#Press Releases

Kaplan Survey: Colleges Give Themselves Mediocre Grades On Reopening Campuses During the COVID-19 Crisis

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190

Twitter: @KaplanEdNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (October 19, 2020) — When evaluating how they reopened their campuses this fall amid coronavirus, most colleges and universities acknowledge that they have not earned high marks, according to a new Kaplan survey of admissions officers at over 300 institutions of higher learning across the United States*.  When asked to give a grade to their industry’s ‘reopening’ performance as a whole, taking into account factors like implementing new safety precautions, delivering courses, and communicating with students and parents, only 4 percent gave an A; 36 percent gave a B; 51 percent, a C; 9 percent, a D; and 1 percent, an F.

The survey, which spanned two weeks from mid to late September, was conducted amid reports of coronavirus outbreaks at several large universities across the country. It came at the same time when some schools, which had decided to conduct classes in-person, did an about face and instead moved to strictly online

Admissions officers who gave reopening a poor grade shared the following anecdotes and opinions:

  • “Both parents and students wanted to come back to campus.  The schools that went online only tended to have huge endowments or other financial support. Schools did the best they could in the environment they are in and the lack of strong leadership at the national level made it almost impossible for any school to open well.”
  • “I think that too many tried to reopen in person without enough safety precautions in place. Too many students got sick, and then if those universities closed and switched to online, then those students potentially spread the virus even more when they moved back home.”
  • “Very few schools did this well…The ‘waffling’ by most institutions did nothing but create confusion and anxiety with students and parents.”
  • “A majority of the reopening plans that have been implemented were based on the idea that college students will suddenly stop acting like college students. Expecting students to sit in their dorms and not try to be social at all (whether on or off campus) was not realistic. Also testing plans were not thought out well at all. Some schools have not made access to testing easy, whether it be charging students for testing or threatening disciplinary action if students have a positive test. In some cases on our campus, students do not feel that they can reach out for health services and other support without having a ‘COVID witch hunt’ come after them.”

Admissions officers who awarded above average scores shared the following:

  • “I know that great amounts of time and attention were given to reopening steps by most institutions, and only a few have experienced high numbers of COVID-19 infections after reopening. The safety steps for most schools are extensive.”
  • “I think many colleges and universities reopened in accordance with state guidelines. In my experience, universities also developed internal steering committees and COVID-19 response teams that evaluated all factors at play in reopening. Often these review committees and standards of reopening were more cautionary than the state’s phased return plan.”
  • “Students should have access to in person study and an in person community during their college years. I believe we can do this even amidst a global pandemic. Colleges have taken the necessary procedures to mitigate the spread while students are on campus.”
  • “It is the first time for all of us. I would be less lenient come fall 2021.”

“We know how challenging a time this has been for everyone on the higher education landscape, from administrators to health officials, to faculty and staff, to students, to parents, and everyone else that is part of a college community. To say that the past six months have been ‘unprecedented’ would be an understatement. What college admissions officers are telling us in this survey is that there is a lot of room for improvement in multiple areas, from education delivery, to communication, to safety procedures. We think this self-awareness is positive, and many shared plans on how they’ll be making improvements in the coming weeks and months. Fundamentally, they all understand that safety comes first,” said Isaac Botier, executive director of college admissions programs, Kaplan. 

Kaplan will release additional findings from its 2020 college admissions officers survey over the coming months. Issues explored include the Black Lives Matter movement and the role social media plays in the admissions process. Kaplan has conducted this survey every year since 2005 to ensure that parents and students get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the issues that impact them most.

For more information about Kaplan’s survey, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

*301 admissions officers from the nation’s top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities – as compiled from U.S. News & World Report – were polled by e-mail between September 16 and September 29, 2020. Percentages are rolled up to the nearest whole number.

About Kaplan

Kaplan is a global educational services company that provides individuals, universities, and businesses with a diverse array of services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaptest.com.  

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Kaplan Survey: Law Schools Say Applicants Who Take At-Home Version of LSAT® Amid COVID-19 Not at Admissions Disadvantage

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190

Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanLSATPrep

New York, NY (September 22, 2020) — There’s good news for law school applicants amid the most unpredictable admissions cycle in recent history. According to a new Kaplan survey of nearly 100 law schools across the United States, taking the shorter, one-hour and 45 minutes, at-home version of the usual LSAT exam—called the LSAT-Flex—will not put aspiring attorneys at an admissions disadvantage compared to those who submit scores from the regular exam*. According to the survey, 92 percent say they will evaluate applicants equally regardless of which LSAT version they take.

