I have read the plethora of complaints and rebuttals regarding Kaplan University. Mine is much different in nature; it is not related to any sort of financial matters. My complaint is of the quality of the education I am receiving.
My concerns began when I was having trouble with quizzes in a particular class. I attempted to contact the professor with emails requesting further review of the quiz results or extra help. His responses were curt and evasive. I compiled each specific quiz question/answer asking where in the text or discussion we had been taught the material into a word document and attached it to a third email. He admitted that he was not responsible for designing the quizzes and that the material in question was nowhere to be found in our course study except on the quizzes. Here I am, miserably failing these quizzes, but I earned full credit for EVERY other assignment. As I took the final, I Googled one of the exam questions, and I was surprised by the search results. I found the exact quiz questions from throughout the term and the final copied from exams given by various other educational institutions on their web sites. I am upset because I feel that at $1500 a course either the professor or at least the department could design their own curriculum with exams that align with the material we are studying. They prohibit plagiarism by students, but is this not a form of plagiarism itself? It may be common practice, but it is not ethical.
Upon further research, I discover that most professors are actually moonlighting professionals. Whether they are professors at other colleges and are just picking up extra money, I don't know. My basic sentiment is that, generally, professors do not care or do not have the time to actually challenge the students and/or thoroughly review material. I have not felt this way in all my courses. I do not feel it is fair to say across the board that all classes are not challenging or are not led by caring professors, but I feel that professors in an online environment may be more inclined to be lackadaisical.
Kaplan is a for-profit institution and has become a cash cow for the Washington Post who own Kaplan. I have been warned that to complain may stir up a hornet's nest because of this fact. I am sure that Kaplan and the Washington Post retain expensive lawyers, and I have been told that they even have a credit agency under their umbrella. Most students that enroll in online universities are low to middle class adults who are determined to better their life. Society has impressed upon us that college degrees are somewhat of a golden ticket. What has embittered me is the fact that a bachelor's degree costs somewhere in the ballpark of $50,000. I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Dan Carnevale that claims Kaplan enrolls 50,000+ students. I also read that 43% are seeking bachelor's degrees. If this true, 21,500 Kaplan students are striving for bachelor's degrees. If these 21,500 attain their degrees, and, once again, if my facts are valid, this would mean $1,075,000,000 in revenues just for bachelor degree seekers. There student enrollments is increasing and so did their per credit fee. Last term, I was notified that credit hours fees would be raised from $305 to $315, which is already increased from a year ago. So where does this money go? Should not most of it be put into the education process? I have a hunch, it mostly lines the pockets of Washington Post CEO's. I am sickened by the unethical nature of these practices. I enrolled in classes because I was interested in learning, but at what cost? The fact is that information taught in school is available to anyone for free if they seek it out. It's the degree that we are ultimately paying for because we have been convinced as a society that it is a measure of our capabilities and intelligence.
Furthermore, I feel that the acceptance of enrolling students is a very lax process. I find that more than a few students in my discussion boards are not at college level learning, and in a couple of instances an English literacy class may have been better suited the students. I do not mean this to be condescending, but colleges are meant to be a place of higher learning. Lowering the standards in any arena of education will only cheat all students in the end, and has degraded the value a college degree, in my opinion.
I am aware that I may incite adversaries in those people who have enjoyed a successful experience as well as I will gain acceptance from those people who have been wronged. My goal in voicing these thoughts are to promote what is right and ethical. I have no reverence to power or money, only to that which I feel is just.
Frisco, North Carolina
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Kaplan University