• Report: #370447
Complaint Review:

Kaplan University

  • Submitted: Sat, September 06, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, August 27, 2010

  • Reported By:San Angelo Texas
Kaplan University
www.kaplan.edu , California U.S.A.

Kaplan University Kaplan No Friend To You California

*Consumer Suggestion: Exactly!

*General Comment: Agreed

*General Comment: Well said - well written, but sad!!

*Author of original report: Kaplan: Greed Run Amok!

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After reading the plethora of complaints against Kaplan University, I have concluded that there is more to their predatory, unscrupulous behavior than 'sour grapes' or 'disgruntled employees'. The sheer number of complaints is impressive and span's several different sites. Interestingly, the complaints are all very similar indicating a pattern that should not be ignored.

With a failing economy, many people are turning to education to improve their circumstances and marketability. Don't think this is being ignored by the powerful, greedy, corporate entities seeking profit from the hope and desperation of people trying to survive. This is a group that feeds off the stench of desperation orchestrated by their insatiable desire to amass more, whether it is power or money there is never enough. This is where Kaplan fits.

My experience with their admission person (sales representative) is similar to that described by others. It was an aggressive high-pressure pitch that included a number of lies, innuendos, and deceptions. Having enjoyed and achieved success with real universities I hold education to a high standard and certain purity. It was my inexperience with the 'used car' sales pitch and coercion that manipulated me into signing their contract. In spite of the fact I told this sales rep. I wanted to think about the program she pressed on with more frantic pressure. That goes back to the old sentiment 'the sale starts when the customer says no'. There were so many lies and manipulations it would take a great deal of time and space to literate.

In hindsight I realize that the timing was completely consistent with meeting an end of the month deadline. I unwittingly became a statistic of a sales quota/enrollment requirement. Previously, I held the sales representative in contempt for her behavior, projecting her as being ambitious and immoral. After reading complaints from ex-employees, I have become compassionate to the fact that she was more likely compelled by fear for her job and income. Insecurity and fear lead to desperate actions. Not surprisingly, she no longer works for Kaplan.

I think Kaplan exploits the individual's belief that there is a purity and promise inherent in higher education. Like many other's, I had not yet realized that this is a completely profit motivated enterprise. It was my experience that they will say and do anything to get you to sign up and commit monies offering the hope of bettering your future. Make no mistake. Kaplan University is a large corporate concern that is all about money. Money, money, money! They will do whatever it takes to get money, keep money, extort money, intimidate, bully, and destroy anyone who stands between them and .....money.

Through a completely freakish series of events, my life fell apart within days of giving them a deposit. Had the sales person not pressured me, I can say with complete certainty that I would not have made this choice. Had Ms. sales rep conceded to my request I would have not have been in this predicament. Ms. E. from the extortion.. oh, I mean business office informed me it is their procedure to acquiesce to consumers who ask for time to think about the program. That is a lie. While they advertise access to educational advisor's, yet I was afforded none. If their educational team were a fraction as ambitious as their collection department they might have a decent program.

In my conversations with Ms. E. she made several statements:
1. Kaplan University does not have an enrollment/sales quota
2. Their enrollment staff (they are really salesman) never use high-pressure tactics sell their program
3. Their enrollment staff are comprised of mostly Master's level people
4. Kaplan is a fortune 300 Corporation
5. They are a subsidiary of the Washington Post
6. .....The Washington Post! Seriously! That explains a lot!

Does anybody understand how much money and lawyer power these people have? Does Kaplan answer to a board of education or a board of stockholder's willing to suck the hope, dreams, inspiration, aspirations, reputations, and future from the working class trying to better their lot in life? Should education be in the hands of corporate vampires at all? This presents a very real threat to the quality and integrity of the University system.

