal entity and, under certain circumstances, legal and contractual restrictions may limit our ability to obtain cash from our subsidiaries. Our non-guarantor subsidiaries include foreign subsidiaries and they may be prohibited by law or other regulations from distributing funds to us and/or we may be subject to payment of repatriation taxes and withholdings. Our non-guarantor subsidiaries account for substantially all of our total revenue, our total Adjusted EBITDA, and our total assets and our total liabilities (other than our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025). While the senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025 limit the ability of our subsidiaries to incur consensual restrictions on their ability to pay dividends or make other intercompany payments to us, these limitations are subject to certain qualifications and exceptions. In the event that we do not receive distributions from our subsidiaries or receive cash via other cash repatriation strategies for services rendered and intellectual property, or if the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against local currencies significantly reduces the amount of such distributions when translated into U.S. dollars, we may be unable to make required principal and interest payments on our indebtedness.

Our debt agreements contain, and future debt agreements may contain, restrictions that may limit our flexibility in operating our business.

        The senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025 contain various covenants that may limit our ability to engage in specified types of transactions. These covenants limit our and our restricted subsidiaries' ability to, among other things:

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        In addition, the senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities provides for compliance with the Consolidated Senior Secured Debt to Consolidated EBITDA Ratio, as defined in the senior secured credit agreement, solely with respect to the revolving line of credit facility, which is tested quarterly. The maximum ratio, as defined, was 5.3x, 4.5x and 3.75x at December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, we satisfied certain conditions under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities; therefore, we were not subject to this leverage ratio covenant as of December 31, 2017.

        The senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025 also include cross-default provisions applicable to other agreements. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under the agreement governing such indebtedness, including as a result of cross-default provisions. In addition, failure to make payments or observe certain covenants on the indebtedness of our subsidiaries may cause a cross default on our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and our outstanding Senior Notes due 2025. Upon our failure to maintain compliance with these covenants, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit. If the lenders under such indebtedness accelerate the repayment of borrowings, we cannot assure you that we will have sufficient assets to repay those borrowings, as well as our other indebtedness. We have pledged a significant portion of our assets as collateral under our Senior Secured Credit Facilities. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders under our Senior Secured Credit Facilities could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure that indebtedness.

We rely on contractual arrangements and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our operating subsidiaries to meet our debt service and other obligations.

        We conduct all of our operations through certain of our subsidiaries, and we have no significant assets other than cash of $11.3 million as of December 31, 2017 held at corporate entities and the capital stock or other control rights of our subsidiaries. As a result, we rely on payments from contractual arrangements, such as intellectual property royalty, network fee and management services agreements. In addition, we also rely upon intercompany loan repayments and other payments from our operating subsidiaries to meet any existing or future debt service and other obligations, a substantial portion of which are denominated in U.S. dollars. The ability of our operating subsidiaries to pay dividends or to make distributions or other payments to their parent companies or directly to us will depend on their respective operating results and may be restricted by, among other things, the laws of their respective jurisdictions of organization, regulatory requirements, agreements entered into by those operating subsidiaries and the covenants of any existing or future outstanding indebtedness that we or our subsidiaries may incur. For example, our VIE institutions generally are not permitted to pay dividends. Further, because most of our income is generated by our operating subsidiaries in non-U.S. dollar denominated currencies, our ability to service our U.S. dollar denominated debt obligations may be affected by any strengthening of the U.S. dollar compared to the functional currencies of our operating subsidiaries.

Disruptions of the credit and equity markets worldwide may impede or prevent our access to the capital markets for additional funding to expand our business and may affect the availability or cost of borrowing under our existing senior secured credit facilities.

        The credit and equity markets of both mature and developing economies have historically experienced extraordinary volatility, asset erosion and uncertainty, leading to governmental intervention in the banking sector in the United States and abroad. If these market disruptions occur in the future, we may not be able to access the capital markets to obtain funding needed to refinance our existing

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indebtedness or expand our business. In addition, changes in the capital or other legal requirements applicable to commercial lenders may affect the availability or increase the cost of borrowing under our Senior Secured Credit Facilities. If we are unable to obtain needed capital on terms acceptable to us, we may need to limit our growth initiatives or take other actions that materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Failure to obtain additional capital in the future could materially adversely affect our ability to grow.

        We believe that our cash flows from operations, cash, investments and borrowings under our multi-currency revolving credit facility will be adequate to fund our current operating plans for the foreseeable future. However, we may need additional debt or equity financing in order to finance our continued growth and to fund the put/call arrangements with certain minority stockholders. In addition, we may be required to buy additional interests in certain higher education institutions and redeem the shares of our Series A Preferred Stock at specified times in the future. The amount and timing of such additional financing will vary principally depending on the timing and size of acquisitions and new institution openings, the willingness of sellers to provide financing for future acquisitions and the cash flows from our operations. Given current global macro conditions, companies with emerging market exposure have been more affected by recent market volatility, which has been reflected in the trading level of our Senior Notes due 2025, which have at various times traded at a significant discount to par. During the second quarter of 2015, one of the leading U.S. credit rating agencies downgraded our credit rating one notch and during the second quarter of 2016, another of the leading U.S. credit rating agencies downgraded our credit rating one notch. A significantly discounted trading price for our Senior Notes due 2025, as well as the reduced credit rating, could materially and adversely affect our ability to obtain additional debt financing in the future. To the extent that we require additional financing in the future and are unable to obtain such additional financing, we may not be able to fully implement our strategy.

Our variable rate debt exposes us to interest rate risk which could materially adversely affect our cash flow.

        Borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and certain local credit facilities bear interest at variable rates and other debt we incur also could be variable-rate debt. If market interest rates increase, variable-rate debt will create higher debt service requirements, which could materially adversely affect our cash flow. If these rates were to increase significantly, the risks related to our substantial debt would intensify. While we have and may in the future enter into agreements limiting our exposure to higher interest rates, any such agreements may not offer complete protection from this risk. Based on our outstanding variable-rate debt as of December 31, 2017, after factoring in the impact of derivatives, an increase of 1% in interest rates would result in an increase in interest expense of approximately $13.4 million on an annual basis.

Risks Relating to Investing in Our Class A Common Stock

Our status as a public benefit corporation may not result in the benefits that we anticipate.

