Complaint / review text:
I am currently on my second to last term before I graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies. My struggles have been many since beginning at Kaplan Online University. My trouble with Kaplan began about 4 quarters into my studies.
When I was going through the admissions process I made sure that I would not accumulate any out of pocket expenses while earning my degree. I made it very clear that I could not afford to have any out of pocket expenses during the time that I would be in school. I was assured that I would not incur any out of pocket expenses because my Pell grants would cover a portion of the tuition and whatever was left would be covered by my Stafford loans that I got through Citibank.
At the end of my fourth quarter, January 2007, I received a message from Kaplan telling me that my account was "severely past due" even though 1) I should never have accrued any out of pocket expenses and 2) if I had been accruing a balance for 4 quarters the University should have told me before it got to this point.
From: Kaplan Higher Education
Sent: Tuesday, January 16,2007 10:36 AM
Subject: SA Block Email
| | | Kaplan Uni... | Inbox
Dear Kaplan University Student,
The end of the term is approaching and your account is severely past due with Kaplan University. If your account is not brought current by the end of the
term, a block will be placed on your account. You will not be able to continue into your next term until the past due balance is paid in full.
Please contact our Student Accounts department at 1-800-817-8272 to make a payment or discuss an alternative loan. You can also go to the MAKE A PAYMENT tab on your desktop to make a payment.
Student Accounts Department
At this point, I owed about 2,000. Do I need to point out that I am in school because I want to improve my financial situation? In other words, I dont have 2,000 sitting around to just write a check whenever Kaplan decides to block me from classes.
Since then it has been a constant battle to keep Kaplan from blocking me out of my classes. I was selected for verification twice in a row by Kaplan. I have a feeling that if your reading this you know what verification is. If not, it is a way for the school to verify that what you said on your taxes and on your FAFSA matches. Although the US Dept of Education gives the school authority to conduct such searches, it does not choose the students; the University does. Therefore, when Kaplan sends me a message stating that the US Dept of Education has selected me for verification it is fraudulent.
From: Jamie DellaRosa
Sent: Thursday, July 12,2007 5:43 PM
Subject: kaplan university missing documents
| | | Kaplan Uni... | Inbox
Attachment: image001.jpg (< 0.01 MB), image002.jpg (< 0.01 MB), 0708VerWkshtInd.pdf (0.30 MB)
Please complete this and send it back to us ASAP J THANKS!
Congratulations on choosing Kaplan University to continue your education!
You indicated that you plan to make use of financial aid to assist in meeting your educational goals. You completed your FAFSA which was the first step towards developing your financial plan. Based on the information you provided on the FAFSA, you have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called verification. Part of the verification process will require you to complete additional documentation.in order for you to be eligible to receive Federal Title IV Funding, you must complete, sign, and return the following documents to me:
07-08 Independent Verification Worksheet (See attached document)
2006 Student Tax Return (SIGNED)
2006 Students Spouses Tax Returns (SIGNED)
Please complete, sign, and fax these documents to our office soon as possible to 1.866.251.8727. Once they are received, we can assist you in the process of applying for Federal Title IV Funding for your Kaplan University education.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our office. I can be reached toll free at 1.866.458.2008 or you can email me for additional assistance. I look forward to working with you through the financial aid process.
Jamie Della Rosa
Financial Aid Assistant
6409 Congress Avenue
Boca Raton, FL 33487
Tel: 888-297-0014 EXT: 7197
Fax: 877-218-6145 attn: Jamie [email protected] Edu
You might be wondering why Kaplan would do something like that when they have the authority to conduct the searches. The answer is that it has more weight when it is stated that way.
Both times I was selected for verification I complied with their request for information almost as soon as getting the request but they would say that they did not receive it over and over again. I would get 3-4 calls a night telling me that I needed to turn in my verification worksheet for a whole month. I have a bunch of emails saved showing the struggle I went through during this time.
The most recent struggle I have gone through has just been too much and I now fear that Kaplan will not release my official transcript next quarter when I am attempting to be admitted to a Master's degree program at a different University.
I thought I had my FAFSA done for the 07-08 school year but I had not. No problem, as soon as I realized my confusion I went online and got that completed. I called the University the next day to make sure they knew that I had completed my FAFSA. Oh yes, they can see that it is finished and they will have it in a couple days. They told me not to worry about anything because they could see that it was done.
On June 29, a Friday, Kaplan sent me a message telling me that my financial aid was not complete. On Monday July 2nd when I checked my emails I saw the message dated Friday June 29 warning me of being blocked from my classes and I was already blocked from my classes. This gave me 2 days to get them whatever they wanted. I called immediately to tell them that it was ok, I did my FAFSA. Oh, this wasnt the problem. They wanted verification again and I had til July 1 to get this info so that I could get into my classes on July 5 (the day after the 4th of July)
At this point I leave my job to go home and pull together all of the information they need and make sure they get it if it takes me being on the phone all day. Done. I manage to get back into my classes that day. I'm thinking that I made it through another close call but I had not. Approximately three weeks into this quarter I get another email saying that I need to send in my verification information. This is just ridiculous since I already did that and got confirmation. Who are these idiots. Here's the facts.
I married in Oct 2006
I filed my taxes in Jan 2007
In my taxes I filed head of household (cause I was)
When filling out my FAFSA in 2007 I said "married (cause I was)
Kaplan could not deal with the contradiction and wanted me to get a note from Jackson Hewitt, the people that did my taxes, stating that it was ok for me to file as head of household when my tax status was married. It wasnt married at the time. If Jackson Hewitt didnt think I could file head of household then why in the heck would they do it? Also, I was sent a message once again saying that the US Department of Education wanted me to send this info. WRONG.
At this point I sent them a letter requesting a copy of this letter from the US Department of Education and I have not heard a peep from them about this letter from Jackson Hewitt since. However now they are saying that I owe almost 9,000 and how would I like to pay so I dont get blocked from classes. And my struggle continues. Please visit (ROR removed because of security purposes) where I will continue to post information on my current situation but more importantly where we can assemble and fight them.