#Press Releases

Kaplan Takes GMAT Prep to a New Level with the Industry’s First Wholly Interactive Online Center, Social Media Networking, Personalized Analytics, Official Pearson Test Center Experience

Future MBA Applicants Now Have Even More Powerful Resources to Help Them Succeed on the GMAT and in the Business School Admissions Process

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (January 25, 2010) – As GMAT registration volume reached a record high 301,800 last year (an 11 percent jump since 2007), Kaplan Test Prep has just launched a course that redefines the GMAT prep experience, with the industry’s first fully interactive online center. The first-of-its-kind virtual test prep center brings social networking within the learning space to a new level. Through the Kaplan Online Center, students can manage their course progress, access online resources such as b-school video-on-demand, connect with their teachers or fellow GMAT prep classmates, attend live online business school admissions events, network with future MBAs from around the world, and more.

The new Kaplan GMAT preparation course not only incorporates a cutting-edge Online Center, but also features redesigned course materials. Kaplan’s GMAT prep program continues to provide industry-leading expertise aimed at giving students the edge they need to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive business school admissions environment, including:

  • The Official Test Day Experience: Students can take any of their practice GMAT tests at an official Pearson/GMAT Testing Center. It’s the most realistic practice available, and it’s exclusively available to Kaplan students.
  • Smart Reports™: This exclusive technology system analyzes students’ practice test performance and generates personalized recommendations on where to target for maximum score improvement.
  • Score-Maximizing Curriculum: Whether they are taking the GMAT Classroom course, GMAT Advanced, or a Live Online course, Kaplan students receive nine instructional sessions focused on content review and strategy mastery for Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing.
  • Unmatched Practice: With more than 6,000 practice items and nine proprietary computer adaptive tests (CATs) included, students won’t find more practice opportunities anywhere.

“Kaplan has always provided industry-leading test prep, and our new GMAT prep course further enhances our program to provide students with the most interactive, effective resources available to help them reach their score goals,” said Jason Moss, vice president, graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “We based these revisions to our GMAT preparation course not only on our 40 plus years of GMAT expertise, but also on student feedback on what they are looking for in a successful GMAT prep program. We are confident that aspiring business school students are going to be excited about Kaplan’s new GMAT experience and all its resources to help them succeed.”

Prospective MBAs looking to raise their GMAT scores with Kaplan may also be heartened by the news that the job market for business school graduates may be seeing signs of picking up. According to a survey released in January 2010 by GMAC, the test maker, more than a third of the participating employers polled say they plan to hire more recent MBA graduates this year than they did in 2009, when many employers scaled back plans to hire MBAs and other recent graduates because of the recession. The survey found that 45 percent plan to maintain their current levels.

Aspiring business school students can register for a free session of Kaplan’s new GMAT prep course, to take place on February 15 at 8:30 PM EST, at http://www.kaplangmat.com. The sample class will be brought to participants via Kaplan’s Live Online technology, which puts students in a virtual classroom where they can ask questions and interact with their teacher and other classmates using audio, instant chat, whiteboard, polling, and screen-sharing functionality.

Kaplan’s courses help more prospective MBAs get into business school than any other course.* Kaplan offers the most comprehensive guarantee in the industry. Kaplan students who do not feel ready to take the GMAT, or who aren’t satisfied with their score improvement may retake the course for free. And students who don’t score higher on the GMAT may prep again for free or get their money back.

*The Harris Interactive® online study for Kaplan was conducted between December 6 and 21, 2007 among 196 US adults who applied to and were admitted into business school, of whom 181 took the GMAT and a course to prepare for it.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep  (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., 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 and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as English language and professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Financial Aid Season 2010 Brings Increased Competition, More Dollars and a Simplified Financial Aid Form for High School Seniors and College Students Seeking Financial Aid

Do Public Student Reviews Penalize Tough Grading Professors?

Available for Interview: Kaplan College Admissions Expert

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (January 11, 2010) – Although the weak economy is nearly certain to keep the competition for financial aid intense, there’s good news for the 2010 freshman class and current college students: applying for federal aid is less daunting than in years past, scholarships still abound and colleges continue to step up.
 
Sure, the outlook is far from rosy.  Last year saw a big jump in the number of students applying for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – used to secure need-based money from the government in the form of loans, grants and work-study programs.  And according to a recent Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey of 401 college admissions officers, 43% reported an increase in the number of accepted students who declined admissions due to financial reasons.
 
