#Press Releases

Kaplan, Lambda Chi Alpha to Launch Transformational Programs that Support Soft Skills, Credentials for Gen Z Students

Innovative Training Initiative Enables Fraternity Members To Earn Digital Badges and Give Them a Competitive Edge

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Gregory Ten Eyck, gregory.teneyck@kaplan.edu

New York, NY (February 18, 2021) — Kaplan, a global leader in academic innovation, and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, one of the largest fraternities in North America, today announced the planned launch of a set of transformational new programs that will address the gap between college education and career readiness training, providing digital badge credentials and marketable skills to help meet the needs of Generation Z college students. 

Beginning in the 2021 fall semester, Lambda Chi Alpha members can enroll and start earning credentials in the innovative Leadership Skills Certification Program, designed in partnership with Kaplan to develop four learning journeys:  Leadership, Finance, Philanthropy, and Recruiting. This training will teach a blend of technical and soft skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, work ethic, flexibility, adaptability, and other interpersonal skills needed to successfully obtain and maintain employment. 

“We saw an opportunity to provide a resource that many college-aged students in Generation Z don’t have right now,” said Troy Medley, CEO of Lambda Chi Alpha, which has chapters at nearly 200 universities. “As we continue to grapple with an unprecedented pandemic and economic recession, Gen Z students need and want greater ROI from their college experience. Employers also want to know that the graduates they hire are career-ready. Likewise, students want to graduate with quantifiable abilities that lead to a high-paying job. We believe this program will bridge the gap between the high-level theory of college classroom learning and real-world practical training. The certifications earned will offer proof of work readiness that our members can offer employers.”

Lambda Chi Alpha executive leadership collaborated with Kaplan to design the Leadership Skills Certification Program, which will be delivered through Kaplan Performance Academy (KPA), a proprietary management system that provides digital learning experiences, technology and expertise to enhance professional performance in the workplace. The Leadership Skills Certification Program will help Gen Z students overcome deficiencies in work experience and workplace readiness which have been exacerbated under the current pandemic and recession. 

The timing of this comprehensive career readiness training and support could not be better for students. As COVID-19 continues to negatively impact jobs, the economy and employment, the oldest Generation Z members (ages 18 to 22) are facing tremendous challenges entering the workforce, including record-high unemployment. According to the Pew Research Center, half of Gen Zers reported that they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a cut in pay because of the pandemic. Making matters worse, Gen Zers are already less likely to have work experience compared to previous generations when they were young adults. While 62 percent of Gen Z was employed in 2018, a higher percentage of Millennials (71 percent) and Gen Xers (79 percent) were working when they were a comparable age, which means many Gen Z young adults could lack the basic skills to succeed in today’s workplace.                                                                                                                      

With competency-based certifications earned as a benefit, the Leadership Skills Certification Program will initially offer 23 competencies or topics. The program will be offered to Lambda Chi Alpha officers (chapter presidents, treasurers, recruitment chairs, and philanthropy chairs) and will eventually include all fraternity members.

Andrew Perkins, KPA Global Director, said, “The students who receive this training will have a significant advantage over their peers in the job market. Today’s business environment demands that employees have practical application of the skills necessary to thrive in the workplace.  We have designed the curriculum in a way that will engage college students in visual and interactive experiences. The skills and credentials they earn will increase their job opportunities and help them succeed in their careers.”

Employers agree. “I believe that Lambda Chi Alpha’s efforts in providing a digital badging certification program to its members give its student leaders the opportunity to represent the vital career readiness skills they develop during their Greek experience and a way to demonstrate those skills to potential employers on their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and similar documentation,” said David Ong, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Maximus, Inc., and the President-elect of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). 

Specializing in corporate training, Kaplan’s KPA works with companies around the world to offer assessments, customized learning journeys, and skills coaching in a variety of delivery methods and features a global network of accredited subject matter experts to support individuals in their professional development. 

The Leadership Skills Certification Program training will be certified by an independent third party, Credly Acclaim, which works with leading brands including IBM, Adobe, Oracle, and Dell. These companies use Credly as an internal certification tool to measure the growth of their employees’ competencies and skills.

