Kaplan University and Kaplan online accounting degree programs seem to naturally go together. However, is it a good choice for you? If you’re looking for a quality accounting education online, then it's definitely is one option you should seriously consider.
The School of Business appears to be one of the best available online. You have the option of a variety of concentrations within the field of accounting itself at all levels of study:
The curriculum includes a healthy mix of theory and practical application and students find the program to be very career focused. The courses are high quality and are available at campus locations or online.
Like other universities offering an extensive online program, Kaplan specializes in providing flexible learning options for working, adult students. Online courses are available 24/7 so you can fit your online work into your busy family and work schedules.
Unlike some other online programs, students have a choice of an accelerated degree program or a more traditional full or part time path of study. A full foundation of general education courses is part of the curriculum as well, providing a well-rounded learning experience rather than one that seems more like a trade school.
Will an accounting degree from Kaplan University help you find a job?
Unfortunately Kaplan does not track placements or calculate placement rates for its online programs. If you attend at a campus location, however, your success rate is pretty high. A 100% placement rate is reported for graduates of the Accounting Associate Degree and 98% for graduates of the Accounting Bachelor Degree program.
Can you count on these results?
Well, Universities calculate placement statistics using self-reported figures taken from alumni polls and surveys. The figures are often skewed by low alumni response rates. When you compare these numbers with those reported by other programs, however, Kaplan University has an advantage.
Former students are relatively positive about their experience. Most felt the faculty was kind, approachable, and knowledgeable. Many commented on the real world experience professors brought to the classroom – both in person and online.
Unlike other online accounting degree programs, students report they interacted frequently with professors and teaching staff. Questions submitted online were answered promptly and the overall experience was positive.
Where could Kaplan University improve? Students were less than impressed with the academic advising department Accounting graduates found the advisors were not familiar with requirements for the CPA exam. Advice about accounting degree programs, especially online, was inaccurate at times as well.
What advice would graduates give incoming accounting students? Take responsibility for understanding the CPA exam requirements in your state. Make sure you completely understand the requirements for your degree. If you are confused, seek advice from an accounting faculty member before relying on Kaplan’s academic advising team.
Kaplan is not immune to the controversy surrounding for-profit universities in the United States. In 2008 three former academic officers at filed federal False Claims Act lawsuits.
These lawsuits alleged the admission of unqualified students and inflation of their grades so they could maintain enrollment in order to profit from financial aid. Kaplan has denied any wrongdoing. One lawsuit was dismissed, but the other two are scheduled for trial in late 2013.
Kaplan is also part of the parent organization that offers the Kaplan CPA Review Course – one of the leading review courses available. Check out our in-depth review.
Despite the allegations and controversy currently pending, Kaplan University has a track record of providing quality accounting degree programs and general education to students both at its campus locations and online. While profit is certainly one motivation behind decisions at Kaplan, it does not appear to be the sole motivation.
Our opinion? If you’re willing to take responsibility to plot your own academic course, Kaplan University is a good alternative and worthy of consideration.