But the promising news for applicants is that colleges are increasing levels of financial aid: according to a recent National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators survey, 55% of colleges said they increased aid for the 2009-2010 academic year.  Also good news: the online version of FAFSA is now significantly shorter, simpler and more user-friendly than last year. 
For students and their families going through the financial aid process now, following are a few tips to help secure the strongest packages possible:
 
1. Apply early and accurately with FAFSA:  Submitting FAFSA should be your first step, as it provides the lion’s share of all aid.  Resources are limited and awarded on a first come, first serve basis, so securing aid may be harder for late applicants.  Remember – submitting a FAFSA doesn’t guarantee aid, but not submitting one ensures you won’t get anything.  Applications for the 2010-2011 year are already available at www.fafsa.gov.
 
2. Scholarships – apply early and often:  Scholarships can be awarded for just about anything, including personal accomplishments, membership in certain organizations, parent’s community involvement, grades, anticipated field of study, etc.  For sophomores and juniors – bank scholarship money early and expand your future college options.  
 
3. You can negotiate direct aid with colleges:  You don’t necessarily have to take the first financial aid package that a college offers you.  By the time a school accepts you, it sees you as a worthwhile investment, so it will usually want to help you figure out financing.
 
4. Test scores count. Many merit-based scholarships do factor in SAT and ACT scores, so make sure you prep and get the best possible score you can. 
 
For more information or to arrange an interview on how to navigate this year’s complex financial aid puzzle, please contact Russell Schaffer at: 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.    
 
About Kaplan Test Prep
 
Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., 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 and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as English language and professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. 

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Online College Admissions Counseling Services Made Available to Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions Students and Parents Through ApplyWise

ApplyWise, the Only Affordable Online College Admissions Counseling Course, Offers Support to Kaplan Students and their Families Throughout the College Admissions Process

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (January 4, 2010) – ApplyWise (www.applywise.com), the first online college admissions counseling program, and Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., announce today that the ApplyWise program will now be included as a value-added service to all Kaplan’s “College Prep Advantage” and “Kaplan Premier” premium subscribers. The ApplyWise program will also be available for purchase to new Kaplan students as a stand-alone program. The agreement enables Kaplan students to have access to advice and information from ApplyWise’s leading admissions experts through articles, podcasts and webinars on a variety of timely college admissions topics.

“College admissions is not only about grades and SAT scores. Admissions officers now put a lot of emphasis on the ‘soft factors’ — things like extracurricular activities, essays, interviews — and how a student stands out from the crowd,” says Liz Hamburg, co-founder and COO of ApplyWise. “Kaplan’s outstanding test prep services help students improve their standardized test scores and ApplyWise guides students step-by-step through the critical ‘soft factors.’ This partnership offers students a complete suite of services to help them get into the colleges of their dreams.”

“Adding ApplyWise to our suite of test prep services allows us to offer students and their families the most complete support throughout the college admissions process,” says Justin Serrano, senior vice president, Kaplan Test Prep. “Now in addition to receiving the tools and strategies to help them succeed on the all-important college admissions tests, Kaplan students can access video, audio, interactive exercises and guidance that will help them with all other important parts of the application.”

The ApplyWise program provides services for both students and parents. Using ApplyWise, Kaplan students can participate in 12 interactive online lessons that help them build exceptional applications, and also utilize ApplyWise’s organizational tools to stay on track. Using the ApplyWise parent dashboard, parents can track their child’s progress, communicate and collaborate with their child and get the latest information on college admissions. The ApplyWise program incorporates methodologies used by college admissions expert Dr. Katherine Cohen and her team of counselors who have helped students get into the colleges of their choice for more than 10 years.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., 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 and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as English language and professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

About ApplyWise

ApplyWise LLC was co-founded by Dr. Katherine Cohen and Liz Hamburg. The ApplyWise program (www.applywise.com) is an online college admissions counseling program that includes interactive online counseling modules and organizing tools to give parents and students everything they need to master the college admissions process. The ApplyWise program was developed by Dr. Katherine Cohen and her team of experts at IvyWise, respected leaders in admissions counseling. In addition to being available directly to consumers, ApplyWise is currently being used by high school guidance counselors, certified college planners and independent counselors to supplement their own efforts.

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Kaplan Nursing: Newly Increased Passing Standard for the Nurse Licensing Exam Requires Aspiring Nurses to Strive Higher on the NCLEX®-RN Exam in Order to Pass

Triennial Vote to Increase the Passing Standard May Lead to Lower Passing Rate for 2010 Nursing School Graduates

Available for Interview: Kaplan Nursing NCLEX®-RN Exam Expert

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (December 16, 2009) – With the December 15 announcement by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to raise the passing standard on the NCLEX®-RN exam, aspiring nurses in the class of 2010 may find the upcoming exam more challenging than anticipated. The executive board of NCBSN votes on the passing standard every three years and in the past 15 years it has voted to raise the passing standard four times, with the latest vote impacting this year’s graduating nurses. The change will go into effect in April 2010.