The partnership highlights the evolving nature of both Kaplan and Lambda Chi Alpha. Long known on college campuses for its test prep offerings, Kaplan is a diversified global educational powerhouse that has recently begun offering a number of “work prep” solutions, from programs to help high school students explore potential careers to solutions enabling universities to combine degree programs with industry-recognized credentials. Lambda Chi Alpha, founded in 1909, is working to create the model modern fraternity, one that prioritizes leadership, membership, diversity and inclusion, physical and mental health, and public service. This includes placing greater emphasis on creating leadership opportunities for members that carry professional value, broadening its role from building relationships to building critical lifelong skills.

About Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Headquartered in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, Ind., Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is one of the largest men’s general fraternities in North America with more than 295,000 initiated members and has held chapters at more than 300 universities. In the early 1970s, it was the first fraternity to eliminate pledging and remains a leader in the fight against hazing, alcohol abuse, sexual assault, and other challenges facing today’s college student. Complemented by its partnerships with Feeding America and the JED Foundation, Lambda Chi Alpha serves to enhance higher education by providing opportunities for academic achievement, leadership development, personal growth, career networking, and lifelong friendships. The mission of Lambda Chi Alpha is to inspire and equip men to lead an ethical life of growth, service, and leadership. Lambda Chi Alpha envisions a world where the ideal man pursues a life of respect and inclusion for all. A world where we support and encourage one another. And a world where every brother models and embraces our values: loyalty, duty, respect, service, and stewardship, honor, integrity, and personal courage. To learn more about Lambda Chi, please visit www.lambdachi.org.  #GrowServeLead

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 kaplan.com.

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University of Montana Partners with Kaplan to Strengthen Students’ Work Readiness and Employability With Kaplan Credegree™ Program

New Offering Combines Traditional Bachelor’s Degree with Highly Valued, Industry-Recognized Credential

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

New York, NY (February 17, 2021) — The University of Montana, a flagship institution of the Montana University System, has partnered with Kaplan, the global educational services provider, to offer its students Kaplan Credegree programs in more than 30 technology areas. Kaplan Credegree is designed to enhance the job readiness and marketability of college students by partnering the traditional four-year degree program with Kaplan’s educational programs. This allows students to complete their four-year degree while earning industry-recognized credentials that are highly valued by employers. Credegree is also available to Montana alumni and former students who want to upskill.

Kaplan Credegrees will be offered to Montana students in a variety of tech fields with high in-demand skill sets, including cybersecurity, data science, data literacy, and digital marketing. According to a 2019 Quest Research Group survey, more than 70% of respondents agreed that an in-demand industry credential combined with a traditional degree would help college students have a more well-rounded education and overall skill set.

The University of Montana is one of a small, but growing number of institutions of higher learning that are making a major investment in alternative credentialing programs, although one survey finds that 74% are at least experimenting. And according to a Bureau of Business and Economic Research report done for the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, Montana’s high tech sector is growing faster than any other part of the state’s economy, signaling these skills are in high demand. The study concludes that the high tech sector grew nine times faster than Montana’s overall economy in 2018.

“The University of Montana is expanding the scale and scope of career-related experiential learning, and the new Kaplan offerings will enhance these efforts,” University of Montana President Seth Bodnar said. “They will help us expand the breadth of opportunity available at a flagship university with the intensely personal ways we engage with our students to ensure every graduate leaves our campus with robust work-based experience. We are creating a distinctive undergraduate experience that is academically rigorous and personally engagingdesigned specifically to ensure every student is prepared to succeed in life and in their chosen careerall in the context of a vibrant experience on and off campus.”

“The notion of pairing an undergraduate degree with an industry-recognized credential is attractive to students, parents and employers. To graduate both broadly educated and specifically-skilled is the ultimate goal now. The University of Montana is taking a real leadership role in this effort,” said Brandon Busteed, president, University Partners and Global Head, Learn-Work Innovation at Kaplan. “The University of Montana is well-known for providing its students with a world-class liberal arts education. Coupled with Kaplan’s Credegree programs, students will be even better equipped to close the skills gap and thrive in the world of work.”