        We are a public benefit corporation under Delaware law. As a public benefit corporation we are required to balance the financial interests of our stockholders with the best interests of those stakeholders materially affected by our conduct, including particularly those affected by the specific benefit purpose relating to education set forth in our certificate of incorporation. In addition, there is no assurance that the expected positive impact from being a public benefit corporation will be realized. Accordingly, being a public benefit corporation and complying with our related obligations could negatively impact our ability to provide the highest possible return to our stockholders.

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        As a public benefit corporation, we are required to publicly disclose a report at least biennially on our overall public benefit performance and on our assessment of our success in achieving our specific public benefit purpose. If we are not timely or are unable to provide this report, or if the report is not viewed favorably by parties doing business with us or regulators or others reviewing our credentials, our reputation and status as a public benefit corporation may be harmed.

As a public benefit corporation, our focus on a specific public benefit purpose and producing a positive effect for society may negatively influence our financial performance.

        As a public benefit corporation, we may take actions that we believe will benefit our students and the surrounding communities, even if those actions do not maximize our short- or medium-term financial results. While we believe that this designation and obligation will benefit the Company given the importance to our long-term success of our commitment to education, it could cause our board of directors to make decisions and take actions not in keeping with the short-term or more narrow interests of our stockholders. Any longer-term benefits may not materialize within the timeframe we expect or at all and may have an immediate negative effect. For example:

        We may be unable or slow to realize the long-term benefits we expect from actions taken to benefit our students and communities in which we operate, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, which in turn could cause our stock price to decline.

The price of our Class A common stock has been and may continue to be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment as a result.

        We completed our IPO in February 2017. Since our IPO, the price of our Class A common stock, as reported by the Nasdaq Global Select Market, has ranged from a low of $10.46 on November 15, 2017 to a high of $18.96 on June 28, 2017. The trading price of our Class A common stock may continue to fluctuate and is dependent upon a number of factors, including those described in this "Item 1A—Risk Factors" section, many of which are beyond our control and may not be related to our operating performance. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our Class A common stock as you may be unable to sell your shares at or above the price you paid, or at all. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our Class A common stock include the following:

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        In the past, following periods of market volatility, stockholders have instituted securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. If we were to become involved in securities litigation, it could have a substantial cost and divert resources and the attention of our management team from our business regardless of the outcome of such litigation.

        In addition, price volatility may be greater if the public float and trading volume of our Class A common stock is low. As a result, you may suffer a loss on your investment.

If we or our existing investors sell or announce an intention to sell additional shares of our Class A common stock, and when all outstanding shares of our Series A Preferred Stock are converted into shares of our Class A common stock, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline.

        The market price of our Class A common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of Class A common stock in the market, or the perception that such sales could occur. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to raise capital through future sales of equity securities at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate, or at all.

        The holders of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock may convert their shares of Series A Preferred Stock into shares of our Class A common stock at any time. We expect to issue an aggregate of approximately 35.3 million to 40.0 million shares of Class A common stock if all such shares of Series A Preferred Stock are converted. Depending on when and in what manner the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are converted, or may be sold pursuant to a registration statement or

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Rule 144, the shares of Class A common stock issued upon conversion may or may not be subject to any lock up agreements and may be sold pursuant to Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, depending on their holding period and subject to restrictions in the case of shares held by persons deemed to be our affiliates.

        As of December 31, 2017, 132,442,994 shares of our Class B common stock were outstanding. Such amount excludes 1,772,374 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding vested stock options under the 2007 Stock Incentive Plan (the "2007 Plan"), 6,512,946 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding vested stock options under the 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the "2013 Plan"), 150,987 shares of Class B common stock subject to outstanding unvested stock options under the 2013 Plan, 1,646,946 shares of Class A common stock and/or Class B common stock reserved for future issuance under the 2013 Plan, 7,432 shares of Class B common stock reserved for future issuance under the Laureate Education, Inc. Deferred Compensation Plan (the "Deferred Compensation Plan"), and all shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock. See Note 19, Benefit Plans, in our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding the Deferred Compensation Plan. All of our outstanding shares of Class B common stock became eligible for sale on August 5, 2017. Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class B common stock, which will automatically convert into Class A common stock upon sale, could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.

Because we have no current plans to pay cash dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future, and our debt arrangements and the Series A Preferred Stock place certain restrictions on our ability to do so, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.

        We may retain future earnings, if any, for future operation, expansion, debt repayment and the possible mandatory redemption of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock pursuant to the terms of the certificate of designations governing our Series A Preferred Stock (the "Certificate of Designations") and have no current plans to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions, restrictions on dividends imposed by the Certificate of Designations and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends may be limited by covenants of any existing and future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur, including our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding notes, and the terms of our Series A Preferred Stock. In addition, we are permitted under the terms of our debt instruments to incur additional indebtedness, which may restrict or prevent us from paying dividends on our common stock. Furthermore, our ability to declare and pay dividends may be limited by instruments governing future outstanding indebtedness we may incur. As a result, you may not receive any return on an investment in our Class A common stock unless you sell your Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.

The dual class structure of our common stock as contained in our certificate of incorporation has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our stock prior to our initial public offering, including Wengen and our executive officers, employees and directors and their affiliates, and limiting your ability to influence corporate matters.

        Each share of our Class B common stock has ten votes per share, and each share of our Class A common stock has one vote per share. As of December 31, 2017, stockholders who hold shares of Class B common stock, including Wengen, and our executive officers, employees and directors and their affiliates, together hold approximately 96.0% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock, and

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therefore have significant influence over the management affairs of the Company and control over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets, for the foreseeable future. Because of the 10-to-1 voting ratio between our Class B and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively will continue to control a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock even when the shares of Class B common stock represent less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our Class A and Class B common stock.

        The Wengen Investors have control over our decisions to enter into any corporate transaction and the ability to prevent any transaction that requires stockholder approval regardless of whether others believe that the transaction is in our best interests. So long as the Wengen Investors continue to have an indirect interest in a majority of our outstanding Class B common stock, they have the ability to control the vote in any election of directors. This concentrated control limits your ability to influence corporate matters. The interests of the Wengen Investors and other holders of Class B common stock may not coincide with the interests of holders of the Class A common stock. In addition, in connection with the completion of our IPO, we entered into a new Wengen Securityholders' Agreement dated as of February 6, 2017, by and among Wengen, Laureate and the other parties thereto (as amended and restated from time to time, the "Wengen Securityholders' Agreement"), pursuant to which certain of the Wengen Investors have certain rights to appoint directors to our board of directors and its committees.

