Kaplan, Inc.

International educational services company
Kaplan, Inc.
Kaplan in Midtown Manhattan
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1938; 86 years ago (1938)
FounderStanley Kaplan
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Key people
Andrew Rosen (chairman and​ CEO)
ProductsTest Preparation, Educational Training
RevenueUS$1.3 billion (2020)[1]
OwnerGraham Holdings Company
Number of employees
ParentGraham Holdings Company
DivisionsKaplan North America, Kaplan International

Kaplan, Inc. is an international educational services company that provides educational and training services to colleges, universities, businesses and individuals around the world. Founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan,[2] the company offers a variety of test preparation, certifications, and student support services.[1] The company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,[3] and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company.


Kaplan, Inc. was founded in 1938 by Stanley H. Kaplan, a first-generation son of immigrants[4] who began tutoring his classmates at age 14, operating from the basement of his parents' Brooklyn home.[5] He originally aspired to be a doctor, but was rejected from all medical schools he applied to, despite his exceptional academic record, because of anti-Semitic admissions policies at the time.[4] When a student introduced him to the SAT, he wrote in his autobiography, Test Pilot, that he fell in love with the test, as it tested skills he knew how to teach. His business grew as many students sought help in preparing for college admission tests, particularly after World War II when U.S. government passed the G.I. Bill giving education to returning veterans. His business boomed, and he expanded it across the U.S. and abroad.[5] In 1984, Kaplan sold the company to The Washington Post Company,[6] now the Graham Holdings Company.[7]


In 1990s, the company expanded abroad and grew beyond test preparation, expanding its training and publishing businesses, diversifying into English language training, higher education, pathways programs, online learning and other services. It launched the first online law school, Concord Law School, in 1998.[8] Over the years, it has purchased several other educational companies and schools worldwide,[9][10] expanding its operations and delivery of courses and programs in markets beyond North America including the UK,[11] Ireland,[12] Singapore,[13] Australia, and New Zealand.[14][15][16] The company's leader during this expansion period was Jonathan Grayer.[17]

In 2003, Kaplan acquired the Financial Training Company, an established provider of financial services training in the UK, with operations in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.[18][19] Later that year, the company's acquisition of Dublin Business School in Ireland launched its entry into Europe's private college market.[20]

Kaplan expanded its private education offerings and global reach in 2005 with the acquisition of Asia Pacific Management Institute, a Singapore-based business school (later renamed to Kaplan Singapore).[21] In 2005 Kaplan also expanded into international student pathways programs, partnering with Nottingham Trent University to set up Nottingham Trent International College, created to prepare students for university enrollment through English language training and academic preparation for A-level standards.[22]

In 2006, Kaplan expanded its English language business with the acquisition of Aspect Education, a global languages school with schools in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US.[23]

In 2016, Kaplan partnered with ACT, the ACT college admissions test maker, to make low-cost, online test prep free for low-income students.[24]

In 2017, Purdue University announced the acquisition of Kaplan University,[25] and the sale was completed in 2018. The new institution became Purdue University Global, providing students with accredited distance learning worldwide.[26]

In 2018, as part of an effort to overhaul UK legal education and create a common standard for professional qualification, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) selected Kaplan to develop and deliver the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Introduced in September 2021, the exam is the qualifying assessment for professionals seeking to become solicitors in England or Wales.[27]

During the pandemic in 2020, Kaplan partnered with Hexco Academic to host its first national online spelling bee. The winner of the Kaplan Online Spelling Bee, Zaila Avant-garde,[28] went on to become the first African American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2021.[29] Runner up Harini Logan went on to win the Scripps Bee the following year.[30]

In 2021, Kaplan launched Career Core, a shared career services model, in partnership with Wake Forest University, Adelphi University, Florida International University, Point Loma Nazarene University, University of Arizona, University of Montana, Alpha Tau Omega, and Kappa Alpha Order.[31]

In 2022, Amazon announced a partnership with Kaplan to make academic and career coaching services available to its 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S. as part of its Career Choice upskilling program.[32]

Products and services

Kaplan offers a variety of educational and training products and services, including tutoring, on-site classes, live programs, print books, online products, and more, to individuals, universities, and businesses.

