Princeton Review challenges Kaplan

We at The Princeton Review were dismayed by the one-sided nature of the recent article on Kaplan’s new contract with the University of Miami (“Kaplan becomes official UM test-prep provider,” Sept. 13). As one UM faculty member noted, “I really thought the article was a Kaplan advertisement at first glance.”

The “article” did nothing but highlight Kaplan’s decision to enforce a total ban on TPR’s campus presence-and of course, it served as free advertising for Kaplan. The reporter failed to describe the reason for the switch, namely that Kaplan outbid us for the contract, which had nothing to do with the quality of service we provided.

The article also misrepresented the way The Princeton Review handled its “exclusive” contract with UM. Unlike Kaplan, we allowed other companies to post flyers around campus, sponsor clubs and even hold events on campus. We were well aware of Kaplan’s association with some student groups; it was simply our policy not to interfere with or limit Kaplan’s on-campus activities or relationships, regardless of our contract with the University.

In fact, we’ve always been so confident in our courses and teachers that we have repeatedly challenged Kaplan to a head-to-head debate over the relative merits of each company’s preparation. We want students from local colleges to have the opportunity to ask each of us questions and get straight answers. Sadly, they’ve refused our offer every time.

Kaplan may force student groups to deal exclusively with them since they have taken over the University contract, but individual students aren’t stuck with them. TPR believes that students deserve a choice when it comes to preparing for standardized tests, and we will continue to provide quality services to those students who choose us over Kaplan.

Staff of The Princeton Review, South Florida