        In addition, the Wengen Investors are in the business of making or advising on investments in companies and may hold, and may from time to time in the future acquire, interests in or provide advice to businesses that directly or indirectly compete with certain portions of our business or are suppliers or customers of ours.

The Certificate of Designations governing the terms of our Series A Preferred Stock contains rights and privileges that may adversely affect the holders of our Class A common stock, and, if we are unable to redeem the shares of Series A Preferred Stock when required, the holders of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock could take control of our board of directors and force a sale of the Company.

        So long as there are shares of Series A Preferred Stock outstanding, the holders of such security are entitled to annual dividends and have seniority upon any distribution of the Company's cash and other assets. The holders of Series A Preferred Stock also have veto power over certain corporate matters, such as (i) amending or repealing any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws that would adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges or voting powers of the Series A Preferred Stock, including any amendment that would increase or decrease the authorized number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, and (ii) if it is not a follow-on public offering after our initial public offering in which the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock receive net proceeds not less than the Priority Amount, the first public offering of our common stock following a QPO (as defined below) or an initial public offering that is not a QPO. The holders of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock may have interests adverse to holders of our Class A common stock and the exercise of such rights may have a negative impact on the value of Class A common stock or the amount of cash or other assets the holders of our common stock may receive in connection with a distribution or merger, consolidation or share exchange.

        In addition, if we fail to redeem the shares of Series A Preferred Stock when required after the fifth anniversary of the issue date, the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock are entitled to appoint two members to our board of directors and the dividend rate increases to 18.0% per annum. For a period of 120 days following the appointment of such directors, we must work in good faith with the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock to structure a mutually agreeable capital fundraising transaction to redeem the then outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock. If, after such 120 day period, any shares of Series A Preferred Stock remain outstanding, the holders of the Series A

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Preferred Stock may nominate a number of individuals to our board of directors such that after such nomination the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock control a majority of our board of directors and, after which, the holders of Series A Preferred Stock may cause a sale of the Company and/or cause the Company to raise debt or equity capital in an amount sufficient to redeem the remaining outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock.

We are a "controlled company" within the meaning of the Nasdaq rules and, as a result, qualify for, and rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements. Holders of our securities do not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to such requirements.

        Wengen controls a majority of the voting power of our outstanding common stock. As a result, we are a "controlled company" within the meaning of the Nasdaq corporate governance standards. Under these rules, a company of which more than 50% of the voting power is held by an individual, group or another company is a "controlled company" and may elect not to comply with certain corporate governance requirements, including:

        We currently utilize these exemptions and intend to continue to do so. As a result, we do not have a majority of independent directors, our nominating and corporate governance committee and our compensation committee do not consist entirely of independent directors and such committees are not subject to annual performance evaluations. Accordingly, for so long as we are a "controlled company," you will not have the same protections afforded to holders of securities of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of Nasdaq.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation, Certificate of Designations and bylaws and the Delaware General Corporation Law could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us and could discourage a takeover and adversely affect the holders of our Class A common stock.

        Provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of the Company, even if such change in control would be beneficial to the holders of our Class A common stock. These provisions include:

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        These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors of your choosing and cause us to take other corporate actions you desire. In addition, because our board of directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions could in turn affect any attempt by our stockholders to replace current members of our management team.

We may issue additional shares of preferred stock in the future, which could make it difficult for another company to acquire us or could otherwise adversely affect holders of our Class A common stock, which could depress the price of our Class A common stock.

        Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue one or more additional series of preferred stock. Our board of directors has the authority to determine the preferences, limitations and relative rights of any additional shares of preferred stock and to fix the number of shares constituting any series and the designation of such series, without any further vote or action by our stockholders. Additional series of preferred stock could be issued with voting, liquidation, dividend and other rights superior to the rights of our Class A common stock. The potential issuance of an additional series of preferred stock may delay or prevent a change in control of us, discourage bids for our Class A common stock at a premium to the market price, and materially adversely affect the market price and the voting and other rights of the holders of our Class A common stock.

The provision of our certificate of incorporation requiring exclusive venue in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware for certain types of lawsuits may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.

        Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation requires, to the fullest extent permitted by law, that (a) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (b) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders, (c) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the "DGCL") or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or the bylaws or (d) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine will have to be brought only in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock is deemed to have notice of and to have consented to the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation described above. This choice of forum provision many limit a stockholder's ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers, other employees or stockholders, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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If we do not maintain adequate coverage of our Class A common stock by securities analysts or if they publish unfavorable commentary about us or our industry or downgrade our Class A common stock, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline.

        The trading price for our Class A common stock could be affected by any research or reports that securities analysts publish about us or our business. If one or more of the analysts who cover us or our business downgrade their evaluations of our Class A common stock, the price of our Class A common stock could decline. We may be unable to maintain adequate research coverage, and if one or more analysts cease coverage of our company, we could lose visibility in the market for our Class A common stock, which in turn could cause our stock price to decline.

ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

        None.

ITEM 2.    PROPERTIES

        Laureate is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. As of December 31, 2017, there were more than 200 Laureate locations around the world. These locations include buildings and land comprising a total of approximately 124.8 million square feet, of which, approximately 59.3 million square feet were under lease and approximately 65.6 million square feet were owned. The following table summarizes the properties leased and owned by segment:

Segment
  Square feet
leased space
  Square feet
owned space
  Total
square feet
 

Brazil

    11,479,548     2,837,295     14,316,843  

Mexico

    29,005,537     8,998,500     38,004,037  

Andean & Iberian

    6,743,514     13,193,993     19,937,507  

Central America & U.S. Campuses

    6,481,212     3,446,200     9,927,412  

EMEAA

    4,331,886     34,893,959     39,225,845  

Online & Partnerships

    812,531         812,531  

Corporate (including headquarters)

    152,728         152,728  

Total

    59,006,956     63,369,947     122,376,903  

        Our Brazil, Mexico, Andean & Iberian, Central America & U.S. Campuses and EMEAA segments lease and own various sites that may include a local headquarters and all or some of the facilities of a campus or location. In many countries, our facilities are subject to mortgages.