For more information about the Credegree programs at the University of Montana, students can visit https://www.umt.edu/umonline/programs/kaplan/default.php. For reporters interested in covering this growing trend, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

About the University of Montana

Nestled in the heart of western Montana’s stunning natural landscape, the University of Montana (www.umt.edu) is a place where top-tier students, educators and researchers from across the country and around the globe come and thrive. UM is located in Missoula, Montana’s second-largest city with a population of 80,000 residents. The University draws a diverse population to Missoula and helps cultivate an educated, engaged and vibrant community.

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.kaplan.com.  

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Kaplan Survey: Majority of Medical Schools Express Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, but Only Half Have a Specific Program to Recruit Black Students

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: @KaplanEdNews, @KaplanMCATPrep

New York, NY (February 16, 2021) — Kaplan’s 2020 medical school admissions officers survey finds that while medical schools are largely supportive of America’s most prominent social justice movement, far fewer have specific programs to increase the number of Black students at their school*. Of the medical schools polled, 88 percent said they put out a statement to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. When prompted why they decided to take a public position, admissions officers shared the following:

  • “Doctors are trained to be able to provide care for all demographics and populations. This was an important issue to address because of its impact not only on the community as a whole, but in particular the suffering that is taking place in the Black community. Providers have a responsibility to understand what impacts the populations they serve.”
  • “It was important to members of our community to see that the school cared; it was important to reflect as a school on our own record and efforts and think about what more we can do to end systemic racism and injustice; it is especially important given so many issues surrounding medicinelevels of justifiable distrust for doctors given historical incidents, impacts on research when diverse volunteers can’t be recruited, and impacts of comments of physicians to patients that are insensitive or impacts of patient comments to physicians of diverse backgrounds.”
  • “Our communities of color have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID infection and death rates leading to stress and anxiety, which have been further exacerbated by events playing out across our nation and within our own community. The recent tragic events reopen wounds cut by historical contexts and as these incidents occur, we are all impacted; but none more so than our African American colleagues.”

But while the overwhelming majority of medical schools support BLM, only about half (48 percent) said they have a specific program to recruit Black applicants. One admissions officer whose school does not have such a program shared, “At the time, the population of Black residents in my city does not warrant a specific stream for Black applicants.”

“It was important for many medical students and pre-meds that medical schools put out strong statements expressing solidarity with BLM, but it is equally if not more important for medical schools to implement strong, ongoing policies to ensure a diverse and inclusive student body. Many are already doing that and we think that is likely to improve and increase over the coming years,” said Petros Minasi, senior director of pre-health programs, Kaplan. “At Kaplan, we are proud to be part of those efforts to diversify the medical profession. We currently work with more than 30 HBCUs across the country to provide MCAT® courses at lower tuition costs. As much as we can, we want to break down racial barriers and eliminate roadblocks due to financial need.”

The Kaplan survey also found that when asked to grade medical schools as a whole on diversity, in relation to recruiting and admitting students from different backgrounds, 7 percent of admissions officers awarded an “A”; 41 percent, a “B”; 38 percent, a “C”; 12 percent, a “D”; and 2 percent, an “F.”

The survey results come on the heels of a recent report by the Association of American Medical Colleges showing that the number of Black first-year students increased by 10.5 percent nationwide. Black students made up 9.5 percent of first-year students in 2020, up from 8.8 percent last year. Of particular note are the increases among Black men. First-year students from this demographic group increased 12.2 percent. The percentage of all doctors in the workforce who are Black is less than five percent, though these application and enrollment numbers could signal a significant increase in the next decade.

To schedule an interview with a medical school admissions expert at Kaplan, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

*Admissions officers from 58 accredited medical schools across North America were polled by e-mail between August and September 2020. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

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

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 Launches Innovative Online Solution to Address Data Literacy Gap for Business Professionals

Metis, Kaplan Performance Academy Collaborate To Create Foundations in Data Literacy Program

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Gregory Ten Eyck, gregory.teneyck@kaplan.edu

Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 15, 2021) — With the expanding need for business professionals to effectively use and leverage data in daily decisions, Kaplan, Inc., one of the world’s largest and most diverse education providers, has introduced a dynamic solution for companies to upskill employees with a data literacy program. Developed by its renowned Metis® data science and analytics training team and delivered by Kaplan Performance Academy (KPA), companies now have a world-class digital environment that hosts and coordinates custom-tailored learning, coaching, and assessments.