For students and individuals

  • Preparation for standardized admissions tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and many others
  • Professional training and preparation for licensure exams and industry certification in nursing, medicine, law insurance, real estate, architecture, engineering, finance, accounting, wealth management and others
  • Language training for English, French, German and Spanish, online and in-person around the world
  • Higher education degree programs focused on career advancement through Dublin Business School (Ireland), Kaplan Business School (Australia) and Kaplan Singapore (formerly Asia Pacific Management Institute) (Singapore)
  • Accredited college study and degrees through Kaplan Open Learning, which delivers online higher education degree programs through the University of Essex and the University of Liverpool. Kaplan also supports online degree programs at Purdue University Global, Wake Forest University, Lynn University and Creighton University.
  • University pathways programs that allow international students who want to study in English-speaking countries to take English courses while also taking courses that will count as credits toward their undergraduate degree

For educational institutions

For educational institutions, Kaplan operates the following.

  • International student recruiting through university pathways programs or direct admittance services for universities across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand[33]
  • University-wide "all access" licensing for Kaplan test prep, licensure and credentialing programs[34][35][36]
  • Online program enablement including student recruitment, technology, and back-end administrative services[37]
  • University sponsored, scalable pre-college online career exploration programs for high school students[38]
  • Hosted campuses in Singapore for affiliated educational institutions in Australia, Ireland and the UK to provide teaching and residential sites[39]
  • Campus facilities, including student residences and teaching centers, which are designed, built and managed by Kaplan Living[40]

For businesses

For businesses, Kaplan operates the following.

  • Professional training and certification for financial advisory professionals, as well as training to qualify for professional certification in securities, accounting, insurance, real estate, engineering, architecture and other sectors[14][41][42]
  • Education-as-benefit programs brokered with university partners, including customized degree and certificate programs
  • Apprenticeship programs, in collaboration with the UK government and employers[43]
  • Career coaching and college advising for employees[44]

Corporate overview

Kaplan has over 10,000 employees in 27 countries, and partners include more than 12,000 businesses and 4000 educational institutions. The company's chairman and CEO is Andrew S. Rosen, and its 2020 revenue was $1.3 billion.[1] Kaplan operates through two major divisions: Kaplan North America and Kaplan International. A third division, Kaplan Corporate, manages investment activities in education technology companies.

Kaplan North America (KNA)

Kaplan North America encompasses two segments: Higher Education and Supplemental Education.

KNA higher education provides operations support services for online pre-college, certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs to various educational and training institutions, including Purdue University, Wake Forest University, and others. In its support agreement with Purdue University Global, which operates largely online as a public university affiliated with the Purdue University system, KNA provides support for technology, admissions, help-desk, marketing, human resources, financial aid processing, recruiting, and other functions.

KNA supplemental education products include test preparation, publishing, professional licensure training and preparation (including healthcare simulation programs), corporate training and continuing education. KNA's test preparation services are branded through Kaplan Test Prep, Manhattan Prep and Barron's Educational Series. In total, Kaplan's test prep offerings prepare students for more than 233 standardized tests, most of which are U.S. focused. Kaplan Publishing focuses on print and digital test preparation and reference resources.

Kaplan International (KI)

Kaplan International is based in London and operates educational businesses in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Its language business supports students from 150 nationalities, delivering 16 different language learning programs. It operates 19 English language schools in the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland and delivers on and off-campus pathways programs with 24 universities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Kaplan International recruits up to 100,000 international students annually for U.S., U.K. Australian university programs, transnational programs in Singapore and Hong Kong and language training programs worldwide.[45]

KI operates English language training schools and university pathways programs in North America.


In Europe, KI operates:

  • Kaplan Professional UK includes Kaplan Financial, which provides training and test preparation services for professionals in accounting, financial services, securities trading, insurance and other financial services.[11] Kaplan UK also provides apprenticeship training in banking and financial services, accountancy and tax, and data and technology industries. Additionally, it operates Kaplan Assessments, the assessment provider for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination for all candidates seeking to become a solicitor in England and Wales.[43]
  • KI Pathways offers academic preparation programs especially designed for international students who wish to study for degrees from universities in English-speaking countries.[46]
  • KI Languages Group provides English-language training, academic preparation programs and test preparation for English proficiency exams, principally for students wishing to study and travel in English-speaking countries. It also offers instruction in Spanish, French and German.
  • Mander Portman Woodward, a U.K. independent sixth-form college that prepares domestic and international students for A-level examinations that are required for admission to U.K. universities.
  • Dublin Business School, a private college in Ireland that provides a range of full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with courses in subject areas such as business, law, accounting, event management, IT, arts, media studies and psychology
  • Kaplan Open Learning, an online learning institution offering accredited online higher education degree programs through the University of Essex and University of Liverpool
  • BridgeU, an adaptive guidance platform that connects universities with international secondary schools

In the Middle East, Kaplan operates a financial training business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Asia and Oceania

In Asia and Oceania, Kaplan operates primarily in Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.

