Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
02.22 Report: Climate Denier to Lead White House Climate Panel [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
02.22 The Uninhabitable Earth [Lots more important than all other problems put together]
02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]
02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]
02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]
02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
International & FuturismSanders Has an Advantage, and It’s Not [Just] About Economics
02.22 When multilateralism crumbles, so does our rules-based order [this enables easier corruption by banks and oligarchs and may result in complete societal breakdown, chaos and war]
02.22 Trump has turned foreign aid into shabby political theatre [Psychopaths are a sub-human species without empathy or morals.]
02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]
02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]
Kaplan University Ripping Off Poor Students for Profit
Despicable scheme takes predatory advantage of altruistic Federal student loan program.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
As President Coolidge said, "The business of America is business." Kaplan makes money the old-fashioned way. They steal it from unsuspecting poor and minority students, their welfare and futures wrecked from the experience.
Like the old "Let's Fall in Love" lyrics: Bankers do it. Insurers do it. Even (privatized) universities with poor students do it. They steal and get away with it, a Danny Weil August 18 Daily Censored article titled, "Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-Income Minority students and the Washington Post (parent company) Benefits." More on it below.
It's part of Kaplan Higher Education Corp., part of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company, producing over half of its revenue and profits - its real commitment, not students.
The web site RipoffReport.com lists first named only victims of "scams, consumer complaints, and frauds."
Elma from Washington reported her experience after attending Kaplan's Legal Studies program. In December 2008, she said:
The Veterans Administration (VA) paid Elma's tuition. They intervened. Kaplan retracted its statement, then told the VA she was blocked for not filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
In fact, they're voluntary, and since the VA paid Elma's full tuition, it wasn't needed. She explained further, saying:
Alma challenged them and involved the Department of Education. Her access no longer was blocked. At issue is why it was in the first place. While at Kaplan, she "had nothing but problems," including:
Alma said Kaplan should be sued and put out of business for not delivering on promises, defrauding students for profit.
In January 2009, Cary (from North Carolina) also said "Kaplan should be put out of business." Two terms from graduating, he was told he owed $7,000. He thought his tuition was subsidized. Apparently it was exhausted, but Kaplan hadn't told him earlier, and "They never offered any other type of financial aid other than alternative loans" he wouldn't use. Angrily he accused them of operating like Enron and Worldcom, scamming students for profit. "We must fight them back," he said, "because we have worked too damn hard for (our) education!!!"
In October 2006, Carrie (from Illinois) called Kaplan's Boca Raton, FL facility a "scam school." It promised she'd get no unexpected bills, have a student loan of around $26,000, and be able to complete her education trouble-free. Not so.
After two terms, she got a letter saying she was $1,851 in arrears to be satisfied before she could continue her course work. When inquiring why she owed money, she was told her aid only covered three classes per quarter, and she owed for the last two terms. Yet her advisor and financial aid information assured her everything was in order, her scholarship covering the extra classes.
Nonetheless, the harassment continued. The initial arrears more than doubled to $3,975. When she mentioned her scholarship aid, she was told her account said nothing about it. After struggling in vain for straight answers, she got an email stating:
What happened to her scholarships she asked? Why weren't they applied to her account? Like others, she was scammed, saying:
Recruiters also "scolded and mocked them for being hesitant to take out government-subsidized loans" for tuition.
On August 6, 2010, Chronicle.com writer Goldie Blumenstyk headlined, "Kaplan Suspends Enrollment at Campuses Where Federal Investigators Found Recruiting Abuses," saying:
Two campuses were involved, one in Florida "where undercover government investigators posing as applicants encountered admissions officers who lied about the college's accreditation and admissions-test proctors who coached the investigators on the answers." Recruiters also "scolded and mocked them for being hesitant to take out government-subsidized loans" for tuition.
Kaplan officials disingenuously said they were "sickened" about apparent practices endemic throughout its system for years.
Encounters were videotaped and played at an August Senate hearing. Kaplan executives did a poor Claude Rains imitation - he as Captain Renault in Casablanca, saying he was shocked, shocked about what he knew was going on. Kaplan officials disingenuously said they were "sickened" about apparent practices endemic throughout its system for years.
They've been accused many times before. At least four pending former employee lawsuits raise similar allegations as the government's. As of June 2010, Kaplan had over 112,000 students enrolled, an 18% increase over the previous year, many easy pickings to rip off for more profits ahead, even in a dire economy.
In his Daily Censored article, Weil explained that Kaplan enrolls poor and low-income students on federal loans, leaving them "indebted and unemployed." A whistleblower exposed the scheme - how hundreds of unsuspecting students are recruited, then abandoned in debt.
Students enrolled in the "CHI/Kaplan Surgical Technology Program....were purposely not being told (that) externship (clinical experience) sites, required for the....program would not be available." If true, it amounts to "concealment fraud, overt misrepresentation and possible theft of Title IV funds."
Yet for years, students were enrolled for an annual tuition cost of around $24,000. "When the fraud was detected....hundreds of students (couldn't) finish their programs and had their personal lives and credit history ruined."
Is Kaplan any different from Goldman Sachs scamming investors, or Prudential Insurance ripping off dead war vets' beneficiaries and getting away with it? Apparently not. In this case, poor and minority students are most hurt, "suffer(ing) garnishment of their wages or (huge) monthly payments beyond their means, while others faced attachment by way of liens on their properties, if they had any." Many won't ever recover from Kaplan's disreputable practices. Yet apparently they continue unabated.
The company uses government Title IV funds "for student loans to pay for tuition." They account for "90% of their revenues," employing "unethical if not illegal methods" of scamming students for profit. Tens of millions of dollars are involved and perhaps thousands of students.
"SurgTech was one of CHI/Kaplan's most profitable programs." Mostly minority female students were enrolled, using Title IV funds. However, Kaplan "signed up more (of them) than their program could serve and continued" enrolling more.
"To cover up the enrollment fraud," CHI/Kaplan "warehous(ed) students - basically telling them to go home....until their externships came up," though Kaplan kept it hidden from authorities to keep Title IV funds coming.
The company "vanished" students from its rolls, listing them as "drops" to shield themselves from liability "without damming the revenue stream and the fiduciary responsibility of the corporation to its shareholders and investors."
Unknown to those enrolled, they were lied to, put in a program Kaplan knew they couldn't complete. "Even top management" knew about the scam from the start. Yet they over-enrolled in day and evening courses, even without promised externships. Up to 90% of students "had no legal or financial resources at all. (They) were desperate and were attending what they thought was a bona fide college" to improve their lives. Instead of being educated, they became trapped "in a quicksand of debt."
After the Department of Education began examining Kaplan's practices, "SurgeTech's program curiously disappeared from CHI/Kaplan's degree offerings" in late 2008. At the time, state agencies "were threatening to withdraw accreditation."
From what's known so far, "Kaplan knowingly, over a ten year period, misled by omission, prospective students, their accrediting body, and the US Dept. of Ed, causing the government to approve tens of millions of dollars of Title IV student loans for a program" enrollees couldn't finish. The entire scheme was fraudulent.
The "newspaper that famously broke the Watergate scandal" buried this one with no mention, even though virtually everyone at CHI/Kaplan up to the company's CEO knew about the "criminal conspiracy and eventual fraud."
Business, however, is business. Kaplan makes money the old-fashioned way. They steal it from unsuspecting poor and minority students, their welfare and futures wrecked from the experience.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on September 22, 2010.