Another survey result finds that 60 percent agree that an at-home version of the LSAT “would produce a fair, reliable score for test-takers that I would have confidence in as an admissions officer evaluating applicants”; 13 percent disagree, while the remaining 27 percent didn’t offer a definitive opinion. 

This vote of confidence in the LSAT-Flex comes after an initial unease among some in the legal education community about the 2020-2021 academic year and admissions cycle, with administrations of the LSAT being cancelled for health reasons. This was followed by the news that an at-home version of the LSAT would take its place only temporarily, allowing students whose tests were cancelled to stick with their application plans. Subsequently, the Law School Admission Council, the makers of the exam, has announced that the only version available the rest of 2020 will be LSAT-Flex. As recently as June, law school applications were down 2.5 percent from the same time last year, but more recent data show applications slightly up.

“The most asked question we’ve received from pre-law students this year has been, ‘Will I be at an admissions disadvantage if I take the shortened LSAT-Flex instead of the longer regular LSAT?’ Now we have an answer. Almost every law school reports that a strong score is a strong score no matter which version of the test you take. There has been lagging skepticism among some prospective law school applicants, but hopefully these survey results erase those doubts,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of legal programs, Kaplan. 

Mr Thomas continues: “At Kaplan, we strongly encourage aspiring law school students to take advantage of the at-home version of the LSAT instead of waiting for testing centers to reopen. Not only is the exam significantly shorter than the regular LSAT, but there’s also no telling when the regular LSAT in testing centers will be offered again, as LSAT-Flex is the only version being administered through the end of 2020. The bottom line is that not only is LSAT-Flex your best option, but it’s your only option until at least early 2021.”

LSAT-Flex is composed of three 35-minute scored sections instead of the traditional five 35-minute sections (four scored and one unscored), potentially an advantage for test-takers for whom endurance is a challenge. LSAT-Flex is available on any laptop or desktop computer with a Windows or Mac operating system. Test takers are monitored by a live proctor through webcam and microphone.

For more information about the Kaplan survey and preparing for the LSAT, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

*Based on the results of a Kaplan e-survey conducted between June 2020 and July 2020 of 91 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. Among the 91 law schools surveyed are 16 of the top 25, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admission Council, Inc. which does not review or endorse specific test preparation materials or services.

About Kaplan

Kaplan is a global educational services company that provides individuals, universities, and businesses with a diverse array of services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaptest.com.  

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Kaplan Creates Course for Financial Data Professional Institute to Help Working Professionals Earn their Credential

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @kaptestnews

New York, NY (September 14, 2020) – Kaplan, the world leader in educational services, has created a preparation (prep) course for the Financial Data Professional Institute, which educates financial professionals about the emerging field of data science and its practical applications in the financial sector. The prep course is intended to help candidates earn the Financial Data Professional (FDP) credential, which reflects expertise in the intersections between data science and finance. The FDPI was created in 2019 by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association, a global professional credentialing body dedicated to creating greater alignment, transparency, and knowledge for all investors, with a specific emphasis on alternative investments.

The live, online prep course will feature four 3-hour sessions delivered over the evenings of October 5-8 and will be taught by Dr. Javed Ahmed. With experience in banking, finance, forecasting, risk management, consulting, policy, and behavioral economics, Javed has led development of analytic applications for large organizations including Amazon and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and has served as a researcher with the Office of Financial Research (U.S. Treasury). The FDP Charter will be granted by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association to individuals who successfully complete prerequisite requirements and pass the high-stakes exam focused on big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning applications in the financial industry. All pre-course sessions will be recorded to allow students to review them at any time until the day of their test. Unlike some other online course options available, the Financial Data Professional Charter review prep course allows for engagement with the instructor and other students. These prep courses are  intended to augment the 200 hours of expected preparation for the exam.

According to reporting by Bloomberg and data from LinkedIn, job listings requiring data science skills in the financial industry increased nearly 60% last year. 

“The importance of having strong data science knowledge among those working in the financial sector has never been greater. For financial professionals to succeed in their current job and also have the opportunity to advance in their career tracks, having these data science skills along with the credential can be invaluable,” said Dr. Ahmed. “We are excited to work with the Financial Data Professional Institute to help their students pass the exam and look forward to launching the prep course in October.”

