|Motto||A Different School of Thought|
|Type||For-Profit (NYSE: WPO)|
|Campus Locations||1 in Arizona; 12 in California; 1 in Colorado; 4 in Florida; 1 in Georgia; 5 in Indiana; 6 in Iowa; 2 in Maine; 5 in Maryland; 2 in Michigan; 1 in Missouri; 2 in Nebraska; 1 in Nevada; 5 in New Hampshire; 1 in North Carolina; 4 in Ohio; 5 in Pennsylvania; 1 in Tennessee; 17 in Texas; 1 in Virginia; 2 in Wisconsin|
|Affiliations||Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, The Washington Post Company|
Kaplan College is a system of for-profit colleges in the United States and is a subsidiary of Kaplan Inc. and Kaplan Higher Education. Kaplan College offers career training for the healthcare industry.
Kaplan Inc. purchased the American Institute of Commerce, a business training school founded in 1937, and renamed it Kaplan College. Kaplan then used it as a base for all its online programs: financial planning, paralegal studies, health care and criminal justice. Educational Medical, Inc. became Quest Educational Corporation in 1998, which was subsequently acquired by Washington Post Company-controlled Kaplan in 2000.
As of April 2004, Kaplan owned 64 campuses, including Hesser College in New Hampshire and CEI College in California. California locations operated under the Maric College brand 2004-2008, then as Kaplan Colleges. Kaplan launched web-based universities in April 2000, and in 2007, Kaplan College merged with Hamilton Business Colleges/Hamilton College (Iowa). In June 2008, Las Vegas-based Heritage College was folded into the Kaplan College brand.
False Claims Act lawsuit
In 2008, three former academic officers at Kaplan University have filed a wide-ranging federal lawsuit that accuses the for-profit institution of defrauding the U.S. government out of more than $4-billion.
The lawsuit alleges that Kaplan enrolled unqualified students, inflated their grades so they could stay enrolled, and falsified documents to obtain accreditation for certain academic programs. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida.
In further developments in the case, the three former employees who have accused Kaplan University in federal court of obtaining federal student-aid funds under false pretenses received a subsequent boost from the U.S. government. It came in the form of a court filing by the U.S. Department of Justice, opposing Kaplan’s attempt to have the False Claims Act lawsuit against it dismissed.
Although the federal government has declined to intervene in the case, the Justice Department said in its filing that Kaplan’s legal arguments for dismissing the case were off point. Further, the Justice Department maintained, the “parade of horribles” that Kaplan predicted if the case were not dismissed was “entirely illusory.” The government contended it is entitled to a portion of the proceeds if the employees prevail against the company.
The U.S. Department of Justice's involvement in the case echoes the stance it took in 2005, after a False Claims Act lawsuit against the for-profit University of Phoenix was initially dismissed. That case was later reinstated by a higher court and is slated for trial next year.
Kaplan University denied any wrongdoing. The institution is an arm of Kaplan Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Washington Post Company.
U.S. Department of Justice backs fraud lawsuits against Kaplan
As of the summer of 2010, the Chronicle of Higher Education has reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has taken a stance in siding with several whistle-blowers in False-Claims lawsuits against various colleges owned by Kaplan Higher Education.
Under the "False Claims Act," individuals are allowed to file lawsuits on behalf of the government in cases which involve allegations of fraud.
Three False Claims Act lawsuits, which had been consolidated by a federal judge in Florida last year, accuse the various Kaplan Higher Education institutions of fraudulently obtaining up to hundreds of millions of dollars in student aid funding by lying to obtain accreditation and paying incentives to recruiters.
The whistle blowers have alleged that Kaplan's actions violate federal rules for participating in financial aid programs.
In a memorandum filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Judge Patricia A. Seitz of the U.S. District Court in Miami was urged to permit the lawsuits against Kaplan to proceed.
- "Kaplan College Opens Queensgate Campus". Cincinnati Business Courier. 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- Julie Flaherty (2004-04-25). "The Alternative Universe: A Guide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- Mark Healy (2000-04-10). "Kaplan is Starting an Online College -- Minus the Keggers". CNN. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- Susan Anderson (2008-05-12). "Hamilton Technical College Stays on the Cutting Edge of Technology". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- Kaplan College in Maryland to merge with Kaplan University, The Herald-Mail, 02 July 2009. Retrieved 04 July 2009.
- Goldie Blumenstyk (March 21, 2008). "3 Former Employees Accuse Kaplan U. of Bilking Government Out of Billions". The Chronicle of Higher Education. (subscription required)
- Goldie Blumenstyk (May 30, 2008). "Justice Dept. Argues Against Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging Kaplan U.". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- Goldie Blumenstyk (July 6, 2010). "Justice Department Weighs In for Whistle-Blowers in Cases Against Kaplan". The Chronicle of Higher Education. (subscription required)