While Kaplan has all manner of knowledge about the student, they can use for extortion and intimidation purposes. The nameless, faceless power mongers remain safely anonymous enjoying the hard earned money of the uninitiated and naive bilked out of precious resources. These 'businessmen' profit from the dashed hopes and dreams of people struggling to pay their bills. Does anyone believe they really cares if the welfare and future of other's is compromised to make their wallets fatter? After all, it is simply business.

Beyond the devastation to those unlucky enough to fall prey to Kaplan's sales pitch is a more salient consideration. When the focus is increasing that sacred profit margin, it is likely program development, teaching staff, student selection, etc. are sacrificed to expand the bottom line. Sadly, quality, ethics, and integrity are only cheap marketing catch phrases to the greedy. This gives credence to the complaints alleging inferior programs, plagiarism, questionable student acceptance, teachers, etc.

These are predators for profit. What makes them all the more vile as predators, is their willingness to prey upon the innocence of people hoping to expand their potential through the promise of education. Nobody expects universities to function without profit, however, Kaplan resorts to shameless depths to seduce and ensnare with outcomes falling short of the promise. There is no reason to lie, mislead, and harass. Put out a superior product and people will respond.

When I asked Ms. E. direct questions about the reports online, the warm fuzzy, 'all I want to do is help you succeed' veneer fell away revealing a hostile mean individual, clearly resenting having her authority questioned. For my defiance I expect retribution and character assault that is often the result of defying low level bureaucrats.

Ms. E. did tell me, if I gave her access to my checking account she would unblock my access and allow me to enroll. It was a good cop- bad cop' approach that was nauseating and patronizing. Having finally done the research and reading all of these complaints, I do not want Kaplan University in my life. As much as I dread the onslaught of harassment coming my way, I truly cannot stomach the possibility of engaging in their bastardization of education.

They are not ethical and I do not trust them. I offered to pay what I could monthly and the not warm fuzzy Ms. E. wanted no less than access to my bank account. I think she wanted my soul too, however, that may have already been included in the original contract.

The warm fuzzy Ms. E. espoused her deep desire to help me meet my educational goals. It was ever, ever so sweet. She even waxed poetic about my 'having learned a great life lesson' and her deep sincere regret that I was buying nothing, however, 'you did sign the contract regardless of the circumstances, Soooo....' The only life lesson I learned involved my concept of education. In a span of ten short minutes all I had come to believe to be true of higher education was turned into a fantastical remembrance, as higher education has become a ruthless, corrupt, lying, manipulative force, undermined by the same corporate greed that has consumed every other aspect of American life.

Ms. E. eluded that all the complaints against Kaplan were a created by irresponsible failures. She told me that Kaplan graduates were in the Supreme Court (she didn't specify, could have been the food court at a local mall), that they (Kaplan) were esteemed and accredited. She proposed the question "could Kaplan be accredited if we were unethical?" Hmmmm Yes!! Money and power can buy anything.

These people accept no responsibility whatsoever for their product. They are all too willing to slough off all criticism as being the end result of lazy, uninspired loser's. That cheap excuse has become the overused clich war cry of every corporate behemoth and their brown nosed lackey's. Can't they come up with something else? I often wonder if these stooges serving as the sword of self-righteous authoritarianism understand that they are as dispensable as a gum wrapper when the corporate bottom line needs increasing.

It is my guess that there are people getting very, very rich in this mix. I guarantee it is not the professors, it is not the advisory, collection, or sales staff. Kaplan's behavior is nothing short of unethical and greedy. One of the wisest phrases in movie-dom was 'follow the money' , it has become a universal truth. The path of greenbacks, in this case will lead you through a field of human emotional carnage right to the fat little greedy fingers of a dispassionate corporate giant and its shareholders

So, here's the bottom line. Kaplan seems to operate on the Machiavellian concept of "the ends justify the means", which will always fall in their favor. It's as predictable as playing blackjack in Vegas. The house wins! They are not what they appear to be. There are far too many complaints to ignore indicating there is a real problem here.