        Our Online & Partnerships segment has offices at our headquarters location in Baltimore and leases seven additional facilities in Columbia, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Tempe, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; Gdansk, Poland; Liverpool, England and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Our headquarters consists of two leased facilities in Baltimore, Maryland, which are used primarily for office space.

        We monitor the capacity of our higher education institutions on a regular basis and make decisions to expand capacity based on expected enrollment and other factors. Our leased facilities are occupied under leases whose remaining terms range from one month to 23 years. A majority of these leases contain provisions giving us the right to renew the lease for additional periods at various rental rates, although generally at rates higher than we are currently paying.

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

        We are party to various claims and legal proceedings from time to time. Except as described below, we are not aware of any legal proceedings that we believe could have, individually or in the aggregate, a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

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        On October 5, 2016, a student filed suit against us and Walden University in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in the matter of Latonya Thornhill v. Walden University, et. al., claiming that her progress in her program was delayed by Walden University and seeking class action status to represent a nationwide class of purportedly similarly situated doctoral students. The claims include fraud in the inducement, breach of contract, consumer fraud under the laws of Maryland and Ohio, and unjust enrichment. We and Walden University were served on October 17, 2016. On December 16, 2016, we and Walden University filed a motion to dismiss the claims and a motion to strike the class action certification request. On January 12, 2017, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, making modifications to supplement some of the factual allegations and seeking to change the governing law of the case to the law of Minnesota. A substantive response to the amended complaint was filed on February 9, 2017. After the parties fully briefed motions to dismiss the complaint as well as the request for class certification, the Thornhill court ruled on October 10, 2017 that the plaintiff could file a further amended complaint. A Second Amended Complaint was filed on October 13, 2017 supplementing some of the factual allegations and on October 27, 2017 we filed motions to dismiss the complaint and strike the request for class certification, which have been fully briefed. Further, the Court has temporarily stayed discovery in this case in its entirety, other than with respect to plaintiff Thornhill individually, pending the outcome of the various motions to dismiss noted above. Walden University and we intend to defend against this case vigorously, including the request to certify a nationwide class.

        On October 18, 2016, a former student filed suit against us and Walden University pro se in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in the matter of Eric D. Streeter v. Walden University, et. al. (Case No. 1CCB6-CV-3460), claiming that his progress in his program was delayed by Walden University and Laureate. The claims include unjust enrichment, breach of contract, violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, violation of the Due Process Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment, libel, and violation of the False Claims Act. We filed a motion to dismiss on April 12, 2017, which was granted on December 5, 2017. The plaintiff is pursuing an appeal of the dismissal with the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Walden University and we intend to defend against this case vigorously.

        In addition, several groups of current and former students filed separate law suits in the Seventh Judicial Circuit in and for St. Johns County, Florida against St. Augustine relating to matters arising before we acquired that institution in November 2013. The pending suits are Hemingway et al. v. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, Inc. filed on August 12, 2013; Johnson v. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, LLC filed on June 16, 2016 and Miller v. University of St. Augustine for the Health Sciences, LLC filed on February 12, 2018. The allegations in the cases relate to a program that was launched in May 2011 and, at the time, offered a "Master of Orthopaedic Physician's Assistant Program" degree. The plaintiffs in these matters allege that the university misrepresented their ability to practice as licensed Physician Assistants with a heightened specialty in orthopaedics. The plaintiffs are seeking relief including refund of tuition paid to St. Augustine, as well as loan debt incurred by the plaintiffs while attending St. Augustine, loss of future earnings and litigation costs. The Hemingway matter is scheduled for trial in October 2018. The Johnson matter is at a preliminary stage of discovery. Motions to consolidate the Johnson and Miller cases into the Hemingway case were filed on February 12, 2018. We believe the claims in these cases are without merit and intend to defend vigorously against the allegations. With respect to the three pending St. Augustine cases, under the terms of the acquisition agreement for St. Augustine, we expect to be indemnified by the seller for substantially all of the liability with respect to any claims in these cases. We also have a right of set-off against the seller for such amounts.

        On November 16, 2016, Michael S. Ryan, the former chief accounting officer of the Company, filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor alleging retaliatory employment practices in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the

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Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Michael S. Ryan vs. Laureate Education, Inc., Case No. 3-0050-17-011). The complaint also alleges a lack of compliance with U.S. GAAP and violations of certain SEC rules and regulations. The complaint does not seek any specified amount of damages. The Company has investigated the allegations made in the complaint with the assistance of outside legal and accounting advisers and believes that its consolidated financial statements are in compliance with U.S. GAAP and SEC rules and regulations in all material respects and that the allegations are baseless and without merit. The Company intends to assert all appropriate defenses to these allegations and filed a statement of position with the U.S. Department of Labor on December 13, 2016. On March 13, 2017 Mr. Ryan submitted a reply to the Company's statement of position. The Company intends to continue to defend itself vigorously.

        During 2010, we were notified by the Spanish Taxing Authorities ("STA") (in this case, by the Regional Inspection Office of the Special Madrid Tax Unit) that an audit of some of our Spanish subsidiaries was being initiated for 2006 and 2007. On June 29, 2012, the STA issued a final assessment to Iniciativas Culturales de España, S.L. ("ICE"), our Spanish holding company, for approximately EUR 11.1 million ($13.1 million at December 31, 2017), including interest, for those two years based on its rejection of the tax deductibility of financial expenses related to certain intercompany acquisitions and the application of the Spanish ETVE regime. On July 25, 2012, we filed a claim with the Regional Economic-Administrative Court challenging this assessment and, in the same month, we issued a cash-collateralized letter of credit for the assessment amount, in order to suspend the payment of the tax due. Further, in July 2013, we were notified by the STA (in this case, by the Central Inspection Office for Large Taxpayers) that an audit of ICE was also being initiated for 2008 through 2010. On October 19, 2015, the STA issued a final assessment to ICE for approximately EUR 17.2 million ($20.4 million at December 31, 2017), including interest, for those three years. We have appealed this assessment and, in order to suspend the payment of the tax assessment until the court decision, we issued a cash-collateralized letter of credit for the assessment amount plus interest and surcharges. We believe the assessments in this case are without merit and intend to defend vigorously against them. During the second quarter of 2016, we were notified by the STA that tax audits of the Spanish subsidiaries were also being initiated for 2011 and 2012; no assessments have yet been issued for these years. Also during the second quarter of 2016, the Regional Administrative Court issued a decision against the Company on its appeal. The Company has further appealed at the Highest Administrative Court level, which appeal has been rejected. The Company has appealed both decisions to the National Court. In July 2017, we were notified by the STA that tax audits of the Spanish subsidiaries for 2011 and 2012 were being extended to include 2013; no assessments have yet been issued for 2013. In the first quarter of 2018, we made payments to the STA totaling EUR 29.6 million (approximately US $35.1 million at December 31, 2017) in order to reduce the amount of future interest that could be incurred as the appeals process continues. The payments were made using cash that collateralized the letters of credit discussed above.

