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After spending much of the past year locked at a subpar two-star rank, enough top-performing CAPS members have turned bullish on ITT Educational Services (NYSE:ESI) recently to upgrade it to a more formidable three stars. A total of 314 members have given their opinion on the for-profit education company, with many of them offering analysis explaining the recent optimism.

As the recession has hammered away at corporate earnings, pink slips have been raining down and companies such as Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) have cut back their workforces. Many of these displaced workers are now brushing up their skills, sending enrollment soaring at ITT Educational Services. The company's strong earnings growth and the strong fundamentals in the for-profit education sector have led to more bullish CAPS members lately.

Research from The Associated Press recently found that for-profit colleges have benefited greatly from the increased money that the U.S. government is spending on college aid. Similar to the growing enrollment at larger peer Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL), ITT reported a 30% increase in total enrollment in its most recent quarter, while revenue checked in 34% higher, which translated to a big year-over-year leap in earnings.

Many CAPS members expect ITT's momentum to continue, even if an economic recovery takes hold. Certainly, not all of corporate America is sending employees back to school -- companies like IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) have recently reported solid earnings. ITT announced a brighter outlook than Wall Street's expectations for 2010, and looks to begin operations in eight to 10 new locations this year. It expects to generate around $450 million in free cash flow this year.

Do you think ITT Educational Services deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his workspace with a few fake plants. He owns shares of Intel. Apollo Group, Intel, and Sprint Nextel are Inside Value recommendations. Adobe Systems and Electronic Arts are Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Intel. The Fool's disclosure policy still can't get the ripped newspaper magic trick down, despite months of practice.