“The pace of digital transformation has accelerated and at its core, mass scale adoption of AI and data science is driving the future of financial services. The FDP Charterholders have the skills and tool sets to enable the application of data science in finance,” said Mehrzad Mahdavi, PhD, executive director of FDP Institute. “We are delighted to have Kaplan provide the prep course to augment the FDP curriculum. This combination will provide candidates with a rich set of practical training material.”

To help prospective students decide if the course is right for them and to explain the essentials for people at various job-levels to know about data science, Kaplan and FDP are holding a free webinar on September 24 at 1 PM. To register, visit https://caia.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b2rGNFvjQhKZIkgJm-FEmA.

To enroll in the course, visit https://www.kaptest.com/financial-data-professional-review.

To speak with a Kaplan spokesperson about data and analytics training, please contact Russell Schaffer at 917.822.8190 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com

About Kaplan

Kaplan provides individuals, universities, and businesses a broad array of educational services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

About the Financial Data Professional Institute

The FDP Institute educates financial professionals about the emerging field of data science and its practical applications in the financial sector. It awards the FDP Charter to candidates who complete its exam successfully. The FDP curriculum prepares professionals to gain deeper knowledge of data science and its use. For more information, please visit www.fdpinstitute.org

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Boost by Kaplan Teams Up with Find Your Grind to Inspire and Help Pre-College Students Chart their Education and Career Paths

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com917.822.8190
Twitter: @KapTestNews

New York, NY (August 17, 2020) — -Boost by Kaplan, an innovative online program designed to help pre-college students learn what careers look like and the skills needed to succeed in them, is working with Find Your Grind to deliver a highly engaging approach to learning and navigating the path to self-discovery and success. Find Your Grind offers an extensive library of mentors with insights, advice, and real career data to help students discover what they are meant to do through social emotional learning, exploration of interests, inquiry and self-reflection, and exploration.

With data showing that 30% of undergrads change their major at least once within three years of initial enrollment, Boost seeks to help bridge the gap between the college experience and career readiness. Additional data from McGraw Hill shows that only 35% of traditional college graduates feel higher education prepared them for the workforce.

Find Your Grind’s virtual mentorship program allows Boost students to learn from professionals who’ve been in the position of being unsure of what to study and what to do after college and high school, but who have found their passion, discovered their strengths, and are putting them to use in the workplace. Boost students can match their core habits, strengths, and traits with like-minded mentors, and browse hundreds of videos on strategies on how to get started, timesavers, social media advice, and practical lessons from FYG experts to elevate their game and build confidence.

“Boost students are engaged in a journey of purposeful self-discovery about their education paths and career trajectories and we know that utilizing the inspirational content from Find Your Grind will be valuable tools in pointing them in the right direction,” said Megan O’Connor, entrepreneur-in-residence, Kaplan. “At a time when there is so much uncertainty and change, Boost students will be given the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about their own goals and better plan for the future.”

“It’s amazing to be a part of this Boost program. Being able to provide students with agency over their choices, career decisions, and interests to feel confident in their next steps is what it’s all about! In these uncertain times I think it’s more important than ever to show the endless possibilities that are out there and get students fired up about what’s ahead for their futures,” said Nick Gross, co-founder, Find Your Grind.

The FYG collaboration follows on the heels of a Boost partnership with Myers Briggs, which will provide students with personal insights to help them decide on their education and career paths. Delivered on the VitaNavis® platform, the SuperStrong® assessment helps students discover how their interests can inform and translate into academic and professional success.

Boost by Kaplan seeks to close the gap between the college experience and career readiness by offering pre-college students the opportunity to explore different fields of study in high-growth career paths, interact with professionals in their areas of work interest and participate in work-integrated learning projects. The 10-hour weekly program allows for flexibility, and will offer a combination of live instruction, on demand sessions, customized study, work-life experience through projects, live interviews with professionals and ‘pulse checks’ as students’ interests evolve. Students will receive 1:1 mentoring with experienced Kaplan advisors dedicated to guiding students on their education and career paths as well as be part of a small cohort for networked learning and reflection.

Boost by Kaplan has committed to awarding full tuition assistance to 20 percent of its students who demonstrate financial need, in an effort to create opportunities for those who want to explore their future education and the world of work, without financial barriers.

