Brightwood College

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Brightwood College
Campus Locations10 in California; 2 in Indiana; 1 in Maryland; 1 in Nevada; 1 in North Carolina; 1 in Ohio; 1 in Tennessee; 11 in Texas
AffiliationsEducation Corporation of America
Brightwood college logo.jpg

Brightwood College, formerly Kaplan College, was a system of for-profit colleges in the United States, owned and operated by Education Corporation of America. Main qualifications offered included health, business, criminal justice, information technology, nursing and professional training (trades) programs.[1] On December 5, 2018, Brightwood's parent company, Education Corporation of America, announced unexpectedly via an email that all of its schools would be closing in two business days. Staff was terminated without legally required notice.[2]


Before being acquired by Education Corporation of America (ECA) in September 2015,[3][4] Kaplan College was part of Kaplan Higher Education, a subsidiary of Kaplan, Inc.

Kaplan, Inc., purchased the American Institute of Commerce, a business training school founded in 1937, and renamed it Kaplan College in 2000, later renaming it to Kaplan University in 2004.[5]

In 2000, Kaplan acquired Quest Education Corporation, which served 30 schools in 11 states.[6] Quest Education Corporation was renamed Kaplan Higher Education in 2002.[7]

In April 2004, Kaplan Higher Education owned 64 campuses, including Hesser College in New Hampshire, and CEI College in California.[8]

California locations operated under the Maric College brand from 2004-2008, then as Kaplan College. In June 2008, Las Vegas-based Heritage College was folded into the Kaplan College brand. In 2010, the Texas schools acquired as part of the Quest purchase were renamed Kaplan College.

In October 2015, Kaplan College's Dayton, Ohio, campus was renamed Brightwood College.[9] The remaining Kaplan College locations became Brightwood College in February–March 2016.[10][11]

On December 5, 2018, it was announced that Education Corporation of America was shutting down all Brightwood College locations nationwide, due to loss of accreditation from the US Department of Education.[12][13]



Brightwood College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). On December 12, 2016, ACICS was derecognized by the U.S. Department of Education.[20] April 2018, this action was under review, following a court ruling remanding the December 2016 decision to current Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Accreditation was finally lost December 2018.[21]


Alleged improper recruiting[edit]

Kaplan College, while a part of Kaplan Inc, was one of 15 for-profit colleges cited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for deceptive or questionable statements that were made to undercover investigators posing as applicants.[22] The Pembroke Pines, Florida and Riverside, California campuses were both cited in the GAO report.[23] Andrew S. Rosen, President of Kaplan, Inc., described the tactics as "sickening" and promised to eliminate such conduct from Kaplan.[24] On November 30, 2010, the GAO issued a revised report with several significant edits, altering key passages and softening several of the initial allegations. However it stood by its finding that the college had encouraged fraud and misled potential applicants.[25] Five years later, Kaplan College was sold to Education Corp. and renamed Brightwood.


  1. ^ "Brightwood College". Brightwood College. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Education Corporation of America Completes Purchase of Kaplan College Campuses". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  4. ^ Fain, Paul (7 May 2015), "Can for-profit colleges survive their slump?", The PBS NewsHour, retrieved 10 September 2015
  5. ^ "Statement of Accreditation Status". Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
  6. ^ "Kaplan Will Acquire a Chain of Post-Secondary Schools". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Educational Medical, Inc. Changes Name to Quest Education Corporation".
  8. ^ Julie Flaherty (2004-04-25). "The Alternative Universe: A Guide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  9. ^ "Dayton College Changing Its Name". Dayton Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  10. ^ "Education Corporation of America Announces Re-Branding of Kaplan College Campuses". Business Wire.
  11. ^ Callahan, Katie (February 28, 2016). "Kaplan College Rebrands as Brightwood College After Acquisition". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  12. ^ Valencia, Jamel (2018-12-05). "Brightwood College campuses nationwide, including El Paso location to close". KFOX. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  13. ^ "Brightwood College". Brightwood College. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  14. ^ Brightwood College in Palm Springs, CA
  15. ^ Brightwood College in Riverside, CA
  16. ^ a b Kaplan Higher Education Acquires Ten Cei Campuses In Southern California
  17. ^ Brightwood College in San Diego, CA
  18. ^ Brightwood College in Las Vegas, NV
  19. ^ Kaplan Higher Education Acquires Heritage College
  20. ^ "Important Information on the Derecognition of ACICS | U.S. Department of Education". Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  21. ^ "Following Court Ruling, DeVos Orders Further Review of 2016 ACICS Petition | U.S. Department of Education". Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  22. ^ "Testimony : For-Profit Colleges : Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing Practices" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  23. ^ Blumenstyk, Goldie (2010-08-06). "Kaplan Suspends Enrollment at Campuses Where Federal Investigators Found Recruiting Abuses - Finance - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  24. ^ Vise, Daniel de; Paul Kane (2010-08-05). "GAO: 15 for-profit colleges used deceptive recruiting tactics". The Washington Post. ISSN 0740-5421. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  25. ^ Anderson, Nick (8 December 2010). "GAO revises its report critical of practices at for-profit schools". The Washington Post.

External links[edit]