My Education with Kaplan started in April of 2005. At that time I spoke with an Academic Adviser who assured me that (1) I would not have any unexpected bills showing up and (2) that I would have a total student loan of around $26,000 when I was finished with school. Sounded great so I agreed to enroll.
I was assigned a student adviser and together we worked out my degree plan, major, minor, and chose the classes for me to take. From that point on I could not get in contact with him. I would leave messages for him to call me back, but he never would. It came time to enroll for the classes and I had still not heard from him so I chose to talk to the "next available student adviser".
At that point was was told about the Accelerated Scholars Award, and was told that if I take three classes I would be eligible for this scholarship. I then contacted Financial Aid to ensure that I would be covered for three classes. I was told that I was indeed eligible. I then contacted the student adviser and enrolled for three classes, faxed the paperwork to the school, and began my next term on schedule.
The following two terms I went through exactly the same steps, contacting the student adviser, then financial aid, and back to the student adviser again to enroll. Each time I was assured that I was good to go, so to speak.
At the end of the term I received a letter from Kaplan claiming that I owed them nearly $1,851 and that I had to pay that money before I could continue with school. At this point I contacted Kaplan to find out why I owed this money. I was told that I was only covered by financial aid to take three classes once per quarter, and now I owe them for the last two terms. I explained that I had spoken with someone in financial aid each term and was assured that everything was OK and I could take these extra classes because of the scholarship.
At that time I was told that the scholarships had not yet been applied to my account. From that point on I received statements that remained unchanged, until August when I received a statement from them claiming that I had an account balance of $1,851 and a past due amount of $3, 975. I contacted my Financial aid officer to find out what the problem was and he told me that he was going to do a complete check to make sure that the money paid by financial aid and my student loans were going to the correct places.
I then received an email saying that he had done all he could do and that I was was 1 credit from being a level 3 to absorb the costs. At that time I mentioned the Scholarships. He had no idea what I was talking about and NO WHERE on my account had it been stated that I had these scholarships. Later that day I received an email from my new student adviser introducing herself and explaining that they were working on the account issues and that she would get back to me ASAP. In the mean time I was taken off the blacklist and allowed to go to school for the term.
About a week later I received notice that her supervisor needed me to send in all the forms that I had originally faxed over so that they could get the scholarships credited to my account ASAP. I faxed them over, but was told a day later they were never received. I faxed them again, and this time was told they were received and being reviewed. A week after that I was told that they were approved and were in the process of being applied to my account. In the mean time I am receiving my confirmation letters for my student loans where they are making payments to Kaplan in the amounts of $3,500 and $4,000, the final payment being in 2007.
The next term begins November 8, 2006. At this point, I have already begun payments for that term. I received a statement in the mail from Kaplan stating that now I owe them not only the $3,975, but I also now have an account balance of $4,000 (up from $1,851 just 3 months before).I tried to contact my Financial Adviser but to no avail. To top it all off, I receive an email today (this is the actual email that I received):
"Dear Kaplan University Student,
The end of the term is approaching and your account is severely past due with Kaplan University. If your account is not brought current by the end of the term, a block will be placed on your account. You will
not be able to continue into your next term until the past due balance is paid in full.
Please contact our Student Accounts department at 1-800-817-8272 to make a payment or discuss an alternative loan. You can also go to the MAKE A PAYMENT tab on your desktop to make a payment.
Student Accounts Department
My questions that I want answered are:
(1)If according to my FASA I am only responsible for $2,890 a year, how can I possibly owe the school ANYTHING??? This would mean that Financial Aid is covering all but $2,890. My Student Loans should not exceed $2,890.
(2)What happened to my Scholarships? Why have these not been applied to my account?
(3)If Citibank is making payments from my student loans, and financial aid is paying, how could I possibly have an account balance with Kaplan???
If anyone at all has a class action lawsuit or is thinking of getting one started PLEASE contact me. I have the names of several other students that have been down this very road and are willing to be part of this as well!