The first Boost cohort will run online from September 14-December 11, 2020. The spring cohort will begin in January. For more information, go to www.boostbykaplan.com.

About Kaplan

Kaplan provides individuals, universities, and businesses a broad array of educational services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

About Find Your Grind

Our philosophy is simple: Help individuals discover who they are, where they’re going, and the first steps to get there. FYG educational products, online discovery platform, and live events are accelerating connections to purpose and lifestyle discovery, worldwide. We help individuals navigate their own path and discover what it is they were meant to do by weighing this heavily on how you want to live your life is most important, with a lens focused on 21st century opportunities. For more information, visit www.findyourgrind.com.

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Boost by Kaplan Partners with The Myers–Briggs Company to Help Students Assess How Their Interests Can Translate to Increased College Readiness and Career Success

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @KapTestNews

New York, NY (August 4, 2020) — Boost by Kaplan, an innovative online program designed to provide pre-college age students with an invaluable career exploration experience to accelerate college and career readiness, has partnered with world-renowned assessment organization The Myers-Briggs Company to provide students with personal insights to help them decide on their education and career paths. Delivered on the VitaNavis® platform, the SuperStrong® assessment helps students discover how their interests can inform and translate into academic and professional success. Boost students will take the assessment during the first week of their course; the results and analysis will then help guide their choices throughout the program and beyond. 

With decades of scientific research, the VitaNavis platform deploys powerful, trusted and time-tested tools, scaled to empower students and those that advise them. VitaNavis drives systemic change with a focus on self-awareness, strengths, and diversity, helping to build a capable and workforce-ready generation. When students utilize career exploration and self-awareness tools as well as labor market data to select a major aligned with their interests, skill sets, and desired wage and employment goals, they have the tools to make more informed choices about their future and fields of study. 

“We are excited to team with Myers-Briggs, which over the years has helped millions of people recognize their talents and make the most out of their lives,” said Megan O’Connor, entrepreneur-in-residence, Kaplan. “The assessment will help Boosters identify their strengths and interests, map their results to careers, and explore careers and related college majors and provide them with  guidance  to confidently begin their academic and career journey.”

“With a mutual mission to provide a clear pathway to graduation and beyond, this partnership seemed natural from our very first conversation with the Boost team. We are excited to be a part of this immersive program to help students explore the world of work and develop a roadmap to their future,” said Natasha Labos, vice president, partnerships-innovation labs, The Myers-Briggs Company.

Recently released data shows that only 35% of traditional college graduates feel higher education prepared them for the workforce. Boost by Kaplan seeks to close the gap between the college experience and career readiness by offering pre-college students the opportunity to explore different fields of study in high-growth career paths, interact with professionals in their areas of work interest and participate in work-integrated learning projects. The 20-hour weekly program allows for flexibility, and will offer a combination of live instruction, on demand sessions, customized study, work-life experience through projects, live interviews with professionals and ‘pulse checks’ as students’ interests evolve. Students will receive 1:1 mentoring with experienced Kaplan advisors dedicated to guiding students on their education and career paths as well as be part of a small cohort for networked learning and reflection. 

Boost by Kaplan has committed to awarding full tuition assistance to 20 percent of its students who demonstrate financial need, in an effort to create opportunities for those who want to explore their future education and the world of work, without financial barriers. 

The first Boost cohort will run online from September 14-December 11, 2020. The spring cohort will begin in January. For more information, go to www.boostbykaplan.com

About Kaplan

Kaplan provides individuals, universities, and businesses a broad array of educational services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

About The Myers-Briggs Company

In our fast-changing world, your edge lies in harnessing 100 percent of your talent – at work, at home, in education, and everywhere in between. Your success and fulfillment aren’t just about what you know, they hinge on your relationships and interactions with others. The Myers-Briggs Company helps organizations around the world improve teams, develop inspirational leaders, and solve the most perplexing people challenges. We empower individuals to be the best versions of themselves by enriching their understanding of themselves and others. As a Certified B Corporation, The Myers-Briggs Company is a force for good. Our powerfully practical solutions are grounded in a deep understanding of how significant social and technological trends affect people and organizations. And with an 80-year background of assessment and psychological expertise, a global network of offices, partners and certified independent consultants in 115 countries, products in 29 languages, and experience working with 88 of the Fortune 100 companies, we’re ready to help you succeed. For more information, please visit TheMyersBriggsCompany/VitaNavis

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13-Year-Old Guinness World Record Holder from Louisiana Wins First Kaplan Online Spelling Bee

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (August 3, 2020) — After six days, 18 hours, and 504 words delivered through 31 rounds of spelling, 13 year old Zaila Avant-garde, a 7th grader from Harvey, LA, beat out 88 of the best young spellers in the country to win the first ever Kaplan Online Spelling Bee, hosted over the weekend in association with Hexco Academic.

