Kaplan, Inc.

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Kaplan, Inc.
FounderStanley Kaplan
Key people
Andrew Rosen (chairman and​ CEO)
RevenueUS$1.5 billion (2018)[1]
ParentGraham Holdings Company
DivisionsTest Preparation, Higher and Professional Education, International

Kaplan, Inc. is an American for-profit corporation that provides educational services to colleges and universities and corporations and businesses, including higher education programs, professional training and certifications, test preparation and student support services.[1] Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,[2] Kaplan was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan[3] and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company, formerly known as The Washington Post Company.


Kaplan is a for-profit subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. Its chairman and CEO is Andrew Rosen. Its 2018 revenue was $1.5 billion.[1]


Kaplan Higher Education (KHE)[edit]

Following several years of significant enrollment decline, Graham Holdings sold Kaplan University to the Purdue University system for one dollar in March 2018, who rebranded the institution as Purdue University Global. In exchange, Purdue agreed to employ Kaplan, Inc. as the exclusive provider of nonacademic functions for thirty years, with a six year buyout option, and Kaplan, Inc. agreed to assume responsibility for liabilities resulting before the transaction.[4] According to the contract terms, Kaplan receives 12.5 percent of the university's revenue, as long as funds are available after all operating expenses and guaranteed payments to Purdue have been covered. Purdue Global offers multiple credentials including certificates, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees primarily online.[5]

In February 2020, Graham Holdings Company reported that Purdue University Global owed Kaplan Higher Education $68.4 million for services and deferred fees and $18.6 million for an advance from the Kaplan University transaction.[6] Despite spending a reported $132 million dollars in marketing, more than $4,400 per enrolled student,[7] and four times their competitor SNHU,[7] enrollments at Global have remained virtually flat. As of 2019, Global has reported $61 million dollars in losses from operations.

Kaplan International[edit]

Kaplan International operates businesses in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.[8] A research report commissioned by NAFSA: Association of International Educators identified Kaplan Global Pathways as one of the eight third-party providers offering intensive English preparation programs with academic credit for international students in the United States.[9]

In Europe, Kaplan International operates the following businesses, all of which are based in the UK and Ireland: Kaplan UK, Kaplan Pathways, Kaplan International English, and a set of higher education institutions.

  • Kaplan UK provides training, test preparation services and degrees for accounting and financial services professionals, including those studying for ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW qualifications. In addition, Kaplan UK provides legal and professional training. In 2018, Kaplan UK provided courses to approximately 50,000 students in accounting and financial services. Kaplan UK is headquartered in London, and has 21 training centers.[1]
  • Kaplan International English comprises a university pathways business and an English-language training business.
    • The university pathways business offers academic preparation programs for international students who wish to study in English-speaking countries. In 2018, university preparation programs were being delivered in Australia, China, Japan, Nigeria, Singapore, the UK and the US, serving 12,000 students in partnership with over 40 universities.
    • The KI English business provides English-language training, academic preparation programs and test preparation for English proficiency exams, principally for students wishing to study and travel in English-speaking countries. It operates a total of 37 English-language schools, with 19 located in the UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and 18 located in the US. During 2018, the English-language business served approximately 36,000 students for in-class English language instruction provided by Kaplan.
  • Kaplan also operates two higher education institutions in Europe: Dublin Business School, in Ireland, and Kaplan Open Learning, in the UK. At the end of 2017, these institutions enrolled an aggregate of approximately 6,000 students.[1]

In the Asia Pacific region, Kaplan operates businesses primarily in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea:

