• Report: #597109

Complaint Review: Kaplan University Online

  • Submitted: Mon, April 26, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, April 30, 2010

  • Reported By: Mary in VA — Harrisonburg Virginia United States of America
Kaplan University Online
Internet United States of America


*Author of original report: More specifics on Civil Right Violations-KAPLAN

*Consumer Comment: More info

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Hello fellow Kaplan victims! First, please allow me to provide a brief background about myself to make my overall report complete.  I earned a BS in Social Work from a great University in 1984 and had a very successful and rewarding career for twenty years. In my fourties I became very ill and had to stop working, being declared disabled.  I lost everything that was important to me. When you are mentally ill, people RUN! Even your family runs. It was ironic, at first, that I had spent so many years working with the mentally ill (Both in Hospitals and Correctional Facilities) and now I am one! Anyway, after basically living in a bed for 6 years paralyzed with severe depression I began to get a little better. I then MADE A HUGE MISTAKE AND DID NOT HANG UP THE PHONE WHEN KAPLAN CONTACTED ME.

My short, 2 class stay at Kaplan on line has resulted in an absolute 9 month (So far) explosion of: misinformation; poor job performance of Academic Counselor, with complimentary duplicity; violation of Federal Disability Laws, the arrogance (Beyond my believe, as a former State Assistant and Acting Prison Warden-we would be reported to The Attorney Generals Office) of ignoring a formal, written Grievance submitted to my assigned Ombudsman in January and an oldie but goodie (according to the other reports) being charged 6,000 for two classes, which Kaplan REFUSES TO TAKE OFF. There are many peripheral complaints to the financial and ethical issues of a smaller, yet serious nature. I have seen many complaints on other reports.

My Father, Stepfather, Uncle and Stepsister were/are all attorneys. If my Father or Stepfather was still living Kaplan University would have been flattened by the lawsuit filed and won by either of them. Both were brilliant, prestigious trial lawyers. I think my case and many others I have read are attorneys dreams, especially young attorneys, in areas where they are a dime a dozen. Perhaps, even Law Schools could help, as case studies for Students in 3rd year of Law School ?

What about the Department of Education, what are they doing about the incredible arrogance of this University, that continues to cheat and violate the not only the monetary rights, BUT CIVIL RIGHTS of students. Has anyone looked at any commonality among the victims? I know I am disabled, is anyone else out there? Kaplan knew this from the very beginning. Are there more women than men being taken advantage of? More minorities? As a person very active in protecting civil rights, I know I can jump to this possibility too soon sometimes, but, it is never wrong to ask the question. Perhaps, to Kaplan we are all a minority, College Students, more younger than older, most with little money. Hence, they feel they can get away with anything and not be held liable. This is SO untrue. ALL it takes is NOISE...

If I went into detail about my case it would take hours to write. One thing I have found helpful, in regard to money issues, is to bypass Kaplan and deal with the Lenders.  Today, in fact, Discover contacted Kaplan on my behalf. Of course it is also good to keep going up the chain of command, but, with Kaplan, I think you should just start at the Department Head Level. (Or, whatever their term is for the same position). If anyone has any good ideas, or has had some success, PLEASE LET THE REST OF US KNOW. Also, I agree with one of the contributors from Florida about a Class Action Suit, I am totally in. I think there are contingency firms that should jump on this?????  Has anyone heard of any firms expressing interest?  I think Kaplan treats College Students as a minority, as most of us have no money, And, no money usually means no power.  I think the lesson here is we are as powerful as we want to be and the more bad press Kaplan gets the more pressure for change.

I was so relieved to find this forum and all of you with common issues. Though sad to see so many suffering, I am glad to know I am not alone and there exists potential for change. I suggest we also begin writing to the editors of the big papers. By the way, did you all know the Washington Post owns Kaplan (Unless something has recently changed)????? Don't you think that provides us with some interesting pressure points???? Should we organize times by states to send letters to the Editors of the big papers????? Any ideas.....

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/26/2010 09:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/kaplan-university-online/internet/kaplan-university-online-kaplan-u-vioated-fed-disab-act-charged-6k2-classes-no-resp-597109. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

More specifics on Civil Right Violations-KAPLAN

AUTHOR: Mary in VA - (United States of America)

I have been asked to be more specific regarding exactly what Kaplan did wrong, particularly in regard to any Civil Rights violations.

