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The trials of Kaplan Higher Ed and the education of The Washington Post (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
The Washington Post ^ | April 10, 2011 | Steven Mufson and Jia Lynn Yang

Posted on 04/10/2011 2:17:37 PM PDT by abb

Eleven years ago, one of Washington’s most tradition-bound companies placed a bet that would transform its fortunes.

The wager, by The Washington Post Co. and its Kaplan division, took the form of a $165 million purchase of an Atlanta-based chain of for-profit vocational schools that catered to low-income students.

The bet was big — the price equal to the profits earned that year by The Post Co.’s print-media pillars: this newspaper and Newsweek magazine. So was the payoff.

The acquisition of the firm, called Quest Education, turbocharged the rise of Kaplan, a modest business that had until then mainly prepared students for standardized tests.

Today, Kaplan is a multinational, multibillion-dollar enterprise with 70 campuses and nearly 100,000 students, many of them online, many of them reliant on government aid. This newspaper, meanwhile, has struggled to remain profitable amid dramatic changes in the news industry. Newsweek was sold. The Post Co. now calls itself an education and media company — no longer the other way around.

But what proved a deftly timed business move brought other, less welcome scrutiny to a family-run company that had long prided itself in serving the public interest.

The Education Department is now imposing stringent new conditions on the federal student loans that have become the lifeblood of for-profit schools, including Kaplan. Heavy lobbying keeps pushing back the release date of one especially controversial proposal, but other regulations are already biting: Last week, many traditional colleges mailed acceptances to their picks from among record numbers of applicants; Kaplan’s new enrollments, by contrast, have plunged by nearly half.

snip

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; dbm; kaplan; newspapers; wapo
Kaplan, the WaPo's sugar tit.
1 posted on 04/10/2011 2:17:42 PM PDT by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; 1cewolf; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 04/10/2011 2:18:12 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Kaplan runs commercials for what appears to be vocational classes of various sorts on local (Harrisburg, PA) TV quite frequently.


3 posted on 04/10/2011 2:23:01 PM PDT by Tucker39
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To: abb

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/04/in-case-of-couric-vieira-and-possibly-lauer-three-do-not-make-a-trend.html
In case of Couric, Vieira and possibly Lauer, three do not make a trend

http://adage.com/article/mediaworks/newspaper-ad-column-3-martini-lunch/152914/
Why the Newspaper Ad Column Seems to Be Going the Way of the Three-Martini Lunch

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/127143/ap-why-we-need-to-reduce-our-pension-obligation/
AP: Why we need to reduce our pension obligation

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-future-of-journalism/2011/04/05/AF5UxiuC_allComments.html?ctab=all_&#weighIn
Five myths about the future of journalism


4 posted on 04/10/2011 2:26:24 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/media/e3icf75d0136ce9bc6c39dd662099b888d7
16 Newsweek Employees Taking Buyout

http://www.tribecafilm.com/tribecaonline/future-of-film/Content-Anywhere-Stern-Oprah-Olbermann-Sheen.html
Content Anywhere: Stern, Oprah, Olbermann, Sheen, Beck and the Future of Media Disruption


5 posted on 04/10/2011 2:31:30 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
The only thing these for-profit "educational" institutions are interested in is getting their students to take out large student loans that they hand over to them.

After that, they really don't care. Half the students literally can't even read. Burying them in this kind of debt for an "education" that will teach them nothing is unconscionable.

But they're Liberals. Do as they say, not as they do.

6 posted on 04/10/2011 2:33:26 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("...crush the bourgeoisie... between the millstones of taxation and inflation." --Vladimir Lenin)
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To: abb

As far as I am aware, Kaplan used to be a perfectly decent, relatively small outfit. I never dealt with it directly, but used to go by their place near Washington Square in Greenwich Village.

Basically, it helped students with problems get back on track and make it into the job world.

Now, obviously, things are very different, indeed.


7 posted on 04/10/2011 2:45:13 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: FReepers
A Small Act Started It All

Support Free Republic

8 posted on 04/10/2011 2:46:13 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: abb

Ping


9 posted on 04/10/2011 2:53:05 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (Go Egypt on 0bama)
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To: abb

bookmark


10 posted on 04/10/2011 3:16:38 PM PDT by corlorde (New Hampshire)
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To: abb
This sort of thing will only be further enabled by the government acting as the sole lender of student loans. These loans are a profit center for government and with the government's power to confiscate tax refunds of delinquent borrowers, there's no real incentive for the government to be judicious with regard to who gets a loan.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if all student loans were private affairs between banks and students. Tuition would probably drop like a rock because banks would be very choosy about who would get loans. Perhaps banks would require that students take more stringent exams to ensure they are truly academically qualified for college. Banks could also require that a student put a certain amount of money down in their education, just to ensure that they have skin in the game. I would imagine that banks would dictate that their money could not be used to finance degrees which do not translate into high paying jobs. Above all else, I would also like to think that banks would require that a small portion of the loan be paid back while the student is in school (no deferment periods) so that a student realizes that he is dealing with real money.

Private, for-profit schools are one of the few industries where I think the government should be a lot more involved. They literally prey upon people who have no understand as to how higher education works, and these people are conned into getting into student loan debt that they have no hope of ever paying off. While I totally agree with the idea that a fool and his money are soon parted, there really should be some intervention here.

