#Press Releases

Kaplan Test Prep Issues Statement on the College Board’s Decision to Assign SAT® Takers an “Adversity Score”

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

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (May 16, 2019) — The following statement about the College Board’s decision to assign an “adversity score” to each student who takes the SAT, in order to give colleges information on applicants’ social and economic backgrounds, comes from Jeff Thomas, executive director of admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep:

“Elite colleges have long been grappling with ways to diversify their student population, and in fact the elimination of the standardized test requirement has become one target for experimentation. But standardized tests, when used as one part of a larger set of considerations, serve a unique and valuable purpose as a common yardstick for evaluating students across different schools and different systems.

“What it seems the adversity score is looking to do is to provide greater context around students’ test performance, and enable schools to take socioeconomic factors into consideration. We are in support of this type of metric if it creates greater opportunities for underserved students and helps level the playing field for those who might otherwise not have access — in fact, Kaplan was founded by the son of immigrants who believed that all students should be given the opportunity to put their best foot forward, no matter what their background. But it would be helpful to better understand the research behind the scoring system, as there’s no transparency in how it’s being calculated. To that end, it remains to be seen how admissions officers will evaluate an adversity score relative to the more traditional admissions factors. Suffice it to say, it won’t trump the importance of factors like GPA and SAT scores, though it may offer additional context.

“We advise students to do their best and be ready for the SAT rather than counting on an adversity score they won’t know to improve their chances for admission and scholarships.

“We will be exploring this emerging issue as part of our annual college admissions officers survey and will share what we learn to provide students and parents with accurate and up-to-date information as they navigate the admissions process.”

To schedule an interview with a college admissions expert at Kaplan, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

SAT® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

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, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Bar Review Survey: Only 29 Percent of Law School Graduates Think Their Alma Mater Does Enough to Help their Students in the Area of Mental Health

New York, NY (May 1, 2019) — With mental health diagnoses on the rise among U.S. college students, a new Kaplan Bar Review survey of more than 300 recent law school graduates finds that just 29 percent think their law school does enough in the area of mental health to help its students who may experience elevated levels of academic stress*. Forty percent say their law school does not do enough, while 31 percent don’t know.

This survey illustrating a lack of confidence, coupled with a lack of awareness of how their law school may help students take better care of themselves comes as America observes Mental Health Awareness Month. This also comes at a time when more law students are demanding school administrators be more transparent about student data they collect about mental health.

“What students are telling us is that law schools need to do a better job of providing the kinds of services that they need for self-care, and also communicating how those services can help them. This is an important conversation to have. We have to conquer the stigma traditionally associated with mental health, particularly in the legal community,” said Tammi Rice, vice president, Kaplan Bar Review. “May in particular can be an emotionally taxing month in the life of law school graduates, as it is when they begin preparing to take the July bar exam. We strongly encourage law students who need help during this time to reach out to their law school. Law schools want to make sure that as many of their students as possible pass the bar, so they have a vested interest in ensuring their students are ready in every way for Test Day.”

The Kaplan survey also finds that law school graduates largely disagree with two policies most state bar examiners currently practice: asking aspiring practicing attorneys about mental health and substance abuse issues.

Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of law school graduates say state bar examiners should not be able to ask students on their bar exam application if they’ve ever been treated for a mental health issue. Many students opposed to this practice express strong opinions:

  • “I believe large law firms and corporations would prefer new hires that do not suffer from these issues. This would exacerbate the existing stigma against mental health problems within the profession…We do need to discuss mental health within the profession, however I do not believe that the place for discussions of mental health should be in the certification process.”
  • “It is of no consequence what a person’s mental health state is, especially if they are seeking treatment and are functional. It is a personal matter and if it does actually impede the attorney’s ability to practice, it will show in the work.”
  • Unless there is an incentive to disclose mental health, such as a time accommodation, then no, not anyone’s business. Sad to see so many students and practicing attorneys suffering with addiction and mental illness; something needs to change.”

Earlier this year, the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners decided to no longer ask aspiring practicing lawyers to disclose mental health treatment on their application.

Sixty-one percent of law school said that state bar examiners should not be able to ask students on their bar exam application if they’ve ever been treated for an addiction issue. Those in opposition cited both practical and privacy issues:

  • “The profession absolutely needs to address the problem. However, screening people with issues from entering the profession is not the way to combat these problems.”
  • “While I do not condone the use of drugs, the state should mind its own business until the drug addiction becomes an actual problem in the legal profession.”
  • “How on earth could you prove it either way? Someone lies, and they show signs of addiction later, how can you prove they didn’t disclose? What good would it do, except for catching a few people with addiction issues who are honest.”

