Kaplan University is an online school of higher education that is physically based out of Iowa and has a primary administrative office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The school’s roots go back to the American Institute of Commerce that was founded in 1937. After a series of acquisitions, the for profit school took the name of Kaplan University in 2004. Today, the school seeks to be a leader in distance learning opportunities for those who want to pursue undergraduate and graduate level degrees. The variety of program offerings that Kaplan University has developed over the years is reflected within its ten academic schools for Business, General Education, Graduate Education, Health Sciences, Information Technology (IT), Nursing, Behavioral Sciences, Continuous Education, Concord Law School and its Open College. While the school is known for its online programs, it has a number of physical campuses and learning centers in Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin. Students who are serious about beginning a degree program can take advantage of Kaplan University’s three-week free trial period to evaluate the quality of the university’s program curricula, faculty and student services.

Kaplan University Accreditation Details

Kaplan University belongs to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. It enjoys regional accreditation status with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Several of its programs like business and nursing have earned separate, industry recognized accreditation in addition to the overarching HLC designation that covers the entire university.

Kaplan University Application Requirements

Students find a straightforward process when applying for admission into one of Kaplan University’s degree programs. The application for admission is conveniently found on the university’s website. Students can fill out the application form online and pay the non-refundable application fee within 20 minutes if they are prepared with the appropriate information. The application is divided into four sections that ask for personal contact information, educational background, proposed area of study and funding options. Personal contact information like name, phone number email and mailing address is needed so that university advisors can reach students if they have questions concerning their applications. These advisors may also use the information to schedule interviews with students who progress satisfactorily through the admissions process. Students list their secondary and post secondary educational credentials within the educational background section. This section supports the Kaplan University admission requirement for students to have at least a high school diploma, a general education diploma (GED), a home study certificate or be a high school senior who has proof of impending graduation prior to enrollment. Students also list any college attendance regardless of degree completion within this section. The Kaplan University application section that documents the proposed area of study allows students to express their academic aspirations by selecting their desired academic discipline, program type, degree level and projected start date. The interactive application form determines the program’s tuition and fees during the projected time of enrollment, and the information is used to complete the application’s funding options section. Students state how they are planning to pay for their education in the funding options section; some typical choices include federal student loans, private loans, available cash reserves and awarded scholarships. Completing the application is only one step in the Kaplan University admissions process. Prospective undergraduate and graduate school students can expect to complete pre-admission interviews before submitting final enrollment and financial aid documentation. Interviewers will ask students about their specific academic and professional goals to determine whether Kaplan University can help them on their journey. Students are normally required to bring unofficial transcripts to the interview, and a resume may also be requested of prospective graduate students.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and fees at Kaplan University vary by degree program. For instance, the school’s graduate nursing program costs $368 per credit hour and totals $23,920 as of January 2015, but its Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Technology (IT) program costs $22,512 at a rate of $402 per credit hour. Finding the funds to pay for tuition and fees can be one of the most challenging tasks that prospective students undertake when seeking to enroll in a degree program. However, Kaplan University strives to make the process easier by providing a variety of ways to save on tuition and fees. The most common type of financial aid is a student loan that can be acquired from public and private sources. Secondary sources of funding come from scholarships and grants which generally do not have to be repaid. These funding sources can be awarded based on need, merit or both. For example, a public funding source that is awarded based upon need is the Pell Grant. Kaplan University’s admissions staff members help students to file their federal financial aid documentation and to identify certain scholarships and grants for which they are potentially eligible. Additionally, the university provides tuition discounts to certain occupational groups and partnered organizations. For example, Kaplan University discounts tuition rates for active duty military service members by up to 55 percent, military veterans up to 38 percent and active duty military spouses by 10 percent. Students can also get tuition grants from Kaplan University if their employers are partner organizations with the school, and students with transfer credits from community colleges may also qualify for tuition grants.

Kaplan University Graduate Level Information Technology Programs

One of the most popular career fields for those prepared with math and science skills is in IT. The computing systems that support nearly all areas of business operations are maintained and updated by those with IT expertise. These professionals gain their knowledge and skills from rigorous education, training and experience, and Kaplan University’s M.S. in IT program helps students to gain all three. Students who enroll in the program can choose to specialize in concentration areas of interest, or they can pursue a general M.S. in IT degree. The three concentration areas associated with the M.S. in IT degree program are business intelligence and analytics, information security and assurance and project management. The graduate level IT degree at Kaplan University requires that students take certain prerequisite and core classes in addition to any specialized electives. IT principles of information systems is a prerequisite course included in the M.S. in IT program, and it is only required for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in IT. Examples of core course topics taught within the Kaplan University M.S. in IT degree program include database design, data modeling and information systems security.

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Top 10 Best Online Masters in Computer Science Degree Programs