In tough economic times, workers return to school to buff up their credentials.
Kaplan has benefited from the recession. It is looking to fill 350 positions.
That’s benefited Washington Post Co. subsidiary Kaplan Inc. Its Kaplan University, started with 34 online students in 2001, now has 55,000 online students. Online enrollment increased 45% in the first half of 2009. Indeed, Kaplan Inc. is doing so well, it now makes up more than half its parent’s revenue.
That growth has been great for Fort Lauderdale, home to Kaplan University’s executive offices and its largest online student support center. From a 65-employee start in Boca Raton in 2000, Kaplan University has mushroomed into an economic anchor, employing 2,800 in Fort Lauderdale and south Florida. In October, the university opened a support center in Plantation that will eventually employ 700. “We still expect to grow here in south Florida,” says Gregory Marino, president of the Kaplan University Group.
has been pretty
good to us.”
— Gregory Marino,
Kaplan Inc. was founded by the late Stanley Kaplan, a New Yorker and part-year Boca Raton resident who offered his first SAT prep class in 1938 and sold to the Post in 1984. Kaplan University located in south Florida because it had a paralegal correspondence school in Boca and used that school as a model as the university grew. South Florida employees handle admissions advising, academic advising, financial aid, technology, marketing and other support tasks. Hollywood is home to Kaplan Virtual Education for sixth- through 12th-grade online students, and Kaplan University opened an Orlando online support center in April that will employ 750.
Marino says south Florida has a good pool of degree holders the company can tap for workers. It also has affordable real estate and good air connections for traveling executives, including Kaplan Inc.’s senior executive, chairman and CEO Andrew S. Rosen, who works from Fort Lauderdale.