“Law school graduates overwhelmingly believe that asking applicants about their mental health or past substance abuse challenges is irrelevant to the job of being a lawyer. Attitudes toward these issues are evolving and we think it’s largely generational. A decade ago, these percentages in opposition might have been much lower,” added Rice.

For more information about Kaplan’s survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

*Based on the results of Kaplan Bar Review e-survey conducted between February and March 2019 of 303 law school graduates who took a Kaplan bar preparation course.

About Kaplan Bar Review

Kaplan Bar Review (www.kaplanbarreview.com) offers a robust suite of personalized onsite, live online and on-demand offerings, as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, for the bar exam in 51 jurisdictions (all 50 states and Washington, DC), including state-specific bar exams and the Uniform Bar Examination. Kaplan Bar Review also offers supplemental preparation for the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). Additionally, Kaplan’s Excellence Program provides law schools with learning tools, skill support, and assessments to help their students succeed at every stage of their legal education, from admissions to through licensing. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry.

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The New York Mets, Kaplan Test Prep and ACT Present College Prep Day at Citi Field on May 2 to Help Students Navigate the Admissions Process

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

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @metsgroupsales, @KapTestNews, @KaplanSATACT, @ACTStudent

New York, NY (April 24, 2019) — To help high school students across the New York City area prepare for the college admissions process, the New York Mets will be hosting College Prep Day on Thursday, May 2 at Citi Field, partnering with Kaplan Test Prep and ACT, makers of the ACT® college admissions exam. Kaplan, which began partnering with the Mets for College Prep Day in 2018, will provide guidance and insights to thousands of students on the path to college and how to be strong applicants. ACT will be on hand to discuss why the exam that was taken by 1.9 million students last year might be the right one for them.

As part of College Prep Day, experts from Kaplan Test Prep and ACT will also offer guidance for college applicants navigating the admissions process on topics including how to decide which college admissions test is right for them and how to maximize their potential for scholarships. Also, students will enjoy video spots featuring Mets players describing their college experiences. Additionally, Kaplan and ACT will provide an opportunity to secure a scholarship for a test prep course, along with a fee waiver to take the ACT. Following the informative program, the event continues with exhibitors on the Mets’ Field Level Concourse where students can meet with admissions advisors who will answer questions and provide information about their colleges and universities. Attendees will then enjoy a day at the ballpark to watch the Mets take on the Cincinnati Reds.

“Kaplan is thrilled to again partner with the New York Mets to inspire New York-area students to bring their A game to the college admissions process and help them succeed. Last year’s College Prep event was a tremendous success and we are looking forward to another fantastic day,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “The Mets, Kaplan, and ACT all share decades of promoting educational programs and our goal with College Prep Day is to leave attendees feeling better informed, more prepared, and more confident than ever.”

While this is ACT’s first time participating in College Prep Day, for the past few years it has been partnering with Kaplan to offer free, live online prep to test takers who qualify for a test fee waiver.

“College Prep Day at Citi Field is an exciting way for students to learn how ACT can help them along their path to college and career success,” said Suzana Delanghe, ACT chief commercial officer. “We are so pleased to be joining the Mets and Kaplan for this special event, and we’re looking forward to expanding access to higher education and helping kids pursue their dreams.”

The event will commence at 11 AM with the on field presentation by Kaplan and ACT experts, followed by the college fair with exhibitors. If you are a NYC area student who’d like to attend, please contact your school’s guidance office to encourage them to participate. Schools that would like to participate can contact Mark Phillips at mphil@nymets.com or 718.565.4350.

ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc.

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, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: The Future of Affirmative Action May Be in Question, But Pre-Med Students are More Decisive — 80 Percent Want a More Diverse Medical Profession

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

Press Contacts: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanMCATPrep

New York, NY (April 15, 2019) — A new Kaplan Test Prep survey of over 245 pre-med students finds that 80 percent say it’s important for the American medical profession to be more demographically representative of the general patient population*. This strong show of support for diversity comes on the heels of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s decision to no longer consider race or national origin as a factor in admissions, as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. This caps a 14-year investigation that began in 2004 when a complaint was filed against Texas Tech’s medical school’s admissions practices.

