Purdue University just acquired Kaplan University from Kaplan, Inc.
The Kaplan-Purdue deal took nearly 6 months of “secret” negotiation to make.
In fact, the planning was kept so private, that the majority of Purdue faculty members were informed just hours before the public was.
This video shows Purdue University President Mitch Daniels making the announcement:
This has understandably sparked a lot of outrage, as well as some bad press.
I happen to think that the merger will be a great thing for Purdue, Kaplan, and most importantly, the people who will benefit!
When you hear the name Kaplan, what do you think of?
Most people picture the Kaplan prep materials they used in the past. I know I picture the purple SAT prep book I used back in high school…
Since Kaplan has excelled as a leader in standardized test prep for so long, many are under the impression that Kaplan U is just an online extension of their test prep services.
In reality, Kaplan U is a higher learning institute that grants associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, among other program offerings.
Kaplan U is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, just like Purdue, Ohio State, Colorado State, Holy Cross, and many other reputable schools. However, the average person who isn’t interested in a degree from Kaplan U doesn’t know this!
Now, obviously with over 33,000 students, a lot of people do know that Kaplan U is an accredited degree-offering institution.
But because the perception of Kaplan as solely a test prep company is so strong, having the Kaplan name attached to the university blurs the distinction between the different divisions of Kaplan, Inc.
When you hear the name Purdue, what do you think of?
For most, it’s sports, and high-quality academics! I’m not really a Boilermakers sports fan, but I still have a lot of respect for Purdue as an innovative research university.
The plan is to rename Kaplan U to somehow incorporate the Purdue name, although it’s unclear what the final name will be right now. I really believe that having a degree associated with a school like Purdue will be highly attractive to many people who otherwise wouldn’t be as motivated to pursue one.
More education is always a good thing
Purdue’s acquisition involves the conversion of Kaplan U from a for-profit institution to a non-profit public university.
While the deal is getting a lot of backlash in the media, a lot of people still feel optimistic about it.
High-quality education, degrees, and career opportunities are always needed! If Purdue and Kaplan can deliver this at a low cost, then I’ll be the first to take my hat off to them!
On the other hand, if the deal turns out to not be what it seems, and ends up hurting the students, I’ll be the first person to criticize it.
There’s so much at stake here, and unfortunately there’s not much we can do but wait and see how this all plays out. I’ll be following the story closely with optimism until then.
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!