I wanted to let you know about the difficult, and potentially unethical situation that I have had to endure while attending Kaplan University. After many hours on hold, and broken promises about the disbursement of my student loans, I feel that someone needs to know about this deceptive and unethical business practice. Here is what has happen to me to the best of my recollection and as accurately as possible. I have been a student at Kaplan University for nearly two years, working of a Masters of Science degree. During such time I have been receiving expense related moneys or stipends on a continuous basis, receiving checks every two-to two and one half months apart. So, up-to-date I have received loan disbursements around 6 times.
On several occasions I have notice that the dates posted on my accounting page at the Kaplan web-site have been changed to reflect a more closely related receiving, and disbursement date. For example, let say the day of a particular disbursement was on the 10 of one month, when the money was actually distributed was the 27, then the 10th was changed to the 27th. In other words as to cover up the lag in actual time of delivery. This is probably done since I was told that the dates posted in the computer were made up / random / meaningless, and deceptive dates.
This is my current situation, which after countless phone calls, and a visit to Kaplan’s corporate office I have been unable to alleviate. On June 16th when the posted date on my Kaplan financial statement page showed that a disbursement was to be made, and mailed to me, and was not, I contacted Kaplan financial aid department. I was told that the Bach(s) dated for the 16th was “messed-up”, by one of their representatives, and had been pushed to the 23rd of July, over a month later. Then she decided to put the date back to the 16th of June. At some point this date was then again moved to the 23rd of July.
I have now communicated with Direct Loans (800-557-7394) on three different occations and have been told that the funds have been ready for Kaplan, and for disbursement on June 9th, 2010. The Fallowing are a brief summary of the different reasons that Kaplan financial aid department has used as excuses to why the funds have not been mailed to me as of July 28, 2010:
1) We are still waiting for Direct Loans to release the funds. (Funds have been ready since June 9th, 2010)
2) I have given your information to an expediter and they will call you back with-in 72 hours. (Never called back)
3) The Dean has created a new processes which has delayed the process, and that is why is taking longer.
4) We started a new financial year on the 1st of July, and since we did not get the funds from the lender by the 1st of July the funds have been delayed.
5) I visited Kaplan’s Corporate Ft. Lauderdale office on July 12, 2010, and was given a persons name of Fred Chalmers at (954) 515-3499 I called and left a message for him, but he never called me back. Furthermore, I got an e-mail address for Annemarie Ingino, attached to this letter is her response. In her response she assure me that the funds were going to be mailed out on the 23rd of July, and that they were going to be mailed out to me overnight, so that I would have the check on the 27th of July. This is from Kaplan’s Corporate office, I never got a check!
6) On July 26th 2010 I called financial Aid, and was advised by the Kaplan representative that he had checked the Direct loan web-site, and that the funds had not been disbursed as of yet. I called the Direct loan origination department right after speaking with the Kaplan rep., and was surprised to hear a recorded message stating that their web site was down. Moreover, after speaking with a representative I was advised, (and this is now the third –time) that the funds had been disbursed to Kaplan and that I needed to contact the school to find out what the problem was.
7) I have called the Financial Aid department at Kaplan, explained my problem, and told by the representative that they were going to check on the situation to hold please, but the person never got back on the phone.
8) I even called the academic advising department to get the deans name, and the address to the corporate office, and the person would not give me either one.
9) All of the conversations have been recorded by Kaplan University, so that all that I’m stating in this letter can be verified.
This is the problem that I’m facing now, I have been in school for almost 2 years, and have been receiving living expense checks on a continuous basis. I have a job, which helps me supplement these funds until I can finish my education, and get a better job. So, when my funds are kept by Kaplan for two months, and now it has been over 3 3/4 months since my last disbursement there is a problem, which will be leaving me, and my Family (I have a 2 ½ son, and his Mother) homeless.
The biggest ethical issue here is that, if Kaplan University is holding on to these funds in an interest earning account, then I should be entitled to the interest from this account. Furthermore, why are they entitled to use my funds for their gain at my expense, and hardship. How long can a School hold moneys which do not belong to them, these are loans that I have to payback. These loans are Federal Loans, does the federal Government have any rules/laws on how long a school can hold these funds for.
It’s clear that someone here is not telling the truth, on one hand I have Kaplan telling me that they are waiting for the Federal Government, and on the other we have the Direct loans a lending department funded by federal government telling me it’s Kaplan responsibility of disbursing these funds. At this point I have lost so much, and hope that this letter is investigated so that other students will not have to undergo this up-and-down nightmare. One thing is for sure, I wish I would have never enrolled at Kaplan University and will never forget this situation. To me this is part of why this country is in such a financial disaster, greed!!!
Lastly, I now find myself in disbelieve in the many different stories that Kaplan University has told me. I sure hope that someone cares to help me with this disgusting situation. I find that a Higher Education institution should be setting an example for its students in how to be ethical and sincere. I’m not really sure how I will be able to finish my education without a home, a family, and a constructive experience, which getting a masters degree should have been, thank you for killing my dreams.