Students who are in favor of a more demographically representative medical profession shared the following opinions:

  • “While it is certainly possible to be empathetic and ‘tuned in’ to your patients despite differences in language, culture, etc., it is important for patients to feel like they can relate to and trust their clinician…If American clinicians were more demographically representative of the population as a whole, patients would likely find it easier to connect with a care provider they are most comfortable with.”
  • “I’m not a fan of the oftentimes patriarchal nature of medicine, and I really believe that having more medical professionals who are like the general patient population rather than the already privileged subset of the United States will foster a better doctor-patient understanding and relationship.”
  • “I think it would be best if medicine was representative of the general population, but at the very least, doctors should be culturally competent and trained in unconscious bias.”

One student who was not supportive of more diversity in the medical profession shared, “I think if you have the drive and passion for medicine it should not matter your race.” Another added, “I think that qualifications and ability should be more important than what someone looks like.”

In a separate Kaplan survey, medical school admissions officers largely gave medical schools as a whole above average marks on the topic of diversity, in relation to recruiting and admitting students from different backgrounds**: 18 percent awarded an “A” grade, while 35 percent gave themselves a “B.” Thirty-four percent gave medical schools a “C,” while 2 percent assigned a “D” and 3 percent an “F.”

This comes at a time when the number of black men entering medical school remains slightly down compared to 1978 (1,410 in 1978 compared to 1,337 in 2015), even as the number of black men earning college degrees has grown. Of the medical schools surveyed, 82 percent say they are concerned about this trend and more than half (55 percent) say their school has a specific program to help recruit more African American male students. The most often cited initiative was pipeline programs with colleges and high schools to nurture an interest in medicine as early as possible.

To help in these efforts to diversify the medical profession, Kaplan Test Prep partners with over one hundred such pipeline programs — both at medical schools and colleges — across the United States.

“The topic of diversity in medical school and the medical professional remains an important conversation to have, particularly as a time when not only the demographics of the United States are changing, but also the demographics of those who have access to healthcare,” said Petros Minasi, director of pre-medical programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “Our students overwhelmingly think more diversity in the medical profession is important, not only from the standpoint of equality, but also because they think it will benefit individual doctor-patient relationships. As the role of affirmative action in the medical school admissions process evolves, we’ll be tracking admissions officers’ and pre-med students’ views on the issue. We are sure they’ll have much to say.”

For more information about Kaplan’s survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

MCAT® is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Test names are the property of the respective trademark holders, none of whom endorse or are affiliated with Kaplan.

*The e-survey was conducted in January 2019, and included responses by 245 pre-med students who prepared for the MCAT® with a Kaplan course.

**The survey was conducted by phone between August and September 2018 of admissions officers at 67 accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada.

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, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Issues Statement on the Just Released Scores from the New York City Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT)


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

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (March 18, 2019) — The following statement about the NYC Department of Education releasing scores from the 2018 SHSAT exam comes from Dennis Yim, director of academics, Kaplan Test Prep:

“We know that thousands of students and their parents across New York City were anxiously awaiting the scores from the SHSAT, which was administered in October, and understand their frustration over the unfortunate delay, as in a normal year, scores would have been released two weeks ago. First, we extend our congratulations to the students who scored high enough to attend one of the specialized high schools. We also want to let students who did not score high enough know that this one exam result does not define you. The good news is that beyond these few specialized high schools, there are hundreds of other quality high schools across New York City that remain strong options. In consultation with parents and middle school counselors, students should look at all of their options and then make a decision on what school is the best fit for them. Regardless of what they hoped or planned for, there are still many successful roads to college from which to choose.

“While the future of the specialized high school admissions process remains uncertain, Kaplan’s mission remains to help students prepare for the exam, know test taking strategies, go into the test feeling confident, and ultimately reach their academic goals.”

To schedule an interview with a SHSAT expert at Kaplan, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

The SHSAT is an exam administered by the New York City Department of Education, which does not endorse this message.

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, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Nearly 90 Percent of Law Schools Say the Political Climate Was a Significant Factor in Application Increase

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

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanLSATPrep

Two new Kaplan Test Prep surveys find that politics continues to be a significant reason for the recent increase in law school applications.

Two new Kaplan Test Prep surveys find that politics continues to be a significant reason for the recent increase in law school applications.

New York, NY (February 25, 2019) – According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2018 law school admissions officers survey, an overwhelming 87 percent report that the current political climate in the U.S. was a significant factor in this past cycle’s application increase*. This includes 30 percent who describe it as a “very significant” factor. These were the results from a phone survey which included 121 law schools.

