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Kaplan University Review

The history of Kaplan University goes back to the days before WWII, when it was founded as the American Institute of Commerce (AIC) in Davenport, Iowa. The institute focused initially on vocational and career education, and its dedication to the mission of providing accessible training for aspiring members of the workforce has stood strong throughout the intervening decades.

After a brief stint under the name Quest College between 1998 and 2000, AIC was acquired by the Kaplan professional training and test-prep company and given the name by which we know it today. Although the university's mission has remained largely the same over the years, the number and variety of available courses and degree plans has expanded considerably — students at Kaplan today can choose among 31 co-curricular clubs and activities, and those who wish to take coursework in a traditional classroom environment may attend one of 15 campus locations.

Admissions
  • Total enrollment (2014): 40,491
    • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,963 (74%)
    • Graduate enrollment: 10,528 (26%)
  • Steps to admission:
    • Complete an information request form on the school's website, providing contact information for a Kaplan admissions representative
    • Prepare for an admissions interview wherein you discuss your academic and professional goals with an advisor and determine the right next steps
    • If applying for undergraduate work, take the university's online Academic Readiness Assessment

Candidates applying for graduate work may be asked to submit a resume along with their application materials. Depending on the program being pursued, applicants to the nursing school at Kaplan may need to furnish a copy of any applicable licensure documents before admission may be considered.

Official or unofficial academic transcripts are also required for many programs. Unlike many institutions of its type, Kaplan does not expressly require submission of official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores from international students, instead determining English fluency through the application, interview and proprietary examination process.

  • Are there rolling admissions?: Yes
  • Are transfers accepted year-round?: Yes

Financial Aid

  • Is this school eligible for federal financial aid (Title IV approved)?: Yes
  • Does this school offer scholarships?: Yes
  • What percentage of students receives financial aid?: 78.5% (2014, 8 campuses reporting)

First-time Kaplan students are typically accepted to the university on a conditional basis, which prevents them from being immediately eligible for Title IV federal financial aid. Students become aid-eligible when it is determined that they meet the University's criteria for full acceptance. Part-time or non-degree graduate students may be fully accepted without the conditional admission period.

Student Body Demographics
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Sources: The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics. Demographic data covers all enrolled students, including those at any campus of the university or studying online.
Featured Programs

Criminal Justice

Kaplan University's School of Public Safety offers degrees in criminal justice at both the bachelor's and the master's level, as well as a master's in homeland security and emergency management for students whose law enforcement interest includes the high-stakes, large-scale side of the profession. Associate degrees and professional and technical certificates for working members of criminal justice occupations are also available online.

Psychology

Students interested in the science of human awareness, motivation and behavior can pursue psychology degrees at both the undergraduate and the graduate level, with various coursework emphases available for those who intend to apply their education to a particular field within the discipline. What's more, students at both levels can choose to pursue a path to the fastest-growing profession in the nation -- the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a 56 percent increase in employment opportunities for industrial-organizational psychologists between 2012 and 2022.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

MBA degrees are a hot item among online degrees, and Kaplan students can focus their advanced business administration training along several specialized avenues. Specific concentrations available to Kaplan students include information technology, human resources, health care management and finance, among others, and students looking to get as broad a view of the discipline as possible may choose to pursue a non-specialized MBA, which can prepare you to tackle a wide range of challenges in today's global business climate.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

A campus-based or online BSN degree can be a vital stepping stone for working nurses hoping to take their career to the next level, whether in nursing practice or health care administration. Kaplan offers an RN-to-BSN program for students who are already licensed and working as registered nurses, and residents of Maine or Nebraska can enroll in a pre-licensure BSN program at the Kaplan campuses located in Augusta and Omaha.

Culture

As a university with a worldwide reach, the experience of academic culture at Kaplan may vary significantly from student to student. Campus-based as well as online students have access to career resources such as job tracking, career advisement and professional networking capabilities through the university's CareerNetwork platform.

Individual campuses under the Kaplan umbrella provide their students with opportunity to take advantage of learning centers, clubs, activities and other avenues of extra- or co-curricular participation. The list of available activities tends to vary from location to location, but students can discover the full range of available opportunities through their campus's website.

Students of the Concord Law School at Kaplan University have a particularly unique opportunity, as well — in 2003, Concord students formed the first online Student Bar Association (SBA) in the U.S., and the Concord SBA is still going strong.

As a unique university with a worldwide reach, the experience of academic culture at Kaplan may vary significantly from student to student.

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Rankings

U.S. News and World Report publishes annual rankings of campus-based and online programs throughout the country, and Kaplan University has been made occasional appearances on these lists from year to year. Here are the U.S. News lists where Kaplan programs make an appearance in 2015:

  • Best Online Bachelor's Programs: No. 79
  • Best Nursing Schools

    Notable Colleges

    Most degrees available at Kaplan are offered out of individual departments under the general Kaplan University umbrella, but students seeking professional law degrees online formally attend courses at the Concord Law School. The following degrees are offered at Concord:

    • Master of Laws (LL.M.)
    • Juris Doctor (J.D.)
    • Executive Juris Doctor (E.J.D.)

    Although the American Bar Association doesn't yet accredit online institutions, J.D. graduates of the Concord Law School have applied and been successfully admitted to the California Bar Association since 2003.

    Notable Faculty/Awards

    The reach of Kaplan's educational efforts goes beyond the borders of the U.S. and various schools associated internationally with the Kaplan brand have been recognized with awards and other distinctions in the last several years. Here are a few recent accolades given to Kaplan institutions:

    • Most preferred Private Education Institution (PEI) - In both 2012 and 2013, Kaplan Singapore earned this recognition of its popularity among the Singaporean general population.
    • Best Business School in Ireland - Dublin Business School, a Kaplan property since 2003, was named best business school in Ireland by InBusiness, a trade magazine representing the Irish Chamber of Commerce.
    • Top 10 percent, National Student Survey - Kaplan Open Learning partner The University of Essex Online earned a student satisfaction rating of 93 percent in the 2013 National Student Survey, placing it among the top rankings earned by colleges in the UK.
    Sources:

    1. Concord Law School, http://www.concordlawschool.edu/
    2. The JobsCentral Learning Rankings and Survey 2013, JobsCentral, http://jobscentral.com.sg/survey/learning/2013/
    3. Kaplan, Inc., http://www.kaplan.com
    4. Kaplan University, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/
    5. Kaplan University, NCES College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator
    6. Kaplan University, Overall Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/kaplan-university-260901/overall-rankings
    7. "Students rate University of Essex Online degrees amongst top in the UK," University of Essex Online, http://online.essex.ac.uk/news-and-events/students-rate-university-of-essex-online-degrees-amongst-top-in-the-uk

    Disclaimer: Information on this page was not provided or commissioned by the featured school. Information has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the featured school.

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