For the record, I don’t have a beef against Kaplan University’s paralegal program. I’ve connected online with its students, some of its graduates, and even a few of its instructors. I’ve heard good and bad reviews of the online program. I’d really like to hear from more of its paralegal graduates. Are you happy with the skills taught in the program? Are potential employers receptive to your Kaplan degree? Are good students with solid GPAs getting paralegal jobs quickly?
All that said, I’d still urge anyone considering enrolling in any paralegal program to do their homework. Unfortunately, Kaplan University is making frequent news headlines, and not for the quality of its education and the satisfaction of its students.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that 7,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the university’s parent company, The Washington Post Company, change, or close down, the “lucrative” Kaplan program.
The leader of the group, 40-year-old Shannon Croteau, said she was swindled by the university when she enrolled in its paralegal bachelor’s-degree program. Ms. Croteau said the company had stuck her with $30,000 in debt for a loan she never took out, and refused to offer her any more financial aid, claiming it had “run out.” She later discovered that her program had actually been an associate-degree program that isn’t accredited in her home state of New Hampshire.
You can read the petition, “Tell Kaplan & The Washington Post: Stop Cashing In On Low-Income Students,” at change.org for yourself here. (There are over 8,500 signatures on the petition as I schedule this post for publication.) The petition states that Kaplan promised Croteau she could make more than $65,000 a year as a paralegal.
I just want any readers thinking about a paralegal career, or currently enrolled in a paralegal program, to know that I’ve been in the legal field since 1986, and I don’t make $65,000 a year.