        In June 2016, Li Shihong and Hunan Lieying Education Investment Management Co Ltd commenced civil proceedings in the Changsha Intermediary Court in the People's Republic of China against Zhang Jiangbo, Zhang Jianbo, Chin Zhingxian, Hunan New Lieying Science and Education Co Ltd and Hunan International Economics University, our network institution in China ("HIEU"). Zhang Jiangbo, Zhang Jianbo and Chin Zhingxian were the minority shareholders in the HIEU group. The plaintiffs claim that the defendants are liable to pay an amount of RMB 170 million (approximately $25.0 million at June 30, 2017) based on a debt repayment document executed in 2014. The document was signed by the minority shareholders and Hunan New Lieying Science and Education Co Ltd and Zhang Jiangbo, allegedly on behalf of HIEU, in effect as a guarantor and a seal was affixed, allegedly being that of HIEU. The plaintiffs also claim interest and litigation expenses. HIEU has filed a defense and evidence in this matter contending that Zhang Jiangbo was not authorized to execute the document on behalf of HIEU, nor to affix any HIEU seal, and contending further that in any event an education institution is not permitted to guarantee a loan for non-educational purposes.

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Zhang Jiangbo has admitted to the court that he lacked such authorization. The Changsha Intermediary Court issued a judgment on October 25, 2017 which dismissed this claim. The plaintiffs appealed to the Higher People's Court of Hainan Province.

        In November 2017, Chin Zhingxian (a minority shareholder in the HIEU group) commenced civil proceedings in the Higher Court of Hunan Province in the People's Republic of China against LEI Lie Ying Limited and Steven Lin (a Laureate employee) seeking return of a capital contribution of RMB 172,019,779.35 and for loss of interest of RMB 28 million or the distribution of dividends in an equivalent amount. Neither LEI Lie Ying Limited nor Mr Lin have yet been served with these proceedings. In connection with these proceedings, the court has prohibited the transfer of shares in Hunan Lie Ying Industry Co Ltd held by LEI Lie Ying Limited equal to 10.6% of the shares in Hunan Lie Ying Industry Co Ltd. pending resolution of the matter on the merits. The defendants intend to contest these proceedings vigorously.

        In December 2017, Guangdong Nanbo Education Investment Co Ltd (a minority shareholder in the HIEU group) commenced civil proceedings in the Higher Court of Hunan Province in the People's Republic of China against LEI Lie Ying Limited (as majority shareholder) and Laureate Shanghai alleging the invalidity of service agreements entered into between HIEU and Laureate Shanghai and the infringement by LEI Lie Ying Limited of HIEU's interests, seeking the repayment of RMB 265 million fees paid under those agreements. In connection with these proceedings, the court has prohibited the transfer of shares in Hunan Lie Ying Industry Co Ltd held by LEI Lie Ying Limited equal to 22.8% of the shares in Hunan Lie Ying Industry Co Ltd. pending resolution of the matter on the merits. The defendants intend to contest these proceedings vigorously.

ITEM 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

        Not applicable.

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PART II

ITEM 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

        Our Class A common stock has traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "LAUR" since February 1, 2017. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our Class A common stock. As a result, the quarterly information with respect to the high and low prices for our Class A common stock for the first quarter of 2017 reflects only a partial quarter. On March 15, 2018, the last reported sale price of our common stock was $13.35. There is currently no established public trading market for our Class B common stock.

 
  High   Low  

First Quarter

  $ 14.49   $ 12.12  

Second Quarter

  $ 18.96   $ 12.81  

Third Quarter

  $ 18.24   $ 13.78  

Fourth Quarter

  $ 14.79   $ 10.46  

Holders of Record

        There were 17 holders of record of our Class A common stock and 235 holders of record of our Class B common stock as of March 15, 2018. The number of beneficial owners of our Class A common stock is substantially greater than the number of record holders, because substantially all of our Class A common stock is held in "street name" by banks and brokers.

Dividend Policy

        We currently do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our Class A common stock or Class B common stock in the foreseeable future. We expect to retain our future earnings, if any, for use in the operation and expansion of our business. The terms of our senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities, the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes and the Certificate of Designations governing our Series A Preferred Stock limit our ability to pay cash dividends in certain circumstances. Furthermore, if we are in default under the senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities or the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes, our ability to pay cash dividends will be limited in the absence of a waiver of that default or an amendment to such agreement or such indenture. In addition, our ability to pay cash dividends on shares of our Class A common stock may be limited by restrictions on our ability to obtain sufficient funds through dividends from our subsidiaries. For more information on our senior secured credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and the indenture governing our outstanding Senior Notes, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and Note 10, Debt. Subject to the foregoing, the payment of cash dividends in the future, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon such factors as earnings levels, capital requirements, our overall financial condition and any other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.

Equity Compensation Plan Information

        This information will be contained in our definitive proxy statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed within 120 days following the end of our fiscal year, and is incorporated herein by reference.

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Stock Performance Graph

        The following graph compares the cumulative total return of our Class A common stock, an industry peer group index, and the Nasdaq Composite Index from February 1, 2017 (the first day on which our Class A common stock traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market) through December 31, 2017. We believe our industry peer group represents the majority of the market value of publicly traded companies whose primary business is postsecondary education. The returns set forth on the following graph are based on historical results and are not intended to suggest future performance. The performance graph assumes $100 investment on February 1, 2017 in either our common stock, the companies in our industry peer group, or the Nasdaq Composite Index. Data for the Nasdaq Composite Index and our peer group assume reinvestment of dividends.