In Singapore, Kaplan operates two business units:

  • Kaplan Higher Education Academy (KHEA) offers full-time programmes to local students in Singapore and international students who wish to study in Singapore. Such programmes are suitable for students who are able to attend classes in the daytime during weekdays.
  • Kaplan Higher Education Institute (KHEI) offers part-time programmes to local students in Singapore. Such programmes help working professionals balance part-time studies with personal or work commitments. Classes are held in the evenings and on weekends for such programmes.

In Hong Kong, Kaplan operates:

  • Kaplan Financial, which delivers preparatory courses for students and business executives seeking to earn professional qualifications in accountancy, financial markets designations and other professional fields
  • Language training, which offers test prep for overseas study and college applications, including TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, and GMAT
  • Higher education offers full-time and part-time programs to students studying for bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from leading Western universities in Hong Kong.

In Australia, Kaplan operates:

  • Kaplan Professional, which delivers financial services education and professional development courses
  • Kaplan Business School, which delivers higher education programs in business, accounting, hospitality, and tourism and management
  • English language training schools across five locations in Australia and one in New Zealand
  • Kaplan Australia Pathways, which is part of KI Pathways
  • Red Marker, an AI-powered marketing compliance platform with real-time reporting and remediation capabilities


In 2007, a class-action lawsuit was settled for $30 million by Kaplan and BarBri, a company offering bar exam preparation. Among the allegations was a federal antitrust violation claiming that Kaplan had agreed not to compete in the bar review business while BarBri agreed it would not compete in the LSAT business.[47] Both West Publishing Company (parent of BarBri) and Kaplan denied the allegations and the matter was resolved without any findings of wrongdoing.[48]

In a 2010 investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found deceptive practices at 15 for-profit college campuses, including two owned by Kaplan. Footage from undercover videos revealed that recruiters from Kaplan in California and Florida had made false or dubious claims to prospective students, such as suggesting massage therapists earn $100 per hour and that student loans do not have to be repaid. Kaplan took steps to address these failures, including firing those responsible, halting recruiting, offering full tuition rebates, retraining individuals, bringing in outside accountants to conduct its own "mystery shopping",[49] and implementing a debt-free trial period.[50]

In 2011, a federal judge in Miami has refused to dismiss the lawsuits filed by former employees of Kaplan University and Kaplan Higher Education Corp, who allege that the companies have violated the Higher Education Act in order to gain federal funding and profits. Judge Patricia A. Seitz has denied the accusations related to Kaplan's manipulation of students' academic records and job-placement statistics, or their incentive payments based on student enrollment numbers. However, she has allowed the whistleblowers to continue to pursue claims of retaliation and other violations. Since 2006, several ex-employees alleged that Kaplan had broken the law and breached its agreement with the U.S. Department of Education by recruiting unqualified students, misleading students about their academic progress, manipulating job placement statistics, and offering bonuses to recruiters based on how many students they enrolled, in order to get the most out of federal funding. In November 2006, two former instructors sued Kaplan for allegedly submitting false claims to the government and not adhering to the Higher Education Act's requirements for payment. The plaintiffs, who were previously employed at Kaplan's Pittsburgh-based campus, claimed that Kaplan had breached the 70 Percent Rule, which requires eligible schools to have a minimum graduation rate and job placement rate of 70%. Furthermore, they argued that Kaplan Career Institute had advertised job-placement rates without providing prospective students with job-placement statistics or state licensing requirements.[51][52][53][54][55]

In 2012, the North Carolina Attorney General determined that Kaplan had lied to students about the credentials they would earn in the Dental Assistant program.[56] Following the investigation Kaplan College Charlotte campus surrendered its license to operate a school. Kaplan refunded students the cost of tuition, books, and fees, and agreed to pay the program's graduates $9,000 stipends. Students claimed they were told the school would soon obtain ADA accreditation. The program had never been accredited by the American Dental Association, and had never been scheduled for the initial site visit required for accreditation.[57][58]

In 2010, the Florida Attorney General started an investigation into whether five for-profit colleges, including Kaplan, violated Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act by making misleading statements, misrepresentations, and omitting or failed to disclose material information related to market their programs and schools. In 2014, Kaplan agreed to voluntarily comply with the Attorney General and made several required changes as part of the settlement. Kaplan agreed to "clearly and conspicuously disclose true and accurate information relating to the school's accreditation, program costs, financial aid, and the scope and nature of employment services they provide." During the course of the investigation Kaplan waived $6 million in tuition and fees for more than 2,400 Florida students, and reimbursed the Florida Attorney General's office for attorney costs, while impacted students were offered retraining or a separate arbitration process.[59]