This politics-driven application bump may continue, according to a separate Kaplan survey of pre-law students**. Forty-five percent say that the current political climate impacted their decision to apply to law school, a marked increase from the 32 percent who answered this way in a Kaplan survey released last year.  Overall, 57 percent of those surveyed say they plan to use their law degree to advocate for political or public policy issues they care about.

The Kaplan survey also found that not only is politics driving pre-law students to their choice of careers, but also to where they plan to attend law school. Nearly half (46 percent) say it is important for them to attend a law school where their fellow students generally share their own political and/or social beliefs.

While law school admissions officers largely agree that politics is a major reason for their reversal in application volume fortunes, which came after years of application declines, they offer words of caution to pre-law students who say politics is their main reason to attend law school:

   – “Be careful about that, because the current political climate will change. Instead of worrying about that, focus more on the problems that you want to solve. Be specific about the problems in society or the corporate world or whatever you want to solve, and think about how best to do that.”

   – “I would caution them that there are lots of ways to be involved politically, and being a lawyer is a really serious commitment to a career. While lawyers certainly contribute and make change, it’s also a big decision financially and in terms of time, so they should put some thought into it and possible other ways to make change before jumping in.”

   – “I would tell them to make sure they find a program that specifically outlines and addresses that type of law their interested in. Do an internship focusing on that to make sure that’s the avenue they want to go down.”

“Throughout 2017 and into 2018, there were significant increases in both LSAT® takers and law school applications over the previous admissions cycle, which has fueled speculation about how much impact the political climate had on the law school admissions landscape. We now have an answer: according to both law schools and aspiring lawyers it’s meaningful. Politics is good for business,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “As law school admissions officers point out, caring about politics alone is generally not a strong enough reason to attend law school, as politics changes quickly.  We continue to advise pre-law students to be introspective about their reasons for applying and future-looking about what they plan to do with a JD in the long term.”

Thomas points out that although the number of LSATs taken in the last testing cycle was up double digits compared to the previous year, indications are that for the 2018-2019 cycle, that number is likely to be flat. “Perhaps the sugar rush for applying to law school is over due to reasons outside of politics, but applications will continue to be at elevated levels compared to just a few year ago,” he adds.

*Based on the results of Kaplan survey conducted by phone of 121 law schools between August and September 2018. Among the law schools polled were 30 of the top 50, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
**Based on the results of a Kaplan e-survey conducted in February 2019 of 146 pre-law students who took a Kaplan LSAT course.

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

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, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Business School Admissions Officers Identify Political Environment and a Strong Economy as the Top Reasons for the Application Slump at U.S. MBA Programs

A new Kaplan Test Prep survey of admissions officers at more than 150 business schools across the United States identifies the top reasons for the recent decline in business school applications.

A new Kaplan Test Prep survey of admissions officers at more than 150 business schools across the United States identifies the top reasons for the recent decline in MBA applications.

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

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanGMATPrep

New York, NY (January 30, 2019) – Amidst a relatively strong job market for newly minted MBAs, top business schools across the United States are reporting something they have not experienced in years — a significant drop in applicants. A new Kaplan Test Prep survey of admissions officers at more than 150 business schools across the United States notes the application decline and identifies the top reasons for it, as they see it*: 31 percent say it’s because many international students are concerned about the current political climate in the U.S. and seeking business school options elsewhere, while 30 percent says it’s because the strong job market is keeping prospective students in the workforce. Seventeen percent say it’s due to the cost of an MBA education; 13 percent attribute it to lingering questions about the value of the degree; 7 percent say it’s because of the lack of one-year MBA programs in the United States; 3 percent say it’s because of a perception that fewer jobs require an MBA than in years past.

For many schools, the  drop in applications from international students, who for many make up a significant share of their overall population, appears to be a longer term concern. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of the business schools polled are concerned that the current domestic political climate will have a negative impact on international student enrollment in the years to come. This is up from the 68 percent who responded accordingly in Kaplan’s 2017 survey.

“There’s no question that business schools are facing some significant headwinds that are largely out of their control when it comes to recruitment, particularly among international students. While a strong job market may be great for current MBAs who are finding jobs and securing high salaries, that same strong job market is convincing potential new students to stay put, where their current jobs seems secure and their pay is good,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “Trends in MBA applications are almost always cyclical. When the job market is soft, you see an increase in applicants, as prospective students see the value in becoming more marketable and waiting out a weak economy. When the job market is robust, as it has been for the past two years, applications tend to be down. But even if the economy does take a downturn, an American political climate that discourages international students from coming may erode any normal application increase. We’ll continue to track this trend.”