  • In Singapore, Kaplan operates three business units: Kaplan Higher Education, Kaplan Financial and Kaplan Professional. During 2018, the Higher Education and Financial divisions served more than 14,000 students from Singapore and 2,700 students from other countries throughout Asia. Kaplan Professional provided short courses to approximately 55,000 professionals, managers, executives, and businesspeople in 2018.
  • In Australia, Kaplan delivers financial services education and professional development courses through Kaplan Professional, as well as higher education programs in business, accounting, hospitality, and tourism and management through Kaplan Business School. In 2018, this business provided courses to approximately 2,300 students through classroom programs and to approximately 43,000 students through online or distance-learning programs.
  • In Hong Kong, Kaplan offers programs ranging from language education and standardized test preparation to corporate and financial training and higher education degree courses. During 2018, Kaplan's Hong Kong business provided courses to approximately 25,000 students.
  • In South Korea, in addition to university preparation programs, Kaplan delivers A-Level programs and cooperates with several Chinese universities to provide ACCA training programs to students.

Kaplan Test Prep[edit]

Established in 1938, Kaplan Test Prep sells preparation materials for standardized tests through tutoring, on-site classes, asynchronous and live programs, print books, and digital products. With programs for individuals, schools, and businesses, Kaplan Test Prep offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests. These include admissions tests for secondary school, college, and graduate school, such as the SAT, ACT, Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Dental Admission Test (DAT), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Optometry Admission Test (OAT), Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) and others. Kaplan also provides preparation for professional licensing exams include state-specific and Multi-State Bar Review for attorneys, USMLE and COMLEX prep for physicians, and NCLEX prep for nurses. Printed materials are distributed by Simon & Schuster.[10] Kaplan Test Prep also licenses material for some of its courses to third parties and a Kaplan affiliate, which, during 2018, offered courses at 68 locations in 30 countries outside the US.[11] During 2018, KTP enrolled over 340,000 students in its courses, including more than 171,000 enrolled in online programs.[1] In 2018, Kaplan acquired the Barron's brand of test prep materials from Barron's Educational Series, which was renamed B.E.S. Publishing.[12] Barron's offers materials for the SAT Reasoning test, SAT Subject Tests, TOEFL, CAHSEE, CHSPE, AP examinations, New York State Regents Examinations, SHSAT and similarly regulated American educational tests.


Kaplan was founded in 1938 by Stanley H. Kaplan, who started the business by tutoring students for the New York State Regents Exam in the basement of his parents' Brooklyn home.[13] He eventually opened locations around the country. In 1984, Kaplan sold the company to The Washington Post Company, which centralized control. The company grew significantly in the 1990s by expanding its business and purchasing other test preparation and educational companies.[14] The company's leader during this expansion period was Jonathan Grayer.


Major acquisitions since 1995 include:[15]

  • 1995 – Thompson Institute, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, becomes Kaplan Career Institute [16]
  • 1996 – Score, a network of after-school tutoring centers based in California with locations around the country
  • 1998 – Dearborn Publishing, a publisher of professional training books in Chicago and owner of Anthony Schools in California
  • 2000 – Quest Education Corporation, a network of for profit schools with 30 locations that brought Kaplan into the higher education industry
  • 2003 – The Financial Training Company, a provider of accounting and financial service training based in London with operations in Asia
  • 2003 – Dublin Business School, a university in Ireland that offers undergraduate and postgraduate business and liberal arts programs
  • 2004 – Two Sawyer College campuses: Hammond, Indiana and Merrillville, Indiana.
  • 2005 – Asia Pacific Management Institute (now Kaplan Singapore), a Higher Education company providing Diploma to Doctoral degrees offered by different universities.[17]
  • 2006 – Tribeca Learning, a financial services and real estate training provider based in Australia
  • 2006 – Aspect Education, now Kaplan International English, a provider of English language instruction based in the UK
  • 2007 – FINSIA Education, a provider of financial services training.
  • 2007 – EduNeering Inc., a provider in compliance and knowledge management solutions.
  • 2009 – Manhattan Prep, an American test preparation company focused on preparation for the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT.
  • 2011 – Structuralia, a provider of training and education in Spain.
  • 2011 – Carrick Education Group, a leading vocational and higher education provider in Australia.
  • 2011 – Franklyn Scholar, a national provider of work-based vocational training in Australia.
  • 2012 – Academy, a focused corporate training and organisational development services provider
  • 2012 – BEO Japan, a Japanese study-abroad student recruitment agency
  • 2012 – Hands On Education Consultants, a Thai study-abroad student recruitment agency
  • 2013 – Grockit, an online social learning game company that prepared students for standardized exams.
  • 2014 – Dev Bootcamp, a web development bootcamp
  • 2015 – SmartPros, a provider of accountancy continuing education.[18]
  • 2015 – Mander Portman Woodward (“MPW”), a group of private colleges based in the UK.[19]
  • 2017 – Genesis Institute, a provider of financial services training.[20]
  • 2017 – The College for Financial Planning, a provider of financial services training.[21]
  • 2017 – Red Marker, a software as a service provider of artificial intelligence powered marketing compliance.[22]
  • 2018 – Professional Publications Inc. (sometimes marketed as PPI 2 Pass), maker of study materials for engineering licensure exams.[23]

