Change.org aims to stir liberal rage against The Washington Post’s Kaplan University

Liberal petition-hosting website Change.org has found a new target: The Washington Post. In an excoriating alert released Thursday, the website targeted The Post for its revenue-generating Kaplan educational programs.

“Here’s how the Washington Post Company makes billions of dollars: Veterans, single moms, and working parents are lured in by admissions counselors at Kaplan University Online,” wrote Change.org Executive Editor Judith Meskill.

The release said that, “Students use federal loans to sign up for classes that can be 14 times more expensive than a comparable community college class.

“It’s basically a scam. Sixty-nine percent of students drop out. A third of students default on their loans, meaning taxpayers are stuck with the bill and the students have their credit destroyed — while Kaplan keeps all the money.”

The release noted that an employee training manual for Kaplan University, acquired by Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harken, reads: “If you can help them uncover their true pain and fear…You dramatically increase your chances of enrolling this prospective student.”

Change.org further said, “A separate presentation to employees declared that single African-American mothers raising two children were the most profitable, because they were the most likely to drop out.”

Meskill wrote in the alert that The Post has intentionally ignored unethical behavior at Kaplan. “Instead of investigating these practices, the Post has instead tried to cover it up,” she wrote.

The petition is intended “to target the entire Washington Post board.” It attracted more than 24,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

A November report by The Post revealed the significance of Kaplan to the Washington Post Company. “Kaplan accounted for 62 percent of the entire company’s revenue and 75 percent of its operating income,” wrote The Post.

The Post reported Wednesday that Kaplan experienced a 47 percent decline in new enrollments in the fourth quarter of 2010.

  • Mr.Gary

    I am a student of Kaplans online university. Despite the mud slinging that is happening with Change.org I must admit that it is a very professional university that has professors with Masters degrees and field experience with the subject they are teaching. As far as the cost being the trough the roof it really is not as much as Change.org makes it out to be. Furthermore state universities do the same thing as universities like Kaplan but since the funds from those universities goes to the state, which along with state tax funds, most likely pays state government officials and employees. If any state in the US makes money off of college students no one cares or stirs up any trouble because they assume the funds are not misappropriated, which they may or may not be. The United States of America is one of the only countries in the world that makes students pay for college. The owner/s of Kaplan founded a university that is flexible for students that have busy lives in order to allow people that have busy lives an attempt to better themselves and get the education they want.

    On the topic of the dropout statistics of course they are going to be higher than a traditional college because Kaplan is conducted over the web, which many still call the information super highway, will more than likely recruit more people than a traditional college leading to a higher potential dropout rate. As far as I am concerned Kaplan is a great college, and I was told upon signing up, that it is owned by the Washington Post. While it may be true that the Washington Post could be turning some profit from education at least they are one company in the US today that is actually trying to put something back into the US populace with the fortune the company has. One thing that noticed that was absent from this article as well is any mention of the losses that the Washington Post might take when educating or re-educating one of their employees out of their own pocket.

    There are two sides to every coin some tend to look at just the bad side, and some tend to look at just the good side. Me personally I tend to look at both sides try to decide for myself if the good out weighs the bad or vice versa. There are many things that orginazations like Change.org could do to better this country besides picking on a newspaper company that founded its own university. Off-shoring for example, which I wrote an A-plus paper about during a writing course at Kaplan under a fairly strict professor, is a much more crippling and harmful practice by big businesses in the US today. Rather than focus on a real issue like many others choose to do, often in the name of “right and wrong” entities like Change.org resort to mudslinging the first target that comes along. I think the best comparison to this sort of thing might be similar to when President Bill Clinton got caught in a moment of infidelity while in the White House. Although what Bill Clinton did might be against the laws of matrimony and it may morally incorrect by many peoples standards he didn’t break any laws. If the same thing happened in an office building anywhere else in America nobody would have cared, but since it was the President of the United States of America doing these things in the White House it was a huge deal. The same principal applies to the Washington Post and state funded universites. Various states all across the country have universites, not to mention local communities, which could turn some profit after the staff is paid, that no one ever so much as bats an eye at. On the flip side a financially set company does the same thing, being a house hold name like the president, and people tend to simply go overboard about it.

    Please do not think I am simply defending my university in this post. I am simply trying to say that there are many things in this country that get blown into ludicrous proportions, while actual issues slip through the cracks of the system; because too many people including entities that “bring just change” to the “wrongdoers” of the world take the easy way out. Moral decadence has been the main downfall of many civilizations such as; the Romans, Alexander the Great’s empire, and Egypt to name the most popular. It is this same decadence that will one day ultimately be the down fall of the United States by focusing on the wrong “bad guy” and letting the real criminals slip through and continue doing things that actually effect America as whole.

    So the next time you read an article where any organization, regardless of they are, please just do one thing before you believe every word they say; look at the other side of the story. If we Americans start letting people make up our own minds for us with things as simple as this then the “battle” against moral decadence has already been lost.

    Satisfied Kaplan University Student,


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  • Corky Boyd

    My personal belief is the attack on Kaplan involves another issue which I won’t go into here. But the administration should be very wary about demonizing the Post and Kaplan. They can get pi$$ed off and make life very tough on the administration. They already took one President down they didn’t like, and spiked the Lewinsky story they had in Newsweek exclusively for a President they did like.

    Obama has a lot to hide and the Post has a lot of sources. Not a good combination for Obama.

  • truebearing

    Leftists…leftists hating leftists..is the funniest feeling in the world
    Morons…..Morons hating morons….. that’s it! I can’t write anymore parody lyrics to the song “People”. I hate that song…..

  • I_Walk_Alone

    Is this the same “Kaplan” that runs the SAT, GRE & LSAT?

    • didacticrogue

      No, this is the same Kaplan that offers test preparation courses. The SAT, GRE, & LSAT are administered by The College Board, ETS, and LSAC, respectively.