*Kaplan’s results are based on a survey conducted by phone between August and September 2018. It included responses from 153 business schools, including 33 of the top 100, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

To schedule an interview about Kaplan’s survey results, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

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, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Social Media Checks By College Admissions Officers Decline Due to Savvier Applicants and Shifting Attitudes

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

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews@KaplanSATACT

Kaplan Test Prep's 2018 college admissions officers survey finds that 25 percent of them visit applicants' social pages to learn more about them, a decline from 40 percent three years ago.

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2018 college admissions officers survey finds that 25 percent of them visit applicants’ social pages to learn more about them, a decline from 40 percent three years ago.

(November 27, 2018) — A new Kaplan Test Prep survey finds that for the third year in a row, the percentage of college admissions officers who visit applicants’ social media profiles to learn more about them has declined, with only a quarter (25 percent) saying they do so, down from a high of 40 percent in 2015*. One possible contributing reason? They can’t find them.

Of the admissions officers who say they have visited applicants’ social media profiles, a majority (52 percent) say that students have become savvier about hiding their social media presence over the past few years or moving away from social communities where what they post is easy to find by people they don’t know. According to a 2018 report by research firm Piper Jaffray, about 85 percent of teens say they use both Instagram and Snapchat — two platforms which make it easy to share posts with people you want and hard to find for people you don’t — at least once per month. This compares to just 36 percent of teens who use Facebook once per month, a decrease from 60 percent two years ago. 

Another factor may be a shift in attitudes about checking social media. While 57 percent say that it’s “fair game” for them to visit applicants’ social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to help them decide who gets in, it represents a significant drop from the 68 percent who held this view in Kaplan’s 2017 survey. Notably, students have been generally more accepting of this practice than admissions officers; in a separate Kaplan survey completed earlier this year, 70 percent said they believe it’s “fair game” for admissions officers to check social media.

As one admissions officers stated, “Unless it’s a matter of checking on something that might be a hate crime or endangering other people, then it becomes a safety issue, but otherwise it’s a privacy issue.”

Yariv Alpher, Kaplan Test Prep’s executive director of research, who has been tracking this issue for a number of years, thinks many factors explain the change of attitude and practice in admissions officers. “We’re seeing the result of combining trends here. On the one hand, students are savvier. They are more careful with what they post and are increasingly using more private social networks. In some cases they also create fake accounts that they only share with friends, but which are not easily attributed to them. On the other hand, admissions officers are increasingly conscious of the need to maintain students’ privacy, and are more inclined to use social media in a more targeted way. Regardless, social media remains an admissions factor for a significant number of colleges, so students should be mindful of what they share.”

Alpher continues to advise students to be thoughtful about what they post, like making a snap decision and posting an opinion that others may find offensive. He also cautions about spending weeks on perfecting a video library on YouTube in the hopes that admissions officers will organically come across it — he suggests applicants call it out to them instead. “Even as technology has allowed college admissions officers to discover more information about their prospective students, it seems they are sticking with the traditional elements of the application to help them make enrollment decisions, like standardized test scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. These factors overwhelmingly decide applicants’ paths. Social media remains a wildcard, though from our research, a somewhat diminishing one. We’ll be tracking to see if this trend continues or reverses.”

To speak with a college admissions expert at Kaplan Test Prep, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

*364 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 telephone between July and August 2018.

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 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.


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ACT and Kaplan Test Prep Expand Digital Product Suite, Including More Free Learning Resources for Students Who Test with Fee Waivers

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

Press Contacts: Tarah DeSousa, tarah.desousa@act.org, 319.337.1836
Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @ACT, @KapTestNews

Iowa City, Iowa (November 5, 2018) — Students who are eligible to take the ACT® test with a fee waiver now have more online learning resources to help them prepare for test day, with the introduction of ACT® Rapid Review by Kaplan. Last year more than 500,000 students qualified for a fee waiver.

ACT Rapid Review by Kaplan is a suite of products offering all the benefits of interactive livestreaming instruction and a comprehensive video library. Students can drop into a live virtual classroom, or watch recorded video sessions, all taught by expert instructors.

