For-profit colleges have exploited the promise of higher education by deceiving tens of thousands of students seeking a better life. One of the groups the for-profit industry has particularly targeted are veterans and servicemembers.
That is why the Project on Predatory Lending represented the Veterans Education Success organization to prepare a new report outlining the predatory actions of one for-profit institution, Kaplan Colleges and University, against veterans and servicemembers.
VES collected complaints from nearly 100 veterans who attended Kaplan-owned programs. Their complaints include things like:
- Raising the costs on veterans once they enroll and failing to inform them of additional fees;
- Misleading veterans about their military benefits covering the tuition costs, resulting in unexpected and burdensome debt; and
- Borrowing money on behalf of veterans without their consent.
Unlike the for-profits colleges that are forced to shut down when their fraudulent behavior is exposed, Kaplan is still an active and functioning college. In fact, Kaplan University was just purchased by Purdue, a public university in Indiana, to conduct its online programs. And the Department of Education just approved this transaction, which will remove some of the protections for borrowers and taxpayers that apply only to for-profit schools not conducting business under the auspices of public entities.
We hope you will read the full report to understand the extent of the predatory behavior by Kaplan.
Military servicemembers and veterans deserve our respect and gratitude. And, like all students, they deserve to seek higher education without facing fraudulent and unscrupulous companies trying to extract federal funds. Kaplan’s actions run directly counter to that. It’s time for the government to step in to help, or they too will have failed in their duty to support veterans who have sacrificed so much for us all.