If you really want a good education, as hard as it may be, hold out for a real, honest to God, university where the quality of education really matters. Go where people care about your experience and become invested in your outcomes. Hold out for integrity. My experiences with state and private universities have been incredible. I have come away with a great body of knowledge, confidence/competence in my field, and degrees that actually impress and have merit in the real world.

In a world of choices, think twice before making Kaplan your choice. One last word of advice, if you involve yourself with Kaplan, make it a priority to invest in one of those small voice recorders that connect to your cell phone. You will need it!

San Angelo, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/06/2008 03:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/kaplan-university/california/kaplan-university-kaplan-no-friend-to-you-california-370447. 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 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Curtis - (Canada)

You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one.  All of these private "schools" are nothing more than businesses.  I also agree with the comment about the negative effects this may have on the image of Universities in total.  I too was naive to the fact that places like Kaplan, Everest etc. can actually exist.  I thought that the University name was protected by government, or that certain standards had to be met before an instiution could call themselves a University........I guess not!  Make no mistake about it, ANY private school is a sham.  A second rate, un-respected, diploma mill that will ultimately get you no job and put you in the hole financially.  It is about time that these places get exposed for what they really are.......scams of epic proportions!
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#2 General Comment


AUTHOR: Tmothy - (United States of America)

Id have to fully agree Uma. Fully agree.  Kaplan is the worst school i've ever been at.


And all the complaints against Kaplan made by irresponsible failures? Then Kaplans doing something wrong because there are alot of "irresponsible failures".

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#3 General Comment

Well said - well written, but sad!!

AUTHOR: JonTx - (United States of America)

Uma,  I am very familiar with the "workings" of Kaplan and just wanted to tell you that I think your report is well written, lucid, and characterizes the "true kaplan".

Good Luck to you, I hope you have much success in the future.  I know it's not much comfort, but I think you have provided a service to others who may be considering spending they're hard earned dollars on Kaplan's Program, which of course we know is a mistake!


John E., Lubbock, Texas

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#4 Author of original report

Kaplan: Greed Run Amok!

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

The more research I do, the uglier Kaplan gets. The online degree programs seem to rely upon the legitimacy created by the traditional university system. Kaplan's telemarketers use titles like 'academic coordinator', 'academic adviser', etc. to deceive the consumer. These 'telemarketers' use lies of commission by saying whatever they think their 'target' (you) needs to hear to make their sale. They also utilize deceptions of omission by not telling the 'target' that Kaplan is a 'fortune 300' company owned by the Washington Post. This is by design. The information they omit is key to revealing Kaplan's overall motivation, which is to make their shareholder's lots of money. Providing education is an aside.

For me, the concept of corporate owned 'for profit' education is new, I naively did not know greedy corporations could own a school and take government monies. The 'for profit', 'business oriented' corporate domination of online education exists solely to make obscenely rich people richer. Our current economic crisis more than substantiates that premise. Kaplan and other online menaces have culpability in what is happening to this country! This is a stark example of corporate greed run amok.

Kaplan should be looked at for deceptive trade practices. They lie to lock people into untenable contracts. They lie when they do not identify themselves as telemarketers. They lie when they promise financial aid and incentives they can not or will not provide. They lie when they conjure arbitrary enrollment dates. They lie when they deny using high pressure sales tactics. They lie when they tell you they do not have sales quotas. They lie when they withhold the fact they are owned by a large powerful corporation. They Lie.

I truly believe that all these corporately owned schools should have to reveal the fact they are profit oriented, corporately owned, entities. For those not up to speed, understand with perfect clarity, that these online pretender's do not even remotely practice the standards of traditional universities. They have designed their own rules, contracts, and operations that are arbitrary and flexible in meeting their desire to amass obscene amounts of money. I, like many others, am willing to work toward warning other's of the treachery involved in dealing with Kaplan. Everyone who has been victimized and taken a stand against Kaplan can gain solace in the knowledge that each individual they have spared this horrible fate has also denied Kaplan the one thing they do value...... money!
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