In 2007, the last time the NCSBN raised the passing standard, the higher passing standard translated to a drop in pass rates by around three percentage points among first time, US educated test takers. With approximately 140,000 first time, US educated test takers forecasted to take the NCLEX®-RN exam in 2010, this could translate to over 4,000 more nursing students failing the exam in 2010 than 2009. According to the NCSBN website, “With the increase in the passing standard, there is an anticipated decrease in pass rates. However, over the course of a year or two, the pass rates tend to return to the level prior to any passing standard increase.”

“What nursing students should understand is that while this will make the test somewhat harder to pass statistically, the questions themselves will not become any more difficult,” said Barbara Irwin, director of nursing, Kaplan Nursing. “But the increasingly tight job market for nurses means it becomes even more critical for test takers to prepare for the NCLEX®-RN exam thoroughly. In such a competitive market, test takers will want to pass the exam the first time to make themselves as viable as possible for good positions. The good news is that at Kaplan Nursing, over the years we’ve seen that as the bar rises, aspiring nurses will rise to the challenge.”

Among other changes to take effect in April 2010:

  • The Management of Care subcategory currently comprises 13% – 19% of the exam; this will increase to 16% – 22% of the test.
  • Reduction of Risk Potential subcategory currently comprises 13% – 19%; this will decrease to 10% – 16% of the test.
  • A newly designed test interface will launch, including a changed font and reshuffled button placements.

To speak with a Kaplan Nursing expert about the nursing exam changes, how aspiring nurses can best prepare for the NCLEX®-RN exam and enter the job market with the strongest application possible, please contact Carina Wong at: 212.453.7571 or carina.wong@kaplan.com. For more information, you can also visit the Web site of Kaplan Nursing dedicated to the change at www.kaplannursing.com/nclexchange.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep  (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., 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 and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as English language and professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Among Students and Young Professionals, Medical School Applicants Least Likely to Decline Admissions Because of Financial Reasons and Least Likely to Send Facebook Friend Requests to Admissions Officers

Also in Survey: Nearly Half of Medical Schools Maintained
Level of Financial Aid; Nearly a Quarter Increased It

Available for Interview: Kaplan Test Prep Medical School Admissions Expert

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (November 18, 2009) According to a new Kaplan Test Prep survey*, despite a tough economic climate and average tuition costs for first year students well over $40,000, only 20 percent of medical school admissions officers report that more applicants declined admissions for financial reasons in 2009 compared to 2008.  This compares to 28 percent of applicants to MBA programs, according to business school admissions officers**, and 39 percent of law school applicants, according to law school admissions officers***.

“We know that aspiring doctors are extremely committed to what has been for most a goal since childhood.  Knowing long in advance the costs associated with medical school, many have saved for years in anticipation, and not overly discouraged once the tuition bill comes.  That said, we wish fewer of these bright students did not have to decline admissions because of personal financial issues, especially given the growing need for more doctors,” said Amjed Saffarini, executive director of pre-health programs, Kaplan Test Prep.  “The silver lining is that nearly a quarter of medical schools have actually increased financial aid, with only 5 percent decreasing the amount.  The aid is out there and with a strong application, prospective students can get it.”

The results of the survey also imply that medical school applicants may be the shyest group – or maybe just the most prudent.  Only 30 percent of medical school admissions officers or a colleague of theirs had received a friend request on Facebook or MySpace.  For law school admissions officers, it was 48 percent; 50 percent for business school admissions officers.

Other key results of Kaplan’s 2009 survey of medical school admissions officers:

  • 35% say the MCAT needs to be changed to better evaluate prospective students.
  • 13% of admissions officers have visited a student’s social networking site to help evaluate that applicant.
  • Of the 15% of medical schools surveyed that do have rules in place regarding social networking sites, all prohibit admissions officers from visiting students’ pages.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Russell Schaffer at: 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

* 131 Association of American Medical Schools-approved US medical schools were surveyed by telephone between July and August 2009; 82 schools responded.

** 260 admissions officers from the nation’s top business schools – as compiled from U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2010 edition – were surveyed by telephone in July and August 2009.

*** 200 American Bar Association-approved law schools were surveyed by telephone between July and August 2009; 152 schools responded.

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Kaplan Test Prep Signs Exclusive Partnership with Scientific American to Include Magazine’s Award-Winning Content in MCAT Course Curriculum

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

Content from Renowned Science Magazine Will Complement Kaplan Course Materials for Aspiring Med Students

New York, NY (August 18, 2009) – Kaplan Test Prep, the world leader in test preparation, has entered into an exclusive partnership with renowned science and technology magazine Scientific American to bring select award-winning content from the magazine to Kaplan’s MCAT course materials.  Designed to teach some of the most challenging content of the medical school entrance exam, the easy-to-understand color diagrams and 3-D figures will be used for Kaplan’s MCAT Review Notes in Biology, Physics, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.  Kaplan’s new MCAT course materials with enhanced content from Scientific American will be available in both print format and online beginning August 21.  Through this exclusive partnership, students enrolled in a Kaplan MCAT course will receive a five-month subscription to Scientific American Magazine.