The 2019 New Orleans regional spelling champion won with the word “Qashqai” (a migratory Turkic-speaking people of the Zagros mountains), after a hard-fought back-and-forth with runner-up Harini Logan, a 6th grader from San Antonio, TX. Zaila’s preternatural poise as she confidently spelled words like ‘yponomeutid’ and ‘haraes’ impressed the judges, as did her speedy style. Chaitra Thummala, a 5th grader from San Ramon, CA, placed third. 

The level of talent in the competition made her experience particularly rewarding, Zaila noted, saying, “There were so many great spellers in the bee. To be able to compete against so many of the top spellers in the country was definitely a great experience.  Even If I hadn’t won I would have been super proud of myself just for making it to the finals.”

Upon winning, she admitted to being “kind of confused for a second — I guess because I was a little shocked that I’d won. After that, I just felt a great sense of relief knowing that all of my hard work had led to the best possible outcome.” 

That hard work included “a minimum of about 5 or 6 hours a day to study despite having a bunch of other stuff to do,” Zaila said. “I’d study wherever and whenever I could — whether it was while I was eating breakfast, riding in the car, or even while I was on a short break during basketball practice. But mostly I’d just sit at my desk — turn on a podcast, an old-time radio show, or some music — and study words as fast and as carefully as I could via the help of many different spelling resources.”

Not only is the newly crowned spelling champion a wiz with words — she’s a wiz on the basketball court as well. Zaila holds the Guinness World Record title for “the most bounce juggles in one minute,” which earned her a performance with the legendary Harlem Globetrotters and a cameo in a Stephen Curry Under Armour commercial. An avid reader whose heroes include Malala Yousafzai, Serena Williams and Coco Gauff, Zaila hopes to become an archaeologist one day and also aspires to play in the WNBA.

With the win, Zaila takes home $10,000 and a championship trophy. Harini earns $4,000; Chaitra wins $1,500. All three win free enrollments in Kaplan pre-college test prep courses as well.  

“It was a hard-fought, well-deserved win for an inspiring young woman, and we couldn’t be happier for Zaila,” said Dan Strafford, Kaplan’s senior manager of new media, who produced the event. “We also couldn’t be prouder of all of the spellers, as this was an incredibly talented, impressive group. These spellers have worked so hard for a chance to demonstrate their skills, which is why we were glad to work with Hexco to give them this opportunity.”

Linda Tarrant, President of Hexco said, “Our Hexco team enjoyed every moment working with the Kaplan team to plan and execute this event. The spellers who participated were phenomenal. Their intensity as they fielded words showed each speller’s fierce determination. Their exuberant smiles and excitement as they conquered their words was a beautiful sight to witness.”

To others looking to pursue competitive spelling, Zaila recommends, “Study hard and enjoy the process. Being a competitive speller is such a meaningful and beneficial pursuit. While studying I’ve learned so much about linguistics, history, perseverance, and so many other things. The skills that you learn as a competitive speller are skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life.”

This was the first year of the Kaplan Online Spelling Bee, hosted in association with Hexco Academic, to provide an opportunity for the nation’s top spellers to compete online after the Scripps National Spelling Bee was cancelled due to COVID-19. 

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools, and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 200 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, and MCAT®. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

About Hexco Academic

Founded in 1967, Hexco is a leading publisher of competitive academics resources that has provided materials to help prepare National Spelling Bee contestants for 38 years.

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Kaplan Survey: Majority of Law Schools Predict Their Entering 2020 Class Sizes Will be the Same Size as Last Year, Despite the COVID-19 Crisis

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190

Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanLSATPrep

New York, NY (July 28, 2020) — Despite COVID-19’s role as the ultimate disruptor across the entire U.S. education sector, a new Kaplan survey of law schools nationwide finds stability on the admissions landscape*. More than half (52 percent) of admissions officers surveyed say they believe their entering class size for fall 2020 will be about the same as their fall 2019 entering class size; 26 percent say it will be larger; and 22 percent say it will be smaller.