The Foundations in Data Literacy program was designed by the Metis and KPA teams to train employees in any role throughout an organizationtechnical and non-technicalwith the competencies they need to read, analyze, work with, and discuss data. The program is delivered on KPA’s digital, immersive platform that provides practical application, performance tracking, and group mentoring in live, social learner communities, which drives engagement, accountability, and persistence. 

“Today’s data-driven economy demands that everyone in business comprehend the fundamental principles of data and confidently use that knowledge to drive business decisions,” said Andrew Perkins, Global Director of KPA.  “This collaboration with our colleagues at Metis offers critical training in a format that can be customized to a client’s needs and provides self-assessment, formative feedback, and personalized skills coaching to support participants throughout their learning journey.”

The Foundations in Data Literacy program provides organizations with a strong foundation for a data-driven culture, teaching business professionals how to use data as a common language to collaborate, make wise choices, and drive results. Lessons cover the common data and analytics  terminology, what types of problems can be solved, project management workflow, defining the outputs of analyses, and more. This practical instruction enables employees to identify and scope problems within the business and to perform initial analysis without needing the help of a highly technical person. 

Devoted to teaching people how to find value in data, Metis is a global provider of data science and analytics training for Fortune 500 companies, as well as cutting-edge startups. The team delivers exceptional learning experiences by blending subject matter expertise with educational expertise, resulting in course outcomes that drive value for clients.

Benefitting from Kaplan’s expertise in learning practices, KPA specializes in corporate training, working with companies around the world to offer self-assessment, customized learning journeys, and mentoring in a variety of delivery methods.  The digital platform features a global network of accredited subject matter experts to support individuals in their professional development. 

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 kaplan.com.

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First Computer-Based CFA® Exam to be Administered Next Week, Ending Nearly 60 Years of a Pencil-and-Paper Based Test

Kaplan Schweser’s Andrew Temte Available for Comment On What to Expect, How to Prepare

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Gregory Ten Eyck, gregory.teneyck@kaplan.edu

Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 9, 2021) — On February 16, the CFAⓇ Exam, taken by financial professionals as part of industry requirements to earn the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst, will be administered as a computer-based test for the first time since its introduction in 1962. Like anything new, this brings challenges and uncertainty for candidates who are not prepared and are unfamiliar with the digital format.

“This is the most significant change to the CFA® exam in its history, but I think it offers many benefits,” said Dr. Andrew Temte, CFA, President of Corporate Training at Kaplan and co-founder of Kaplan Schweser, a leader in CFA education and test preparation. “While the global pandemic has accelerated this change, the computer-based format has been under development for years. In addition to opportunities for increased safety protocols, this innovation brings greater flexibility for both the CFA Institute and CFA candidates. Now with multiple exam windows offered each year, candidates can choose to compress or elongate their path to achievement of the Charter to suit their needs or life situation.”

To prepare candidates, Kaplan Schweser launched the Schweser Mock Exam Sim, a first-in-market tool that replicates the interface used on exam day to provide the most realistic experience possible. The mock exam also uses the same number of questions, question style, and timed breaks.

Level I of the CFA® Exam will be offered to candidates within an exam window of February 16 to March 1. (The first computer-based Level II and III exams will be offered between May 25 and June 1.)  In addition to adoption of computer-based testing, the CFA Institute is reducing the number of questions on the Level I exam from 240 to 180. The exam will still have two sessions, with each session consisting of 90 questions and time limits of 2 hours and 15 minutes apiece.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Andrew Temte, please contact Greg Ten Eyck at Kaplan (gregory.teneyck@kaplan.edu) or +1 954-515-3026.

Kaplan Schweser is part of Kaplan and a leading global provider of financial education for hundreds of thousands of students and business professionals around the world, including training for CFA®, CAIA®, and FRM®. Our comprehensive learning strategy, known as The Kaplan Way, utilizes learning science in the instructional design of our educational tools and courses. Follow us on Twitter @KaplanSchweser.

CFA Institute, CFA®, and Chartered Financial Analyst® are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

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 kaplan.com.

