Experts: Accusations could make students wary of for-profit colleges

‘Kaplan has ruined me’

Among the disgruntled former Kaplan students included in the report was Shannon Croteau, a mother of three from New Hampshire, who took Kaplan courses in paralegal studies from July 2008 to February 2010.

A Kaplan admissions officer told her that federal loans would cover her paralegal education, Croteau said in her account. With only 11 classes to go before graduation, Croteau was told her federal loan had run out and she’d have to pay the rest of her tuition in cash or with a high-interest loan from the university.

Suspicious of the Kaplan admissions officer, Croteau conducted online research that revealed paralegal programs weren’t regulated in New Hampshire. She also found Kaplan had not been accredited by the American Bar Association.

“Kaplan has ruined me,” Croteau said in her account. “I am now $30,000 in debt from Kaplan, with no way to pay my loans back.”

John McMillan, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident who attend Kaplan classes for a year and a half, said in the report that while taking nutrition science courses, he discovered that the program was not accredited. That meant he could become a nutritionist, not become a Registered Dietician, as he had hoped.

In the months following an eMail saying Kaplan tuition would rise from $353 to $371 per credit hour, McMillan said the university sent a series of eMails warning him of a mounting past due balance.

Phone calls and eMails from Kaplan employees continued, McMillan said, until he was withdrawn from the university for nonpayment. The university claims McMillan owes more than $2,200 for his nutrition science classes.

“So now I am left out of school, with no degree, no job opportunity in this field, and almost $30,000 of student loan debt,” McMillan said. “I am truly in a much worse financial position than I was before I enrolled at Kaplan University, a position with no apparent solution. I believe Kaplan’s practices are unethical, and likely illegal, and action needs to be taken to make restitution to us students, the victims.”

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