This view comes after there was initial unease among law schools about the upcoming academic year, with several administrations of the LSAT® being cancelled for  health reasons. This was followed by the news that an at-home version of the LSAT would take its place temporarily, which allows students whose tests were cancelled to stick with their application plans. As recently as June, law school applications were down 2.5 percent from the same time last year, but more recent data shows applications up nearly 1 percent.

But a small increase in applications, the introduction of LSAT-Flex and the struggling economy aren’t the only factors that have convinced law schools that they will see a solid class size for 2020, the survey suggests. Two thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents say they have made their admissions requirements more flexible, which could entice fence-sitters. According to the admissions officers who answered the survey, this includes everything from extending application deadlines, to relaxing deposit requirements, to allowing prospective students to apply using their unofficial LSAT scores. But one area where law schools remain rigid, according to the survey: the standardized test requirement. All but one school surveyed say they are unlikely to allow applicants to waive submitting LSAT or GRE® scores.

The survey also finds that the upcoming 2020-2021 application cycle may be among the most competitive in years: many seats for next year may already be filled before new applicants even submit their paperwork because of deferments. But should they defer? Many admissions officers advise against it, with one saying, “As the American economy is placed on hold for an indeterminate amount of time, now is the best time to begin your legal education so that when the economy returns, you’ll be ready to dive in…While this will not be the typical law school experience, it will not be a substandard one.” In addition to competition for seats, signs point to fewer scholarships due to declining revenues for some schools. Another admissions officer shared, “I would counsel prospective students to consider what they would be doing instead of enrolling in law school. If they do not have alternative plans that would allow them to fill their time productively, they might want to proceed with their law school enrollment. I also believe competition will be stiffer next year and budgets will decrease, so applicants can expect admissions rates and scholarship offers to decrease.”

“While this has arguably been the most unusual law school admissions cycle in decades, the stability, in terms of just the numbers, is remarkable. If you look at an application increase of just under 1 percent, the casual observer might think that things were business as usual, but behind the scenes there has been a lot going on to ensure a seamless process during unpredictable times, from the rollout of the first at-home version of the LSAT to extended application deadlines. This has made a stressful situation for prospective students more manageable,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of legal programs, Kaplan. “If you are an accepted applicant still deliberating about what to do, our advice is to consider the long term. While the COVID-19 crisis is likely to continue for at least the rest of the year, your future legal career is something that will last for many decades. Also listen to what admissions officers are telling us. Next cycle might be more competitive and budget shortfalls may make financial aid less available. Overall, this may be a more advantageous year to enroll.”

For more information about the Kaplan survey, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

*Based on the results of a Kaplan e-survey conducted between June 2020 and July 2020 of 94 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. Among the 94 law schools surveyed are 16 of the top 25, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

All test names are registered trademarks of their respective owners. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with Kaplan or this survey.

About Kaplan

Kaplan provides individuals, universities, and businesses a broad array of educational services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

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Boost by Kaplan Collaborates with Google to Give High School Graduates Insights into Working in Business and Technology

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @KapTestNews

New York, NY (July 22, 2020) — Boost by Kaplan, an innovative online booster program designed to provide pre-college age students with an invaluable career exploration experience to accelerate college and career readiness, has collaborated with Google to provide insights about what it’s like in the real world of work, the importance of high demand jobs and skill sets, and emerging trends in the technology industry. Kaplan’s Boost program will also teach students about the healthcare industry and business world.

Boost by Kaplan will give pre-college students the opportunity to engage with professionals as part of a 12-week online program of self-paced activities, live group sessions and 1:1 meetings with a mentor. Collaborating with Google will give Boost students valuable insights about what types of skills are needed to be successful in their careers and then engage in real-world experiential learning projects.

With data showing that only 35% of traditional college graduates feel higher education prepared them for the workforce, Boost by Kaplan seeks to close the gap between the college experience and career readiness by offering pre-college students the opportunity to explore different fields of study in high-growth career paths, interact with professionals in their areas of work interest and participate in work-integrated learning projects. The 20-hour weekly program allows for flexibility, and will offer a combination of live instruction, on demand sessions, customized study, work-life experience through projects, live interviews with professionals and ‘pulse checks’ as students’ interests evolve. Students will receive 1:1 mentoring with experienced Kaplan advisors dedicated to guiding students on their education and career paths as well as be part of a small cohort for networked learning and reflection.

