On Feb 28, 2012  The Washington Post Company announced  Kaplan University’s Pembroke Pines, Florida campus will be closing. The Pembroke Pines school made national news in August 2010 when it was one of fifteen for profit college campuses caught engaging in deceptive recruiting practices in a GAO sting.   http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2012/02/28/kaplan-college-closing-pembroke-pines.html

    The Pembroke  Pines campus  closed after the sting, but then quietly reopened six months later. On Feb 1, 2012  according to the Washington Post’s 2011 annual report: the Florida Board of Nursing placed Pembroke Pines’  associate’s degree in nursing program on probation because the performance of program graduates on the national nursing certifying exam  had fallen below the required standard.  http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104889/000010488912000006/d10k.htm

      Four short weeks later, The Washington Post Company announced the closing of the Pembroke Pines campus, where enrollment had dwindled to 53 students.  

     Pembroke Pines joins a growing list  of shuttered  and  discredited programs at Kaplan University, including the CHI surgical tech program in Broomall, PA, the dental assisting program in Charlotte, NC,  the radiology tech program in North Hollywood, CA, and the medical assisting program in Modesto, CA    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104889/000010488912000006/d10k.htm

    Despite massive and growing  evidence to the contrary, Washington Post CEO Donald Graham keeps proclaiming  Kaplan is a good actor dedicated to serving poor students. To perpetuate this myth  Washington Post writers have been publishing articles promoting  for profit colleges and  belittling non profit colleges. The most notable of this propaganda masquerading as  journalism  is  Jay Mathews article ‘five reasons for profit colleges will survive’ (http://blog.blackboard.com/professional-education-blog/5-reasons-for-profit-colleges-and-universities-will-survive-and-thrive).

In a recent report funded by subprime university Kaplan, entitled “Taxpayers’ Costs to Support Higher Education,” the authors argue that for-profit two-year colleges could achieve the Obama administration’s goal of producing 5 million more university graduates with certificates and associate’s degrees by 2020 at a much lower cost to taxpayers than increasing subsidies for public higher education.  Of course what they do not say is that they provide little education and instead package up and sell educational products, or diplomas, at various retail educational chains they call universities.  What Kaplan and the other for-profit drive by predatory colleges fail to distinguish is that getting a diploma is not the same as learning to think critically and getting an education.  Nor do they mention the cost of federal taxpayer funds to subsidize these phony colleges and universities. 

    In a “the emperor has no clothes”  moment The New York Times published an editorial on March 23, 2012 titled “For-Profit Education Scams”. The editorial, listed under the topics heading Frauds and Swindling,  did not mince words in calling for profit colleges a scam, but it did not go far enough.   

     The Times should have called out the Washington Post Company for  using the Post newspaper to promote Kaplan University, a ‘fraud and swindle’ which preys upon the pain and fear of minorities, single mothers,  and veterans. They also should have called out CEO Donald Graham for creating a legacy  of  exploiting the poor, scamming the government, and influence peddling.