In 2015, Kaplan paid $1.375 million to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office to resolve complaints that Kaplan engaged in "unfair or deceptive practices designed to induce enrollment of students" including "harassing sales tactics and false and misleading representations" in the operation of the Kaplan Career Institute campus in Boston, Massachusetts.[60] Also in 2015, Kaplan paid $1.3 million, with $1 million going toward tuition refunds to 289 students, to resolve allegations that it hired instructors who were not qualified. The United States Department of Justice began investigating Kaplan following a Qui tam suit filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. The whistleblower alleged Kaplan employed unqualified instructors to teach Medical Assistant courses at its San Antonio campuses and knowingly requested, received, and retained federal funds for courses taught by individuals who did not meet the minimum requirements established by Texas law.[61][62]

Also in 2015, the United States Department of Justice began investigating Kaplan following a Qui tam suit filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. The whistleblower alleged Kaplan employed unqualified instructors to teach Medical Assistant courses at its San Antonio campuses and knowingly requested, received, and retained federal funds for courses taught by individuals who did not meet the minimum requirements established by Texas law.[63][62] While Kaplan paid $1.3 million to resolve the allegations, with $1 million going towards tuition refunds, Acting U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr. stated that the settlement was not an admission of liability by Kaplan or its affiliates, and that the company had fully cooperated with the government's investigation and negotiated the settlement in good faith.[62]

Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF)

The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF) is an independent 501(c)(3) charity that offers undergraduate and graduate educational scholarship opportunities and other assistance to community college students in the New York City area who are traditionally overlooked, underserved and underrepresented, including African American, Latino, and Native American students.[64] KEF's Kaplan Leadership Program helps high-potential, low-income community college students from underrepresented communities complete their associate degrees and successfully transfer to the nation's most highly selective schools. Kaplan scholars receive a comprehensive array of financial and academic support, transfer admissions advising, and leadership skills development. The foundation partners with dozens of higher educational institutions around the United States.[65] Since its inception in 2006, the Kaplan Leadership Program has helped more than 100 Scholars gain admission to the country's most competitive schools, including Yale, Stanford, Brown, Amherst, Cornell, Mount Holyoke, Smith and many others.

The foundation's executive director, Nolvia Delgado, is a former Kaplan Leadership Program scholar, Borough of Manhattan Community College graduate and alumna of Smith College.[66]

In addition to support from its partners and benefactors, the foundation is supported through an endowment fund. The foundation also publishes a guide to college transfer. The guide profiles top U.S. schools and their transfer policies, and is a resource for students and school administrators to navigate the complex transfer process, including credits and graduation requirements. The guide provides specialized advice to non-traditional students, including veterans, students raising families, and students with unique immigration needs. Private citizens may donate these guides to deserving students, and all proceeds from sales are used to support the foundation.[67]

Awards, rankings and honors

Kaplan has been received numerous awards and recognition for its businesses, products and services, including:

  • Singapore's best employers 2022[68]
  • Fast Company's Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022: 10 Large Company Standouts[69]
  • PQ Magazine 2022 Shortlists: Study Resource of the Year, Innovation in Accountancy, Best Use of Social Media, Graduate/Apprentice Training Programme[70]
  • 1EdTech Learning Impact 2022 Honorable Mention, Kaplans MCAT Live Online course[71]
  • 2022 Digital Health Silver Awards, Health Resources Mobile Apps (Projects in Knowledge)[72]
  • Newsweek's 100 Most Loved Workplaces 2022[73]
  • Newsweek's 100 Most Loved Workplaces 2021[74]
  • Sun-Sentinel's South Florida Top Workplaces 2022[75]
  • Sun-Sentinel's South Florida Top Workplaces 2021[76]
  • Chicago Tribune's Best SAT Test Prep Book for 2021[77] and 2020[78]
  • PQ Magazine's Private Sector Accountancy College of the Year, 2021[79]
  • Learning Technologies 2021, Gold Award, Best Learning Game, Kaplan UK[80]
  • PQ Magazine Editor's Special Awards 2020, Kaplan Financial[81]
  • Learning Technologies 2020, Bronze Award, Best UK digital transformation of a training programme in response to COVID-19[82]
  • Chicago Tribune's Best MCAT Test Prep Book 2019[83]
  • Fast Company's Most Innovative Education Company 2014[84]

See also


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External links

  • Kaplan, Inc.
  • Kaplan Test Prep
  • Article on history of Kaplan's founder by Malcolm Gladwell at the Wayback Machine (archived 2013-08-31)
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