“Given the nature of the rapidly transforming workforce landscape and the increasing costs of higher education, students and their families are carefully and cautiously assessing if they should enroll in college without knowing what field they want to work in or what they want to major in. More than ever, a sense of direction and purpose is needed at the outset, which is why we feel it is important to work with partners like Boost by Kaplan to create solutions for students to help get them ready for the first year of college and beyond,” said Maggie Johnson, vice president of education and university partners, Google.

“Google is one of the world’s most dynamic and attractive employers, and we are incredibly excited to partner with them to provide Boost students with firsthand insight into what it’s like to work at a world-class technology company,” said Megan O’Connor, entrepreneur-in-residence, Kaplan. “Pre-college students will get exposure to some of technology’s best and brightest to understand the professional landscape and the skills that are in high demand, so these students can better focus their studies and career ambitions to make the most out of their college experience.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey finds that 43% of high school seniors who haven’t yet committed to a college are considering a gap year. Boost by Kaplan is intended to help these students make decisions on their next steps with greater confidence, from picking a major to choosing what courses of study may be the right fit to being prepared for what to do after earning a bachelor’s degree.

Boost by Kaplan has committed to awarding full tuition assistance to 20 percent of its students who demonstrate financial need, in an effort to create opportunities for those who want to explore their future education and the world of work, without financial barriers. Boost will also provide a partnership option for universities interested in offering such a program to their students deferring admission.

The first Boost cohort will run online from September 14-December 11, 2020. The spring cohort will begin in January. For more information, go to www.boostbykaplan.com.

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. provides individuals, educational Institutions, and businesses a broad array of educational services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. Across its 80-plus year history, first as a small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. With operations in nearly 30 countries, today Kaplan has relationships and partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, schools and school districts, and more than 4,000 corporations and businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

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Kaplan Survey: Law School Graduates Divided on Pass/Fail Grading Amid COVID-19, But Majority Oppose it Becoming the New Normal

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanBarReview

New York, NY (June 17, 2020) — There’s a hung jury among newly minted law school graduates in the case of their alma maters’ swift shift to pass/fail grading amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new Kaplan survey. Of the nearly 200 graduates polled, 48 percent support the change; and 41 percent oppose it, with the rest unsure of what to make of it.

Law schools that have temporarily dropped the traditional system of letter grades have stated that it’s part of an effort to lower students’ anxiety and show empathy for their students who are under an elevated level of stress during the pandemic. But some law school students who oppose the move from letter grading say it takes away their competitive advantage when applying for jobs and internships. Some law firms have also echoed this sentiment saying it makes it harder for them to decide who to hire. 

The survey also found that once the pandemic is over, any support for pass/fail grading is likely to melt away. Only 25 percent want pass/fail grading at law schools to remain, while 63 oppose it. The remaining 12 percent aren’t sure.

“These are unparalleled times for everyone and legal education certainly isn’t immune from changes that were once unthinkable just six months ago. It’s quite understandable that law schools have moved to pass/fail grading on a temporary basis since students are already stressed out enough thinking about how to stay healthy, securing a job, and prepare for the bar exam. Combining that with the naturally hyper competitive nature of law school could add to that stress, adversely affecting students’ mental health. Students’ physical and emotional well-being must always take priority, perhaps now more than ever,” said Tammi Rice, vice president of Kaplan’s bar prep programs. “It’s highly unlikely pass/fail grading will be maintained once the pandemic subsides. Students who are looking to work for top law firms or secure prestigious internships know that high grades help differentiate them from others vying for those same positions and most are loath to give that up. It’s important to note that the pandemic is still a long way from being over and more significant changes to legal education, which already includes online learning, are likely on the way. Students should continue to make their voices heard and also adapt.”

For more information about Kaplan’s survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Russell Schaffer at 917.822.8190 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com

*Based on the results of Kaplan e-survey conducted in May 2020 of 188 law school graduates who took a Kaplan bar preparation course. 

