Kaplan University is a for profit chain of colleges that provides students with distance learning opportunities. Founded in 1937, it originally opened as the American Institute of Commerce and later became Quest College. Quest Education Corporation operated the first campus and saw the founding of multiple colleges across the United States. Kaplan Inc., which is one of the largest education companies in the world, purchased Quest Education Corporation and quickly rebranded all the campuses under the Kaplan University name. The university now has a solid reputation for several of its programs, and its nursing program actually ranks as one of the top in the country.
Though Kaplan only acquired the chain of schools in the early 2000s, it did a good job of expanding the degree programs available. There are 15 learning centers and campuses in states like Maryland, Indiana and Nebraska, but most know Kaplan for its online campus. This lets students take all the required courses needed to earn a degree without taking any classes on campus. The expansion of its online campus increased its total student population to more than 40,000, with many of those students only taking classes online. Those who enroll also have the option of taking one or more classes on a local campus and completing other requirements online.
Kaplan University Accreditation Details
Kaplan University has both general accreditation and some specialty accreditation for its online programs. The Higher Learning Commission granted Kaplan institutional accreditation, which means that students can apply for financial aid from the federal government and that the university can grant degrees. It also has a variety of specialty accreditation, which some call program accreditation because it only applies to specific programs. Some of the specialty accreditation that Kaplan has comes from organizations like:
- Behavior Analyst Certification Board
- Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Iowa State Board of Education
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Kaplan also has the right to offer degree and certificate programs in multiple states across the country, including Alabama, Louisiana, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Missouri and Indiana.
Kaplan University Application Requirements
While many colleges require that students submit an application, wait for a response and begin classes months after they apply, Kaplan has a rolling admissions policy. This means that students can apply and start classes much faster. You must first contact the university and agree to speak with an admissions counselor. The counselor will go over everything you need to know about enrolling and walk you through the application steps. You will then need to meet with a counselor and go through an interview. Kaplan uses the interview as a way to better gauge your interest in the future and as a way to determine the level of success you might have in your classes. If you qualify, you can then fill out the simple information. Kaplan may accept some transfer credits that you earned in another school.
Though Kaplan doesn’t have a lot of application requirements, it does have a few. You must demonstrate proficiency with the English language and have both strong reading and listening skills. If you need financial assistance, Kaplan requires that you submit the FAFSA before enrolling. All students must take care of financial arrangements before they start classes. Kaplan requires that you either pay your tuition upfront, work out a payment plan or complete the FAFSA.
Tuition and Fees
Kaplan speaks with all new students about how much they can save taking classes online rather than taking classes on a traditional campus. The maximum amount that students pay is more than $67,000 a year, but the university can work with students to bring that cost down to less than $17,000 a year. Tuition rates start at $441 per credit. Kaplan works with each individual student to go over the financial help that they need and to work out payment arrangements. Students can also receive financial assistance from both the university and the government.
All students must file a copy of the FAFSA that lists Kaplan University as the school they want to attend. Students under the age of 25 who are unmarried will generally use their parent’s financial information, but married and older students will use their own tax details to showcase the need they have. Students may qualify for a PELL grant or for one or more loans, and Kaplan may help students apply for private loans as well. Also known as alternative student loans, these loans are available to those with a high credit score and/or a good credit history. If you are a current or former member of the military, you may qualify for other assistance as well. Kaplan accepts the GI Bill and offers special programs to bring down tuition costs for veterans and currently enlisted men and women.
Master of Science in Accounting
Classes at Kaplan University start several times a year, including in January, April and June. This lets you enroll and start classes without waiting months for the next semester to begin. The Master of Science in Accounting is a program designed for those who have an undergraduate degree in accounting or a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in either accounting or finance. You must have a degree from an accredited college or university. If you do not, Kaplan will require that you enroll in undergraduate courses and gain a familiarity with accounting and financial principles before entering the graduate program.
This is one of the only entirely online programs that does not have a residency requirement. You can take all your courses at the same time that you work in a finance job or take care of your family. Kaplan also offers several concentrations associated with this major. You can choose the auditing, finance, government or tax preparation concentration to develop skills needed in your future career. The Certified Public Accountant examination is an extensive test required of all certified accountants working in the country. Advisers working in the program can talk with you more about potential careers for accounting graduates. This Kaplan University program requires that all students complete 52 credits of work, with at least 36 of those credits coming from upper level financial and accounting courses.