Kaplan becomes official UM test-prep provider

Move over, Princeton Review. Kaplan is taking over at UM. The University recently entered into an exclusive agreement with Kaplan test-prep company, which renders all agreements with other test-prep companies void.

“It was time for [contract] renewal, and as we had in the past we had requested proposals,” Brian Blythe, director of test preparation programs, said. “We decided that Kaplan would meet the students’ and the University’s needs better [than Princeton Review].”

This new policy primarily affects organizations that are geared toward postgraduate programs, such as pre-med or pre-law honor societies. These organizations are often sponsored by a test-prep provider and work closely with each other.

Previously, the University had an agreement with Princeton Review, but many organizations still used Kaplan’s services because there was little communication between administration and students concerning the matter.

“There was misunderstanding I think in the past with student groups,” Blythe said. “Basically, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.”

Thus, the new contract has little effect on organizations that were already working with Kaplan while the University was contracted with Princeton Review.

Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), the national pre-med honor society, is satisfied with the agreement because they have already been working with Kaplan for a number of years.

“Kaplan is our backbone; we actually got a new contract with Kaplan last year which really gave us a lot of funding,” Amit Jain, vice president of fellowship for AED, said. “In return we promote them at our meetings and publicize their programs.”

However, Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) pre-legal fraternity will have to negotiate a new contract, since they had been working with Princeton Review.

“We’re not supposed to be using Princeton Review so we have been speaking with Kaplan, but so far no agreement has been reached with them,” Beatriz Gonzalez, PAD vice president, said. “It not only affects our members receiving discounts but also our fundraising, so overall everything we provide to our members has decreased.”

Dr. Elisah Lewis, PAD advisor, is optimistic that a new agreement will be reached.

“We’re still in the process of contacting them to try to develop a positive relationship with them,” Dr. Lewis said.

In order to set up a new contract with Kaplan, the student group simply needs to contact Anthony Coloca, the Kaplan representative for UM.

“[Kaplan] will work with student groups. There’s a platinum, a gold and a silver level of how involved an organization wants to be with Kaplan,” Blythe said.

Ultimately, the goal is to achieve mutual agreements between Kaplan and the individual organizations that will use their services.

“We help them, they help us,” Jain said. “And they help us significantly.”

For more information, contact Anthony Coloca at 305-284-0090, or email Anthony_Coloca@kaplan.com.

Megha Garg can be contacted at m.garg2@umiami.edu.