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Kaplan Survey: Nearly 30 Percent of Colleges Say the Black Lives Matter Movement Changed their Admissions Process

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: @KapEdNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (February 9, 2021) ⁠— America’s most prominent social justice movement is having an impact on the college admissions process. According to the results of Kaplan’s 2020 college admissions officers survey, 28 percent of top colleges and universities across the country say that the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been building for years and reached a crescendo in summer 2020, has influenced changes to their admissions process*. The survey was conducted on the heels of a report from the The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which found that the biggest college enrollment demographic decline this past summer was among Black undergraduate students, 8.3 percent. 

Among those changes that have already been implemented or are in the works, according to the more than 300 college admissions officers surveyed are:

  • “The BLM movement has encouraged us to continue to examine our policies and reaffirm our commitment to engaging in the work of anti-racism and the role of admissions/higher education institutions in supporting social justice and demanding an end to racism. Admissions staff will actively participate in opportunities to educate and improve themselves with regard to unconscious bias and cultural competency.”
  • “We have made clear in our review of any legal infractions that social justice/BLM arrests will not be counted against students.”
  • “The BLM movement has certainly invigorated our diversity and outreach initiatives team in the office of undergraduate admissions. It has sparked conversations of how counselors can continue to evaluate our implicit biases throughout the recruitment cycle, including which high schools we visit and which applications we choose to accept.”
  • “We are having more meaningful conversations with Black students about what they expect from their college experience and how campuses are supporting BLM and other movements that promote equity for marginalized populations.”
  • “As a result of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have now started taking underrepresented groups into consideration when creating our overall recruitment strategies for the year and are beginning to reach out to students at the pre-college level so they begin engaging with the STEM professions earlier.”

Other admissions officers said they added supplemental essay prompts to their applications to allow prospective students to write about racial and social justice issues, while others said they hired outside consultants to identify areas to change in order to have a more equitable recruitment process.

But even as many admissions officers say BLM, which was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, is impacting their admissions process, diversity efforts continue to lag among most colleges, with only 34 percent saying they have a specific program to recruit Black students. One school shared, however, that it has established a goal of doubling the enrollment of Black students by 2025.

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

*309 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: College Admissions Officers Increasingly Say Applicants’ Social Media Content is “Fair Game”

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: @KapEdNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (January 28, 2021) ⁠— Kaplan’s 2020 college admissions officers survey shows that a growing percentage of admissions officers think that it’s “fair game” for them to visit applicants’ social media pages to help them decide who gets in*. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the 300-plus college admissions officers surveyed see no issue with social media being part of the admissions equation, a point of view that has gained support in recent years. In Kaplan’s 2019 survey, 59 percent of admissions officers reported a “fair game” view, while the 2018 survey found it to be 57 percent. On the flip side, 35 percent of admissions officers consider viewing applicants’ social media “an invasion of privacy and shouldn’t be done.” 

The survey results come on the heels of teens increasingly using newer social platforms like TikTok, which recently surpassed Instagram as teenagers’ second favorite social media app; SnapChat remains number one. 

Among other survey findings:

  • The survey found that 36 percent of admissions officers polled visit applicants’ social media profiles like Facebook, TiKTok, and Instagram to learn more about them⁠—holding steady from Kaplan’s 2019 survey, but up significantly from 25 percent in Kaplan’s 2018 survey.
  • Of admissions officers who have checked out an applicant’s social media footprint, about 17 percent say they do it “often,” about the same as in 2019’s survey, but significantly higher than the 11 percent in Kaplan’s 2015 survey. 
  • Of the admissions officers who say they check social media, 42 percent say that what they found has had a positive impact on prospective students, up from 38 percent in 2019. On the flip side, 58 percent say that what they found had a negative impact, up significantly from 32 percent in 2019.

“We’ve been tracking the role of social media in the college admissions process since 2008 and while it’s clear that admissions officers are becoming philosophically more comfortable with the idea of visiting applicants’ social media profiles as an evaluating factor, in practice, the majority still don’t do it. Most will tell you that while social profiles shouldn’t be off limits, they are much more focused on evaluating prospective students on the traditional admissions factors like GPA, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, admissions essay, and extracurriculars,” says Isaac Botier, executive director of college admissions programs, Kaplan. 