11 posted on 04/10/2011 3:21:22 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: abb
Americans?

What a Story isn´t it?

When you start reading, you read of a group of “Investors” that “beleave” in education and therefore make a supreme effort to “Invest” in that...

Wapo has failed and now, this “very successful” business is in danger...

Why?

Some mean spirited Rigth Wingers red necked gun clinging SOBS want to END THE PUBLIC FLOW OF TAXPAYER´S MONEY poured into this shitty business...

12 posted on 04/10/2011 3:27:59 PM PDT by Mayr Fortuna
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To: abb
Americans?

What a Story isn´t it?

When you start reading, you read of a group of “Investors” that “beleave” in education and therefore make a supreme effort to “Invest” in that...

Wapo has failed and now, this “very successful” business is in danger...

Why?

Some mean spirited Rigth Wingers red necked gun clinging SOBS want to END THE PUBLIC FLOW OF TAXPAYER´S MONEY poured into this shitty business...

13 posted on 04/10/2011 3:29:17 PM PDT by Mayr Fortuna
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To: pnh102
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if all student loans were private affairs between banks and students. Tuition would probably drop like a rock because banks would be very choosy about who would get loans.

There is a direct correlation between the increasing availability of government loans and grants and the increases in college tuition.

In many regards, people who had been paying their own way have been priced out of the market because of it.

Just one more example of how, whenever the federal government sticks its nose into a free market, the direct result is distortion and, inevitably, higher costs. With an associated decline in quality...

14 posted on 04/10/2011 3:35:49 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Actually, our son has had a good experience with a tech school teaching him computer stuff way over my head. It’s tied into Microsoft and Cerner and other big names in the industry. They have been very good to him as he has fought for recovery from no less than four serious disabilities over the last 18 months. I hate Sallie Mae tho and we’re planning on having that paid off in another six months.


15 posted on 04/10/2011 4:16:38 PM PDT by Mercat (If it produces tax it. If it produces fast, regulate it. if it doesn't produce, subsidize it.)
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To: abb

Haha. 16 more liberals on the scrap heap. They may not be able to find a lifeline into government now either. Too bad Evan Thomas wasn’t on the list of buyouts.


16 posted on 04/10/2011 4:56:08 PM PDT by MovementConservative (Go Mariners! 2011!)
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To: abb

Getting the government on your side when you are facing a tough fight in court is a time honored technique in American business, and Kaplan and the for profit industry is no stranger to it. The usual approach is to equate the threat to Kaplan or the for profit industry with injury to society ,(i.e. Americans are uneducated and need college degrees), then exaggerate the magnitude of the problem beyond recognition ,( i.e. If we don’t educate every American we will lose control as a world power) and then claim Kaplan has the answer in online education paid for by student loans. This rhetorical strategy makes it seem as if America is hanging on by a thread to its status as world economic power . All will be lost if it is not already , unless legislation is enacted to protect this altruistic industry and provide a college degree to everyone in America at tax payer expense
The real problem ignored by the DOE is the conflict of interest between Kaplan, the for profit industry, elected officials, and the taxpayers. When the for profit industry is in trouble it has every incentive to use the political process to improve its chances of survival. Elected officials who see an opportunity to extract political contributions and other favors often are eager to help. Regulators at the DOE and accrediting bodies like the HLC are also willing participants insuring survival of the industry because their current positions and future ability to market themselves to the private sector are enhanced in this process. Elected officials and regulators know that there is a good chance the problem will get worse, but they don’t care . By the time the industries problems become to visible to be ignored and the student loan debt crisis hits they will be long gone and a new generation of elected officials and regulators in place. And for this new generation the “crisis” will present additional opportunities to search for scape goats like Ben Wilcox and rescue the industry. These efforts are then used to convince tax payers who are left to pay the bill, that the government is on their side and something is being done to bring the guilty like Kaplan University to justice.
The message is clear, don’t be a whistleblower, if you do the FBI will come and silence you. We must put an end to FBI and political repression in this county. For too long the FBI and big business have used their power and influence to silence people who expose the crimes of big business.
The for profit education industry in the United States is a highly sophisticated, diversified, activity that annually drains billions of dollars from Americas economy by unlawful conduct.
The question is, should the U.S. taxpayer continue to subsidize the for profit education industry and government backed student loans when so much fraud goes unchecked by the courts?
The case against me was nothing more than retaliation by Kaplan University against a whistleblower that caught them defrauding their students and the tax payers out of over a billion dollars in a student loan scam.
The main lesson here is the need to be vigilant to guard against the arbitrary exercise of power by the government against whistleblowers when they threaten the economic establishment of big business.
I just pray that the lord Jesus Christ will allow this to encourage Judge Patricia Seitz in Miami to use the evidence I produced to dispense justice for the US tax payers and students who have been defrauded out of hundreds of millions of dollars by Kaplan College and The Washington Post criminal enterprise.
I will continue to cooperate with the OIG and Department of Justice to recover the millions stolen by Kaplan University from its students and the US tax payers.
Ben Wilcox


17 posted on 04/19/2011 8:12:55 PM PDT by Bhwilcox (The trials of Kaplan Higher Ed and the education of The Washington Post Co.)
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