“We created ACT Rapid Review with the individual learner in mind,” said ACT’s Chief Commercial Officer, Suzana Delanghe. “We know that underserved learners, and students who register to take the ACT with a fee waiver, in particular, would benefit from more flexible and engaging learning resources. This solution with our partners at Kaplan provides those students with live and interactive instruction, and more opportunities to develop the skills and hone the knowledge they need to shine on test day and be successful in college and career.”

ACT Rapid Review offers three options to fit students’ unique needs and learning styles:

  • ACT® Rapid Review™—Live by Kaplan provides the last minute prep students need to be test ready with access to a virtual classroom and live teaching from expert instructors.
  • ACT® Rapid Review™—On Demand by Kaplan features a video archive where students can access a library of top-quality recorded instruction during the months leading up to test day.
  • ACT® Rapid Review™—All Access by Kaplan bundles the live and archived video offerings of ACT Rapid Review Live and ACT Rapid Review On Demand.

“We are excited to expand access to these best in class preparation options. With ACT Rapid Review by Kaplan, students receive exceptionally high-quality live and self-paced instruction that supports test takers incredibly well,” said Lee Weiss, vice president, Kaplan Test Prep. “We’re so proud to support students on their college admission journey with highly engaging, interactive preparation for the ACT, and to make these offerings so affordable for all students and free for those who need them most.”

In keeping with their shared mission to help fee waiver eligible students be prepared for test day, ACT and Kaplan will give the Rapid Review All Access offering for free to all students registering for the exam with a fee waiver. The Live, On Demand, and All Access products are available to all other test takers for $40 to $99.

Kaplan Test Prep’s expert teachers will provide instruction for all courses in the suite. In addition, ACT will continue to offer ACT Online Prep to all students.

ACT and Kaplan first partnered in April 2016 to create the only official online ACT preparation program offering live, content-based instruction from teachers.

About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a national leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career. To learn more about ACT, visit us online at www.act.org.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier learning and technology provider for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry, and in interactive, livestreaming learning. With a comprehensive menu of digital offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Hope for Young Voter Turnout May Lie Among America’s Future Professionals

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

Press Contacts: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanTestPrep

New York, NY (October 31, 2018) — Amid reports of possible low turnout among young voters, a new Kaplan Test Prep survey indicates that at least one segment of younger voters says it plans to participate at the ballot box: college-educated students who are planning to become future professionals. A new survey of nearly 400 18-29 year olds who are preparing for  graduate-level admissions or professional licensure exams shows that 93% of those who are registered to vote say they plan to do so in the midterm elections on November 6*. In contrast to a recent poll by the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School that showed just 40 percent of young Americans 18-29 across the general U.S. population plan to vote in the midterms, Kaplan’s survey represented students preparing to be lawyers, doctors, nurses, business people, engineers, educators, psychologists and others — America’s future professional ranks.

Those surveyed mentioned immigration, healthcare, climate change, women’s rights and civil rights as the issues that are most motivating them to vote next month. As one respondent shared, “My education would be worthless if I did not take the opportunity to vote.” Another shared, “I believe if you don’t vote then you do not have the right to complain about the government.”

When asked what they feel are effective ways to make their voices heard, this group of young voters largely think that traditional activities like voting and getting out the vote are the best ways to channel their energies, rather than posting on social media.

  • Voting: 92%
  • Mobilizing others to vote: 55%
  • Contacting members of Congress: 39%
  • Running for public office: 35%
  • Working for campaigns/candidates: 35%
  • Organizing or participating in public demonstrations: 34%
  • Working in grassroots organizations: 33%
  • Signing petitions: 26%
  • Posting on social media: 26%
  • Contacting the media: 11%

“These survey results show a high level of interest in this year’s election among America’s future professionals, which is notable given that younger Americans generally vote at a much lower rate than their parents and grandparents.  It also offers insight into what their values are and what is motivating them to turn out,” said Yariv Alpher, executive director of research, Kaplan Test Prep. “Election Day is only a few days away and we’re looking forward to seeing how these particular voters make their voices heard.”

To learn more about where candidates running in your district or state stand on the issues, you can visit a nonpartisan site like USAFacts.

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 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Among those tests are the SAT®, PSAT®, ACT®, GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, NCLEX-RN® and bar exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

*Kaplan Test Prep conducted the survey via email in October 2018. It includes responses from 379 students who recently took a Kaplan GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, bar review, USMLE or NCLEX course.

Test names are the property of the respective trademark holders, none of whom endorse or are affiliated with Kaplan.

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