About Kaplan 

Kaplan, Inc. serves over one million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, and university preparation programs, and offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Across its 80-plus year history, first as a small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. Kaplan has operations in nearly 30 countries, employs more than 12,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and about 10,000 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

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The Bee Must Go On: Kaplan and Hexco Team Up to Hold Live, Online National Spelling Bee During Week of July 26

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @KapTestNews

New York, NY (June 16, 2020) — Kaplan Inc., a premier provider of educational programs and services, has teamed up with Hexco, Inc., DBA Hexco Academic, to co-host a national online spelling bee during the week of July 26, 2020. The bee will provide an opportunity for the nation’s top spellers to compete online, giving priority to eighth-grade students who were scheduled to spell at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which was cancelled due to COVID-19. Hexco, a 50-year-old company, has provided materials for National Spelling Bee contestants for 38 years.

The online spelling bee will utilize computerized quizzes as well as oral spelling rounds in which contestants will spell words out loud. Vocabulary rounds and tiebreaker tests will also be included. Cash prizes and trophies will be given to the top three spellers and medals will be awarded to the finalists. The 2017 National Spelling Bee Champion, Ananya Vinay, who correctly spelled the word “marocain” (a type of dress fabric), will serve as pronouncer in Round One. In 2018, Ananya joined SpellGenius by Mathus Academy to work as a spelling coach, while attending high school.

The award prizes for top competitors are subject to be increased, but the minimum prizes to be awarded by Hexco are: Champion (1st Place), $10,000; 1st Runner-Up (2nd Place), $4,000; 2nd Runner-Up (3rd Place), $1,500. Winners will also be granted free access to Kaplan’s PSAT, SAT and ACT test prep programs. With just a few weeks to organize this first-rate online spelling bee, Hexco is seeking additional support to reach its enrollment goal of a few hundred participants and increase prizes amounts for the winners, all of whom will have prepared for the competition under unprecedentedly challenging circumstances. Sponsors will be recognized on the competition’s website as well as on Hexco’s social media pages.

“We know just how important the bee is to young spellers and thought it was imperative to give them a chance to compete in something that gives them such pride and joy every year. Kaplan is excited to partner with Hexco, which has such a rich tradition of helping spellers be their best selves, to bring the bee to a new, live, online format. We are looking forward to delivering an unforgettable experience to competitors and viewers,” said Dennis Yim, director of academics, Kaplan.

Pronouncers are David Riddle and Charlie Underwood. Riddle of Pacific Grove, CA, is a National Senior Spelling Bee Champion, former Hexco spelling coach, and retired lawyer. He coached his son for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2004 and has served as pronouncer in over 50 adult and student spelling bees. Underwood of Auburn, PA, has coached spellers for 32 years and serves as pronouncer for the spelling bee sponsored by the Republican-Herald newspaper of Pottsville, PA. Winner of the 2005 Pennsylvania State Senior Spelling Bee championship, Underwood is a retired teacher, administrator, and adjunct instructor who has coached 15 spellers to compete at the national level.

“These challenging times provide a unique opportunity to inspire a new generation,” said Linda Tarrant, President of Hexco, Inc. “Kaplan’s capacity to facilitate a highly professional virtual stage experience, combined with (our) decades of spelling bee involvement, gives us great confidence that our collaborative online spelling bee will honor the hard work and study by some of the brightest young minds today.”

“While I was sad to hear that the in-person National Spelling Bee was cancelled, I am excited to be a part of this live, online spelling bee and pronounce in Round One,” Ananya said. “This is a great opportunity for all spellers to test their skills and have fun!”

In 2019, Hexco celebrated 22 years of consecutive spelling champions who used Hexco study products. Hexco has provided direct support for two other national spelling contests─North South Foundation and the South Asian Spelling Bee─and has participated in the production of two well-known spelling bee documentaries. The company was the first to launch a professional Personal Spelling Coach (PSC) program and has since added numerous online spelling courses which include “spell bees” as well as one-on-one tutoring.

Anyone who has not reached the age of 15 on or before August 31, 2020, and has not passed the eighth grade by the end of the 2019-20 school year, may register. The entrance fee is $125 and registration is open until July 19, 2020, or, until full capacity is reached.

For rules, or more information on registering or becoming a prize sponsor or student sponsor, please visit www.onlinespellingbee.com. For press inquiries, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. serves over one million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, and university preparation programs, and offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Across its 80-plus year history, first as a small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. Kaplan has operations in nearly 30 countries, employs more than 12,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and about 10,000 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

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