In 2013 and 2014, Kaplan partnered with TechStars to create the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, which hosted, mentored, and funded startup companies focused on education technology and product innovation for a three-month program in New York City.[24] The 22 startups that participated raised more than $15 million.[25]

In 2015, Kaplan launched Metis, a data science training provider offering full-time immersive bootcamps, part-time professional development courses, online learning, and corporate programs, with locations in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago.[26]

Lawsuits and investigations[edit]

In 2007, Kaplan agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that had been brought against Kaplan and BarBri, a company offering a widely used bar exam preparation course. Among the allegations in the suit, which charged that BarBri had overcharged students, was an allegation of federal antitrust violation claiming that Kaplan had agreed not to compete in the bar review business while BarBri agreed it would not compete in the LSAT business. Both West Publishing Company (parent of BarBri) and Kaplan denied the allegations and the matter was resolved without any findings of wrongdoing, with BarBri and Kaplan paying $30 million to the class claimants.[27]

In 2012, the North Carolina Attorney General determined Kaplan lied to students about the credentials they would earn in the Dental Assistant program.[28]  Following the investigation Kaplan College Charlotte campus surrendered its license to operate a school. Kaplan refunded students the cost of tuition, books, and fees, and agreed to pay the program’s graduates $9,000 stipends. Students claimed they were told the school would soon obtain ADA accreditation. The program had never been accredited by the American Dental Association, and had never been scheduled for the initial site visit required for accreditation.[29][30]

In 2014, Kaplan settled claims with the Florida Attorney General regarding claims of using misleading marketing to enroll students.  Kaplan was investigated for violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act by “making misrepresentations and misleading statements and omitting or failing to disclose material information related to marketing their schools and programs to prospective students.”[31] Under the terms of the settlement Kaplan agreed to “clearly and conspicuously disclose true and accurate information relating to the school’s accreditation, program costs, financial aid, and the scope and nature of employment services they provide”. Specifically, Kaplan cannot claim a program is “fully accredited”, can’t say that an interview or recommendation is required, can’t use artificial or arbitrary enrollment deadlines, can’t say a course is in “high demand” or has limited availability if it does not, can’t say that federal grants are “free money,” and can’t enroll a student with regular internet access. Further, Kaplan agreed to retrain to students who asserted claims against the school. During the course of the investigation Kaplan waived $6 million in tuition and fees for more than 2,400 Florida students, and reimburses the Florida Attorney General’s office for attorney costs.