GRAPHIC

        The peer group included in the performance graph above consists of Capella Education Company (CPLA), Adtalem Global Education, Inc. (ATGE), Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE), Strayer Education, Inc. (STRA), Kroton Educacional S.A. (KROT3), and Estacio Participações S.A. (ESTC3).

        The information contained in the performance graph shall not be deemed "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC, nor shall such information be deemed incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

        None.

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ITEM 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

        Set forth below are selected consolidated financial data of Laureate Education, Inc., at the dates and for the periods indicated. The selected historical statements of operations data and statements of cash flows data for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from our historical audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. The selected historical statements of operations data and statements of cash flows data for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 have been derived from our historical audited consolidated financial statements not included in this Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our future results. The data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements, related notes, and other financial information included therein.

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        The selected historical consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 
  Fiscal Year Ended December 31,  
(Dollar amounts in thousands)
  2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  

Consolidated Statements of Operations:

                               

Revenues

  $ 4,377,989   $ 4,244,192   $ 4,291,659   $ 4,414,682   $ 3,913,881  

Costs and expenses:

                               

Direct costs

    3,665,134     3,615,338     3,760,016     3,838,179     3,418,449  

General and administrative expenses

    315,471     222,496     194,686     151,215     141,197  

Loss on impairment of assets

    40,597     23,465         125,788     33,582  

Operating income

    356,787     382,893     336,957     299,500     320,653  

Interest income

    19,669     18,670     13,328     21,822     21,805  

Interest expense

    (362,904 )   (421,936 )   (398,042 )   (385,754 )   (350,196 )

Loss on debt extinguishment

    (8,392 )   (17,363 )   (1,263 )   (22,984 )   (1,361 )

Gain (loss) on derivatives

    28,656     (6,084 )   (2,607 )   (3,101 )   6,631  

Other (expense) income, net

    (2,193 )   910     195     (1,184 )   7,499  

Foreign currency exchange gain (loss), net

    5,838     67,450     (149,178 )   (109,970 )   (3,102 )

(Loss) gain on sale of subsidiaries, net(1)

    (10,662 )   406,557              

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes and equity in net income (loss) of affiliates

    26,799     431,097     (200,610 )   (201,671 )   1,929  

Income tax benefit (expense)

    66,813     (65,001 )   (117,730 )   39,060     (91,246 )

Equity in net income (loss) of affiliates, net of tax

    152     90     2,495     158     (905 )

Income (loss) from continuing operations

    93,764     366,186     (315,845 )   (162,453 )   (90,222 )

Income from discontinued operations, net of tax of $0, $0, $0, $0, and $0, respectively

                    796  

Gain on sales of discontinued operations, net of tax of $0, $0, $0, $0 and $1,864, respectively

                    4,350  

Net income (loss)

    93,764     366,186     (315,845 )   (162,453 )   (85,076 )

Net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

    (2,299 )   5,661     (403 )   4,162     15,398  

Net income (loss) attributable to Laureate Education, Inc

  $ 91,465   $ 371,847   $ (316,248 ) $ (158,291 ) $ (69,678 )

(1)
In 2016, represented a gain of approximately $249.4 million resulting from the Swiss institutions sale that closed on June 14, 2016, a gain of approximately $148.7 million, subject to certain adjustments, resulting from the French institutions sale that closed on July 20, 2016 and a gain of approximately $8.5 million resulting from the sale of Sichuan Tianyi College that closed in December 2016. In 2017, primarily represents a final purchase price settlement related to the sale of the Swiss institutions.

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  Fiscal Year Ended December 31,  
(Dollar amounts in thousands)
  2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows:

                               

Net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations

  $ 130,756   $ 184,570   $ 170,486   $ 269,156   $ 277,202  

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities of continuing operations

    (324,530 )   269,234     (173,642 )   (489,181 )   (899,083 )

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities of continuing operations

    222,795     (445,722 )   34,424     172,586     756,663  

Net cash provided by operating activities of discontinued operations

                    344  

Net cash provided by discontinued operations

                    344  

Effects of exchange rate changes on cash

    23,974     (1,790 )   (34,179 )   (50,877 )   (12,531 )

Business acquisitions, net of cash acquired

    (835 )       (6,705 )   (287,945 )   (177,550 )

Payments of contingent consideration for acquisitions

            (1,275 )       (5,674 )

Change in cash included in current assets held for sale

    (49,227 )                

Segment Data:

                               

Revenues:

                               

Brazil

  $ 765,746   $ 690,804   $ 672,917   $ 713,623   $ 569,018  

Mexico

    646,154     626,011     678,193     741,755     701,871  

Andean & Iberian

    1,313,872     1,188,599     1,121,408     1,162,500     1,139,744  

Central America and U.S. Campuses

    291,877     274,860     263,283     254,754     217,926  

EMEAA

    697,244     788,683     881,664     885,202     640,590  

Online & Partnerships

    690,374     704,976     707,998     683,084     664,573  

Corporate

    (27,278 )   (29,741 )   (33,804 )   (26,236 )   (19,841 )

Total revenues

  $ 4,377,989   $ 4,244,192   $ 4,291,659   $ 4,414,682   $ 3,913,881  

Other Data:

                               

Total enrollments (rounded to the nearest hundred):

                               

Brazil

    271,200     259,000     257,200     255,600     156,800  

Mexico

    214,200     213,800     205,000     195,000     184,300  

Andean & Iberian

    321,800     308,600     291,800     260,700     230,500  

Central America and U.S. Campuses

    69,200     68,100     64,700     62,300     67,200  

EMEAA

    128,100     125,400     130,000     117,500     96,700  

Online & Partnerships

    63,500     68,300     72,400     68,300     67,000  

Total

    1,068,000     1,043,200     1,021,100     959,400     802,500  

New enrollments (rounded to the nearest hundred):

                               

Brazil

    149,900     134,500     142,300     105,000     83,700  

Mexico

    107,300     108,400     101,000     97,000     93,000  

Andean & Iberian

    126,700     126,500     121,700     116,600     109,100  

Central America and U.S. Campuses

    44,700     43,100     39,300     36,000     39,100  

EMEAA

    51,500     55,900     60,700     57,700     34,600  

Online & Partnerships

    35,000     39,300     39,500     37,300     35,600  

Total

    515,100     507,700     504,500     449,600     395,100  

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  As of December 31,  
(Dollar amounts in thousands)
  2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  

Consolidated Balance Sheets:

                               

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 468,733   $ 464,965   $ 458,673   $ 461,584   $ 559,900  

Restricted cash and investments

    224,934     189,319     160,585     149,438     361,832  

Net working capital (deficit) (including cash and cash equivalents)

    (85,895 )   (324,431 )   (491,084 )   (589,744 )   (267,861 )

Property and equipment, net

    1,934,904     2,151,633     2,290,900     2,514,319     2,656,726  

Goodwill

    1,954,666     1,934,464     2,115,897     2,469,795     2,376,678  

Tradenames

    1,295,614     1,307,633     1,361,125     1,461,762     1,519,737  

Other intangible assets, net

    35,927     46,700     52,197     93,064     29,973  

Total assets

    7,391,723     7,062,470     7,403,445     8,314,446     8,340,549  

Total debt, including due to shareholders of acquired companies

    3,440,867     4,019,312     4,698,007     4,734,834     4,401,461  

Deferred compensation

    14,470     14,128     32,343     115,575     188,394  

Total liabilities, excluding debt, due to shareholders of acquired companies and derivative instruments

    1,935,729     2,008,965     2,278,252     2,454,929     2,333,941  

Convertible redeemable preferred stock

    400,276     332,957              

Redeemable noncontrolling interests and equity

    13,721     23,876     51,746     43,876     42,165  

Total Laureate Education, Inc. stockholders' equity

    1,575,164     632,210     324,759     1,017,068     1,465,755  

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ITEM 7.    MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

        You should read the following discussion of our results of operations and financial condition with the "Selected Financial Data" and the audited historical consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements and involves numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in the "Item 1A. Risk Factors" section of this Form 10-K. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. See "Forward-Looking Statements."

Introduction

        This Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (the "MD&A") is provided to assist readers of the financial statements in understanding the results of operations, financial condition and cash flows of Laureate Education, Inc. This MD&A should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are presented in U.S. dollars (USD) rounded to the nearest thousand, with the amounts in MD&A rounded to the nearest tenth of a million. Therefore, discrepancies in the tables between totals and the sums of the amounts listed may occur due to such rounding. Our MD&A is presented in the following sections:

Overview

Our Business

        We are the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions with more than one million students enrolled at our 66 institutions in 24 countries on more than 200 campuses as of December 31, 2017, which we collectively refer to as the Laureate International Universities network. We participate in the global higher education market, which was estimated to account for revenues of approximately $1.5 trillion in 2015, according to Global Silicon Valley (GSV). We believe the global higher education market presents an attractive long-term opportunity, primarily because of the large and growing imbalance between the supply and demand for quality higher education around the world. Advanced education opportunities drive higher earnings potential, and we believe the projected growth in the middle-class population worldwide and limited government resources dedicated to higher education create substantial opportunities for high-quality private institutions to meet this growing and unmet demand. Our outcomes-driven strategy is focused on enabling millions of students globally to prosper and thrive in the dynamic and evolving knowledge economy.

        In 1999, we made our first investment in higher education and, since that time, we have developed into the global leader in higher education, based on the number of students, institutions and countries making up our network. As of December 31, 2017, our global network of 66 institutions comprised 55 institutions we owned or controlled, and an additional 11 institutions that we managed or with which

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we had other relationships. We have six reporting segments as described below. We group our institutions by geography in: 1) Brazil; 2) Mexico; 3) Andean & Iberian; 4) Central America & U.S. Campuses; and 5) Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific (EMEAA) for reporting purposes. Our sixth segment, Online & Partnerships, includes fully online institutions that operate globally.

Assets Held For Sale

        As discussed in Note 3, Assets Held for Sale, of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the Company has identified certain subsidiaries in our EMEAA and Central America & U.S. Campuses segments that may not reach a scale that will be meaningful for Laureate, and has undertaken a process to sell these entities. The Company has begun entering into sale agreements for these entities and closing of the sale transactions began in the first quarter of 2018; see also Note 25, Subsequent Events, in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in our Form 10-K. Our December 31, 2017 presentation includes these held for sale entities; however, as the sale transactions are completed in 2018 they will cause reductions to, among other things, our future institution counts, country counts, enrollment and revenues. There are notes included in various sections of the MD&A to aid in identifying these future impacts.

Our Segments

GRAPHIC

        As previously disclosed in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2017, effective August 1, 2017, we changed our operating segments in order to realign our segments according to how our chief operating decision maker allocates resources and assesses performance. The change includes the creation of three operating segments (Brazil, Mexico and Andean & Iberian) from the previous Latin America (LatAm) segment. Our institutions in Spain and Portugal (Iberian) have moved from the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific (EMEAA) segment and combined with our institutions in Chile and Peru to form the Andean & Iberian segment. In addition, our institutions in Central America, which were previously part of the LatAm segment, have combined with our campus-based institutions in the United States, which were previously part of the GPS segment, to

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form the Central America & U.S. Campuses segment. The Online & Partnerships segment consists of the online institutions that were previously part of the GPS segment. This change has been reflected in the segment information for the year ended December 31, 2017. As required, the segment information presented for comparative purposes for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 has also been revised to reflect this change.

        Our campus-based segments generate revenues by providing an education that emphasizes professional-oriented fields of study with undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines. Our educational offerings are increasingly utilizing online and hybrid (a combination of online and in-classroom) courses and programs to deliver their curriculum. Many of our largest campus-based operations are in developing markets which are experiencing a growing demand for higher education based on favorable demographics and increasing secondary completion rates, driving increases in participation rates and resulting in continued growth in the number of higher education students. Traditional higher education students (defined as 18-24 year olds) have historically been served by public universities, which have limited capacity and are often underfunded, resulting in an inability to meet the growing student demand and employer requirements. This supply and demand imbalance has created a market opportunity for private sector participants. Most students finance their own education. However, there are some government-sponsored student financing programs which are discussed below. These campus-based segments include Brazil, Mexico, Andean & Iberian, Central America & U.S. Campuses and EMEAA. Specifics related to each of these campus-based segments and our Online & Partnerships segment are discussed below:

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        Corporate is a non-operating business unit whose purpose is to support operations. Its departments are responsible for establishing operational policies and internal control standards; implementing strategic initiatives; and monitoring compliance with policies and controls throughout our operations. Our Corporate segment is an internal source of capital and provides financial, human resource, information technology, insurance, legal and tax compliance services. The Corporate segment also contains the eliminations of intersegment revenues and expenses.