“The upshot is that applicants’ social media content remains a wildcard in the admissions process, with what they post possibly being the tipping point of whether or not they’re admitted. Our consistent advice to teens is to remain careful and strategic about what they decide to share. In the age of COVID, for example, how might an admissions officer react to seeing a photo of you in a large group of friends, with local social distancing and safety precautions not being followed? These are things applicants didn’t have to think about last cycle, but may have to do so now.”

To schedule an interview about the survey results, contact Russell Schaffer at 917.822.8190 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com

*313 admissions officers 301 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: Most Business Schools Plan to Skip Some MBA Rankings This Year, Amid Coronavirus Admissions Impact

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

New York, NY (January 21, 2021) — The coronavirus pandemic is causing major disruptions to the MBA landscape, including in one traditionally controversial area, according to a new Kaplan survey of business schools across the United States*. Of the programs surveyed, 10 percent say they don’t plan to participate in any of the business school rankings, long a mainstay of the MBA admissions process; 62 percent say they plan to participate in only some of the rankings; and 28 percent say they plan to participate in all the rankings**.

“The majority of business schools have made their admissions process more flexible, including making the GMAT® or GRE® optional, so many schools are lacking in test score data this year. Another major data point that goes into the rankings is job placement rate, and with the economy struggling as it is, it’s likely that it wasn’t as easy for Class of 2020 graduates to find employment as it was for Class of 2019 graduates. While many business schools are still reporting this data point for transparency, it’s also likely that others are reluctant to publicize it,” said Brian Carlidge, vice president of admissions, Kaplan. 

“Absent reliable GMAT or GRE test scores and other complete pandemic-impacted data points, most business schools are opting out of full participation in this year’s rankings. One bright spot for business schools: most top MBA programs are reporting year-over-year growth in starting salaries, another key rankings data point.”

Kaplan’s survey comes on the heels of many top business schools (Chicago Booth, Stanford, Columbia, Harvard, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, and UPenn Wharton) already publicly stating their non-participation in at least one global rankings list and after the Graduate Management Admission Council called for a pause in all MBA rankings because of a lack of complete data.

An admissions officer at one school that still plans to participate in some of the rankings shared, “We still believe that rankings give students some information to compare different schools. It is hoped that rankings organizations will take into consideration the issues schools have faced during the Covid pandemic and adjust their metrics.” But another admissions officer whose school says it won’t participate in any of the rankings stated, “The challenges associated with test centers closing and admissions processes changing to accommodate this made for a less quantitative decision making model. It does not easily translate to the criteria forced by the ranking methodology.” And another admissions officer observed, “Everyone is in the same boat, although some are in more serious financial straits than others. I see no reason not to report.”

Carlidge adds, “We understand both sides of the rankings debate. Where a school places in the rankings is an important recruitment tool for prospective students, and publicizing a high ranking can help boost alumni giving. But at the same time, with so much tumult, it’s hard to get a clear picture of where each business school lands. With so many top MBA programs not participating this year, it may make the rankings released in 2021 feel much less potent and relevant for aspiring business school students than in years past. We plan to ask this question again later this year to see whether this is a temporary situation or if the pandemic has instigated a longer-term trend.”

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

*Admissions officers from 90 full-time business schools across the United States were polled by e-mail in October 2020. Among those polled are 14 of the top 50 programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number. 

**Exact wording of the question: About a dozen top business schools have announced that they will not participate in any MBA rankings this academic year due to the historic nature of the admissions cycle. Which of the following best describes your school’s plan?

  • We plan to participate in all MBA rankings: 28%
  • We plan to participate in some MBA rankings 62%%
  • We do not plan to participate in any MBA rankings: 10%

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

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 Issues Statement on The College Board Eliminating the SAT’s® Optional Writing Section and SAT Subject Tests

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: @KaplanEdNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (January 19, 2021) — The following statement about The College Board’s decision to eliminate the SAT’s optional Writing Section and all SAT Subject Tests comes from Isaac Botier, executive director of college admissions programs, Kaplan:

“The Writing Section was added to the SAT in 2005 as part of a broader overhaul that sought to make the test more academically relevant, but according to our tracking research, very few colleges made the SAT Writing Section a mandatory part of their own admissions process. The reality is that although there was a lot of initial interest in the Writing Section, it didn’t live up to expectations and as the years went by, colleges became less enthusiastic about it, citing their existing ability to gauge applicants’ writing skills through their own application essays. This eventually led to the Writing Section becoming an optional, separately graded part of the exam beginning in 2016. At this point, many are likely thinking, ‘What took them so long?’ Its elimination creates one less pressure point for college applicants, helping to reduce their stress as it’s one less thing to prepare for.