As I mentioned, I only took two classes (One ten week session)at Kaplan. Kaplan normally requires a student complete two ten week sessions in order to request a ten week session off.  My Psychiatrist had agreed, due to an onset of more acute depression that began during the last two weeks of classes, that I should take a 10 week period off and then return to school.  I (Following the Kaplan policy) first called my Kaplan Academic Counselor and informed her that I was requesting a special accommodation under the .......Disabilities Act to take ten weeks off prior to having completed two ten week sessions and asked her for a return call (On her answering machine service), with any special directions and assistance. I waited for over a week and received no call or email from her or anyone at Kaplan regarding this matter. Due to the time constraints set forth in policy, approaching, I decided to proceed to the next level and put my request to her and my Financial Advisor, in writing, via email. I had non-legal assistance in writing this letter, as I was not well, to verify it being done and done properly.  The request was very reasonable, particularly based upon my understanding of the law; my 4.0 standing at the University and it was medically needed.  I, in no way anticipated any problems and was solely concentrating on getting better and thinking of what to do next in school.

About two weeks later, I received a letter from my lender, Discover, stating my loan was in Deferral status. (Later in January I learned from Financial Aide this was a standard letter) I took this to mean my request had been approved. I then began getting "form emails" from my Academic Counselor, some congratulating me for completing X weeks in class and some alerting me that I was not attending class. I became extremely upset. I sent her an email telling her to contact me right away if the emails were other than form emails, being sent to me because I was still on some list and referenced my disability request. I continued to receive nothing but conflicting form emails.  By January, I had checked into my Kaplan account to see if I could access my classes and I could, which alarmed me. Prior to this I could see what the class content was, to consider the classes for the following ten weeks. I think I logged into 1 class for about 5 seconds. For this I was charged 6,000.00. I then saw emails from my Professors in my Kaplan account warning me I was failing class or something to that effect and that really devastated me! I have always been a very diligent student. I wrote each of them and explained the situation. I only received a response back from one. It finally hit me that my Disabilities accommodation had been totally ignored not by one, but two departments!!!!

At this point, I contacted Financial Aide and found two gentlemen who seemed helpful. I have been sending memos ever since, first to one and then to one as the other is no longer there. The remaining assigned me an Ombudsman, for the purpose of filing a Formal Grievance, my choice instead of the suggestion of Administrative Withdrawal. The grievance included the refusal of Kaplan to acknowledge my request under the Disabilities Act via 2 Departments and the resulting harassment, pain and suffering that resulted. The actual Disability that the request was filed under was made worse by the arrogant ineptitude of 2 Departments.

This is further justified and exemplified, as demonstrated by the way my Formal Grievance has been TOTALLY IGNORED. I submitted, per policy and directions, t to my assigned Ombudsman in January. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CONTACTED BY THE OMBUDSMAN. NOW THIS, TO ME, IS KAPLAN UNIVERSITY!!!!!  I have been sending memos since January repeating multiple complaints, OVER AND OVER AND OVER. 

Who is earning interest on the 3,000 of the 6,000 for 2 classes I didn't take. I am sure the IRS would love to know about this, as well, since I have a fraudulent tax interest statement for 2009. Students get charged for the interest and Kaplan earns it, DO I HEAR FEDERAL CRIMES EVERYWHERE?????? I looked through ripoff and saw this complaint all over.

All of this has exacerbated my illness so badly that over late December, January, February I was bed bound and totally dysfunctional and began having panic attacks again that I hadn't had in years. It is very difficult for the lay person to understand the delicate balance of brain chemistry as it relates to stability in mental illness.  Stress effects brain chemistry with an extreme negative impact and it is always likely the person does not return to the previous level of baseline functioning. Also, this experience has devastated my confidence and kept me from going back to school at all. I used to be a successful workaholic, like many of you, a great career for 20 years. Kaplan was my first try after 8 years to re-enter the world. Thanks a lot Kaplan.

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#2 Consumer Comment

More info

AUTHOR: Jeanski - (U.S.A.)

Could you please be more specific about how you were ripped off? It's not that I want to side with Kaplan but it's hard to determine from your post exactly what went wrong. I would be particularly interested in how your civil rights were violated. I'm assuming you're referring to your disability, right?
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