“Our MCAT students will now not only receive the most effective and comprehensive MCAT instruction in the classroom, but also have Scientific American’s award-winning content and state of the art visual display of scientific concepts to help them while studying on their own,” said Amjed Saffarini, executive director of pre-health programs, Kaplan Test Prep.  “Scientific American is a vitally important resource that students, educators, and physicians trust, so we’re excited to bring its content directly to these aspiring physicians and enhance their learning experience as they prepare for the challenging medical school admissions process.”

Scientific American is delighted to be partnering with Kaplan for its MCAT course materials,” said Diane McGarvey, Director of Ancillary Products at Scientific American. “Infographics are one of the hallmarks of Scientific American, and we are pleased to see them being used to help students grasp scientific concepts. We look forward to welcoming a new audience of aspiring physicians to Scientific American.”

For many aspiring doctors, the MCAT represents the most challenging aspect of the medical school admissions process.  According to a 2008 Kaplan survey of admissions officers at 85 medical schools, the MCAT is the most important admissions factor, followed by undergraduate GPA.  In 2008, more than 42,000 aspiring doctors applied to medical school, the second largest applicant class in over a decade.  For more information, please visit www.kaptest.com/mcat.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., 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 and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

About Scientific American

Scientific American is at the heart of Nature Publishing Group’s newly formed consumer media division, which focuses on the needs of the general public. Founded in 1845, Scientific American (www.scientificamerican.com) is the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S. and the premier science publication in consumer media.

Scientific American delivers authoritative and thought-provoking content to more than 3 million readers worldwide. Much admired for its ability to make complex science, medicine and technology accessible in its articles and visuals, Scientific American has published articles by more than 140 Nobel laureate authors (more than any other consumer magazine), including Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, Stanley Prusiner and Richard Axel.

Scientific American published its first foreign edition in 1890, and in 1979, was the first Western magazine published in the People’s Republic of China. Today, Scientific American is published in 15 foreign-language editions with a total circulation of nearly 1 million worldwide. Other titles include Scientific American Mind, the bimonthly magazine of psychology and neuroscience, and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany.

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information in print and online. NPG publishes journals and magazines, online databases and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences and clinical medicine.

Throughout all its businesses NPG is dedicated to serving the scientific and medical communities and the wider scientifically interested general public. Part of Macmillan Publishers Limited, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Heidelberg, Basingstoke, Melbourne, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul and Washington, D.C. For more information, please go to www.nature.com.

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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: 40 Percent of Pre-Law Students Say the Current Economic Crisis is Impacting Their Decision to Apply to Law School

Registration for Free Kaplan LSAT Practice Exams Spike More than 20 Percent
as Students and Professionals Explore Law School as a Safe Haven Option

Also from Survey: Among Aspiring Lawyers, Political Aspiration Still Run Much Higher for Men

Available for Interview: Kaplan Test Prep Law School Admissions Expert

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (April 14, 2009) – According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of 1,040 pre-law students who took the February Law School Admission Test (LSAT), 40 percent say the economic downturn – which includes the highest unemployment rate in 25 years – is motivating their decision to apply to law school.

“Historically, economic downturns spark an increased interest in law school as students and professionals reevaluate their career tracks.  Recessions often inspire people to look to law school to ride out the storm, transition into a new field, or broaden their education to make themselves a more attractive candidate,” said Jeff Thomas, director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep.  “We’ve experienced well over a 20 percent increase in registration for our free LSAT practice test events over last year, supporting the notion that today’s challenging job market may be affecting people’s career plans, though there are a number of other excellent reasons for pursuing a law degree.”

Thomas noted that during the last economic crisis, which hit right after 9/11, applications to law schools spiked 17 percent, before stabilizing in line with an improving economy.  And according to the Law School Admission Council, the administrator of the LSAT, law school applications just saw their first increase since 2004.

Other key survey results:

  • The Money Factor: While the recession is a key driver behind this season’s law school applications, earning potential is an even bigger driver: 67 percent say that high earning power “very much” or “somewhat” affected their decision to pursue a law degree. 
  • Law School Remains a Popular Breeding Ground for Future Politicians: 54 percent of respondents say they will “definitely” or “probably” run for political office.  Despite this high overall number, between genders there is a significant gap in interest level, with 68 percent of males answering “definitely” or “probably,” compared with 41 percent of females.
  • Trials of the Century: When asked for which historical legal case they would have liked to have served as counsel on if given the opportunity, the most popular response was Roe V Wade (34 percent), followed by the Nuremburg Trials (29 percent). Thirteen percent would have liked to have tried The OJ Simpson Trial.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Russell Schaffer at: 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., 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 and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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