“SAT Subject Tests were another piece of the college admissions pie that have steadily lost favor with both colleges and prospective students. While a few decades ago, many top colleges required them, in the past decade many colleges have dropped this requirement completely, including most recently the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Not surprisingly, this has led to a decrease in the number of Subject Test takers, so it’s not a coincidence that Advanced Placement® tests have become an increasingly important part of the College Board’s business portfolio.

“Overall, we think it’s safe to say that neither colleges nor students will be disappointed to see the departures of the Writing Section and Subject Tests. For college applicants, this shift allows them to focus more on the tests that can help them secure college credit and win merit-based aid, which are the AP exams. And a strong SAT score remains an effective way for applicants to distinguish themselves in what continues to be a competitive college admissions process.”

To schedule an interview with a college admissions expert at Kaplan, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

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

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: Most MBA Programs Say They’ve Made the Application Process More Flexible, Suspended the GMAT®/GRE® Requirement, Amid COVID-Related Challenges

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

New York, NY (December 2, 2020) — The competition to get into business school, especially a top ranked one, will always remain fierce, but according to a new Kaplan survey, now may be the most convenient time in recent memory to apply*. According to admissions officers at more than 100 business schools across the United States, 82 percent say that due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, they have made their admissions process more flexible this cycle. 

When asked specifically about the role that the GMAT or GRE play in their school’s 2020-2021 admissions cycle, 36 percent say they’ve suspended the testing requirement for all applicants; 24 percent say they have suspended the requirement for some applicants; 18 percent say they have kept the requirement in place; 17 percent say they have suspended the requirement and may keep it permanent; and 6 percent say they are considering suspending the requirement.

Survey respondents also cited a number of additional  ways that business schools have become more flexible this cycle, such as:

  • Dropping the application fee
  • Waiving the deposit fee
  • Allowing applicants to submit scores from the significantly shorter Executive Assessment instead of the GMAT or GRE
  • Relaxing the number of work years requirement
  • Extending application deadlines

“This is an admissions cycle like no other and business schools recognize this, which is why they are taking steps to make the process as student-friendly as possible,” said Brian Carlidge, vice president of admissions programs, Kaplan. “Applicants should keep in mind, though, that although most business schools are taking steps to streamline the process, it won’t be any easier to get into business school than in recent years. In fact, with applications surging at MBA programs across the U.S., it’s more important than ever to put together the strongest application possible to stand out from the competition.”

The survey results come on the heels of a recent report from the Graduate Management Admission Council, conducted in August and the first half of September, showing a massive global rebound in the number of business school applications, possibly signaling stronger than usual competition to get in. In the U.S. specifically, 66 percent of programs reported an increase, up from only 40 percent the previous year. 

“It’s surely not how business schools wanted it to happen, but the pandemic and struggling economy that it created have been a lifeline to many full-time MBA programs, which have been struggling for applicants for a number of years. From what they tell us, they think this application surge will continue,” added Carlidge.  ”And when thinking about possible increased competition, it’s important to consider both the number of applications and the quality of applicants. Prospective students could just be applying to more schools than they did a year ago and they could be applying to more reach schools. And we still don’t know what their professional experience is, what their GPAs are, and how they scored on the admissions tests. Knowing that data would tell us a lot more about the state of play.”

Kaplan will release additional findings from its 2020 business school admissions officers survey over the coming months. Other issues explored include the potential boycotting of the rankings, how the Black Lives Matter movement affected admissions, and other topics in diversity. Kaplan has conducted this survey annually for the past 15 years to ensure that pre-MBA 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.

*Admissions officers from 104 full-time business schools across the United States were polled by e-mail in October 2020. Among those polled are 15 of the top 50 programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number. 

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

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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