In July 2015, Kaplan paid $1.375 million to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office to resolve complaints following an investigation in which the AG alleged Kaplan engaged in “unfair or deceptive practices designed to induce enrollment of students” including “harassing sales tactics and false and misleading representations” in the operation of the  Kaplan Career Institute campus in Boston, Massachusetts.[32]

In 2015, Kaplan paid $1.3 million to resolve allegations that it hired instructors who were not qualified. The United States Department of Justice began investigating Kaplan following a Qui tam suit filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. The whistleblower alleged Kaplan employing unqualified instructors to teach Medical Assistant courses at its San Antonio campuses and knowingly requested, received, and retained federal funds for courses taught by individuals who did not meet the minimum requirements established by Texas law. Kaplan agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle the suit, and with more than $1 million being paid to 289 former students in the form of tuition refunds.[33][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f [1]
  2. ^ "Contact Us". Kaplan.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2013-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Purdue acquires for-profit Kaplan University". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  5. ^ "Purdue Buys Kaplan University, Will Create New Nonprofit Chain". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  6. ^ "10K Graham Holdings Company". sec.gov. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b Hill, Phil (2020-01-30). "Purdue Global Budget: More than $132m spent on marketing last year". PhilOnEdTech. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  8. ^ http://www.ghco.com/static-files/8e179cbd-58a2-4c3c-b82c-6b3ebb491fe3
  9. ^ "NAFSA research on landscape of third-party pathway partnerships in the US". www.dreducation.com. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  10. ^ "Simon & Schuster Distribution Services | Our Clients". www.simonandschusterpublishing.com.
  11. ^ "Prep with Kaplan. Get Results". kaptestglobal.com.
  12. ^ "Kaplan Buys Educational Assets, And Name, from Barron's". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  13. ^ Blumentstyk, Goldie (September 4, 2009). "Stanley H. Kaplan, the Entrepreneur Who Put Academe to the Test". The Chronicle of Higher Education. LVI (2): A35.
  14. ^ Kaplan, Stanley H. Test Pilot. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.
  15. ^ "About Kaplan Press Releases". Archived from the original on March 26, 2007.
  16. ^ "Schools in Pennsylvania: Degrees, Certificate Programs, Training Program – Kaplan Career Institute in Harrisburg, PA". kaplancareerinstitute.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
  17. ^ Kaplan, Inc. (17 May 2005). "Kaplan Acquires Singapore's Asia Pacific Management Institute (APMI)". prnewswire.com.
  18. ^ "Kaplan to Acquire SmartPros for $16.9 Million". www.accountingtoday.com. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  19. ^ "Kaplan moves into secondary schools with sixth form acquisition". thepienews.com. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  20. ^ "Kaplan acquires UAE financial training institute". www.tradearabia.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  21. ^ "Kaplan Buys For-Profit College From Apollo". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  22. ^ "Kaplan press release - Kaplan acquires Red Marker". Red Marker. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  23. ^ "Kaplan Acquires Leading Publisher of Professional Licensing Exam Guides in Engineering Fields". www.businesswire.com. 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  24. ^ Ki Mae Heussner (18 June 2013). "Exclusive: Meet the first startups in Kaplan's TechStars-powered ed tech accelerator". gigaom.com.
  25. ^ "Overview – Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, Powered by Techstars". Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, Powered by Techstars. Archived from the original on 2015-08-01. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  26. ^ "NYC data science bootcamp prepares students for in-demand career". www.amny.com. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  27. ^ "BAR/BRI Class Action Litigation". barbri-classaction.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2006-09-26.
  28. ^ "Kaplan College reimburses students after probe of dental program | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper". web.archive.org. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  29. ^ For Profit Higher Education: The Failure to Safeguard the Federal Investment and Ensure Student Success. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2012.
  30. ^ "College Complaints Unmasked". The Century Foundation. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  31. ^ "Fla. AG Bondi reaches agreement with Kaplan University". Washington Examiner. 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  32. ^ "ASSURANCE OF DISCONTINUANCE PURSUANT TO M.G.L. CHAPTER 93A, § 5". Mass.gov. July 23, 2015.
  33. ^ "Purdue Buys Kaplan University, Will Create New Nonprofit Chain | Inside Higher Ed". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  34. ^ "For-Profit College Kaplan To Refund Federal Financial Aid Under Settlement With United States". justice.gov. 5 January 2015.

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