        The following information for our operating segments is presented as of December 31, 2017:

 
  Countries(2)   Institutions   Enrollment   2017 YTD
Revenues
($ in millions)(1)
  % Contribution
to 2017 YTD
Revenues
 

Brazil

    1     13     271,200   $ 765.7     17 %

Mexico

    1     2     214,200     646.2     15 %

Andean & Iberian

    4     15     321,800     1,313.9     30 %

Central America & U.S. Campuses(2)(3)

    4     8     69,200     291.9     6 %

EMEAA(4)(5)

    13     25     128,100     697.2     16 %

Online & Partnerships(2)(6)

    2     3     63,500     690.4     16 %

Total(1)(2)

    24     66     1,068,000   $ 4,378.0     100 %

(1)
The elimination of intersegment revenues and amounts related to Corporate, which total $27.3 million, is not separately presented.

(2)
Our Central America & U.S. Campuses and Online & Partnerships segments both have institutions located in the United States. The total reflects the elimination of this duplication.

(3)
In January 2018, we entered into an agreement to sell the assets of Kendall College, LLC (Kendall) in our Central America & U.S. Campuses, which had approximately 1,100 students as of December 31, 2017.

(4)
Effective January 2018, three institutions in our EMEAA segment, European University Cyprus (EUC), Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA) in Italy, which includes Domus Academy, and Hunan International Economics University (HIEU) in China, which collectively had approximately 38,600 students as of December 31, 2017, are no longer part of the Laureate International Universities network as a result of sale transactions.

(5)
During 2017, we entered into agreements to sell the entities that operate Université Internationale de Casablanca (UIC) in Morocco and INTI University and Colleges (INTI) in Malaysia. These two institutions are included in our EMEAA segment and had a total student population of approximately 18,900 students as of December 31, 2017. See Note 3, Assets Held for Sale, in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in our Form 10-K for more information.

(6)
In December 2017, we stopped accepting new enrollments at the University of Roehampton, an institution in our Online & Partnerships segment.

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Challenges

        Our global operations are subject to complex business, economic, legal, regulatory, political, tax and foreign currency risks, which may be difficult to adequately address. The majority of our operations are outside the United States. As a result, we face risks that are inherent in international operations, including: fluctuations in exchange rates, possible currency devaluations, inflation and hyper-inflation; price controls and foreign currency exchange restrictions; potential economic and political instability in the countries in which we operate; expropriation of assets by local governments; key political elections and changes in government policies; multiple and possibly overlapping and conflicting tax laws; and compliance with a wide variety of foreign laws. We plan to grow our business organically by: 1) adding new programs and course offerings; 2) expanding target student demographics; and 3) increasing capacity at existing and new campus locations. Our success in growing our business will depend on the ability to anticipate and effectively manage these and other risks related to operating in various countries.

Regulatory Environment and Other Matters

        Our business is subject to regulation by various agencies based on the requirements of local jurisdictions. These agencies continue to review and update regulations as they deem necessary. We cannot predict the form of the rules that ultimately may be adopted in the future or what effects they might have on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We will continue to develop and implement necessary changes that enable us to comply with such regulations. See "Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—Our institutions are subject to uncertain and varying laws and regulations, and any changes to these laws or regulations or their application to us may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—Political and regulatory developments in Turkey may materially adversely affect us, "Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—Political and regulatory developments in Chile have materially adversely affected us and may continue to affect us, Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—Our ability to control our institutions may be materially adversely affected by changes in laws affecting higher education in certain countries in which we operate, Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Highly Regulated Industry in the United States,"and "Item 1—Business—Industry Regulation," for a detailed discussion of our different regulatory environments and Note 20, Legal and Regulatory Matters, in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

Key Business Metrics

Enrollment

        Enrollment is our lead revenue indicator and represents our most important non-financial metric. We define "enrollment" as the number of students registered in a course on the last day of the enrollment reporting period. New enrollments provide an indication of future revenue trends. Total enrollment is a function of continuing student enrollments, new student enrollments and enrollments from acquisitions, offset by graduations, attrition and enrollment decreases due to dispositions. Attrition is defined as a student leaving the institution before completion of the program. To minimize attrition, we have implemented programs that involve assisting students in remedial education, mentoring, counseling and student financing.

        Each of our institutions has an enrollment cycle that varies by geographic region and academic program. During each academic year, each institution has a "Primary Intake" period in which the majority of the enrollment occurs. Most institutions also have one or more smaller "Secondary Intake" periods. The first calendar quarter generally coincides with the Primary Intakes for our institutions in Brazil, the Andean Region, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. The third calendar quarter generally coincides with the Primary Intakes for our institutions in Mexico,

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the Iberian Region, U.S. Campuses, Europe, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and the Online & Partnerships segment.

        The following chart shows our enrollment cycles. Shaded areas in the chart represent periods when classes are generally in session and revenues are recognized. Areas that are not shaded represent summer breaks during which revenues are not typically recognized. The large circles indicate the Primary Intake start dates of our institutions, and the small circles represent Secondary Intake start dates.

GRAPHIC

Pricing

        We continually monitor market conditions and carefully adjust our tuition rates to meet local demand levels. We proactively seek the best price and content combinations to ensure that we remain competitive in all the markets in which we operate.

Principal Components of Income Statement

Revenues

        Tuition is the largest component of our revenues and we recognize tuition revenues on a weekly basis as classes are being taught. The amount of tuition generated in a given period depends on the price per credit hour and the total credit hours or price per program taken by the enrolled student population. Deferred revenue and student deposits on our consolidated balance sheets consist of tuition paid prior to the start of academic sessions and unearned tuition amounts recorded as accounts receivable after an academic session begins. The price per credit hour varies by program, by market

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and by degree level. Additionally, varying levels of discounts and scholarships are offered depending on market-specific dynamics and individual achievements of our students. Revenues are reported net of scholarships, other discounts, refunds, waivers and the fair value of any guarantees made by Laureate related to student financing programs. In addition to tuition revenues, we generate other revenues from ancillary product sales, dormitory/residency fees, student fees and other education-related services. These other revenues are less material to our overall financial results and have a tendency to trend with tuition revenues. The main drivers of changes in revenues between periods are student enrollment and price.

Direct Costs