Kaplan University

kaplan-universityOne of the largest chains of for-profit colleges operating in the United States today is Kaplan University. Founded as the American Institute of Commerce when it opened in 1937, this small college offered training programs for busy professionals and those who wanted to work in business and commerce fields. After Quest Education Corporation purchased the college, it became Quest College. When Kaplan merged with that corporation, the school adopted the name of Kaplan College, which later became Kaplan University after it added graduate programs and courses to its catalog.

Kaplan University is unique because it operates branch or regional campuses across the country as well as online campus. It has 14 campuses in states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Maine and Maryland. Students have the option of taking classes on one of those campuses, taking classes online or doing both. More than 37,000 students enroll in Kaplan ever year. Its online system offers students the option of taking classes and enrolling in programs that are not available on local campuses too. The university actually has eight different colleges that allow students to take classes in business, health, nursing, education, social sciences and other fields.

Kaplan University Accreditation Details

Though Kaplan University is a for-profit university, it remains committed to its students and in providing them with the best resources possible, which is why the university sought several types of accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission accredited the main branch of the university, which allows students to take classes online. Regional branches of the Higher Learning Commission are responsible for accrediting its regional campuses. Kaplan also has some specialty accreditation, which comes from groups that include:

  • Behavior Analyst Certification Board
  • National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission
  • The Society for Human Resource Management
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Kaplan University Application Requirements

Kaplan recommends that prospective students fill out a form on its official website to learn more about a specific program or degree type. Those students can speak with a counselor and find out if the university is a good fit for them. They must then go through an interview with an admissions counselor either over the phone or in person on a local campus. The last step is the application itself.

This university is unique because it doesn't require that you fill out a long or complicated application. You can usually fill out the application and even enroll in classes after completing your interview or after meeting with a counselor on a local campus. Students must have strong English skills in both reading and writing and have good computer skills. Those enrolling in a graduate or doctoral program must have the degree(s) required for admission to one of those programs. Kaplan also asks that students make arrangements to pay for their tuition and other expenses before classes start, and you cannot start without applying for financial aid or setting up a payment plan.

Tuition and Financial Aid

When you meet with an admissions counselor, you can get help filling out the FAFSA and filing that form online, which will help you see if you qualify for any type of financial aid and how much aid you will get. The university has a tuition cap program in place that caps the maximum amount you will ever pay. This is around $66,000. If you ever need to take a class again or take an extra class before you graduate, the university will never charge you any amount beyond this cap.

Kaplan has a number of institutional grants available for qualifying students. The President's Grant reduces your tuition costs by $100 each semester and lets you save up to $1,700 on your costs. You can also use any government grants that you qualify for, including a Pell grant or a supplemental grant. Pell grants can give students more than $5,000 a year, while a supplemental grant can range in size from $100 to $4,000. Students can also request information about state grants.

Kaplan students may also qualify for subsidized or unsubsidized student loans from the federal government. The amount you can borrow each year depends on the number of credits you take as well as your current status or level. Kaplan requires that all borrowers go through entrance counseling, which helps them understand how loans work. You'll also go through exit counseling to learn more about paying off your loans later. Loans are also available for both graduate students and the parents of college students.

You can also apply for in-house scholarships like the every credit counts program. Open only to undergrads, this program helps you save significantly on your college costs. There is also a scholarship program open only to the spouses and children of those currently enlisted in a branch of the armed forces.

Psychology and Counseling Degrees

Kaplan University offers five programs that are suitable to students with an interest in psychology or counseling. The first is a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addictions, which is great for those who want to work as an addiction counselor. Courses within this major include introduction to criminal justice, human behavior and the environment, survey of social problems, stress management and prevention, clinical psychology and abnormal psychology. Students take some of the same courses when enrolled in its Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis. Other courses in this program include neuroscience, child and adolescent psychology, screening and assessment and program design and evaluation. Kaplan also offers a BS in Psychology in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Once you have a bachelor's degree, you can enroll in a program like its Master of Science in Psychology. This program is available both online and on Kaplan campuses, and online students can enroll and start classes nearly every month. You'll take 40 credits of core psychology classes and 30 credits of classes from within your concentration. Kaplan lets you choose between a concentration in industrial and organizational psychology or applied behavior analysis.

There is also a Master of Science in Educational Psychology available for those who want to work as school counselors. This program includes 38 credits of core psychology courses like learning and behavior, cognitive psychology and lifespan development. Kaplan University also requires that educational psychology students take three courses in that concentration that focus on testing and learning methods.

See also: The 50 Best Low-Cost Online Master's in Counseling Programs 2016-2017