Managers at Kaplan–the highly profitable educational arm of the Washington Post Co.– have for years pressured academic advisors to use this method to boost enrollment numbers, the former employees said, offering accounts consistent with dozens of complaints filed by former students with the Florida Attorney General’s Office and reviewed by The Huffington Post.
Guerilla registration has been part of a concerted effort by the university to keep students enrolled as long as possible in order to harvest more of the federal financial aid dollars that make up nearly all of the company’s higher education revenues, according to former Kaplan academic advisor Sheldon Cobbler, who described the practice in detail.
Most advisors had access to a company database that allowed them to view students’ e-mail correspondence without their knowledge, said Cobbler, who worked at Kaplan’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., corporate office from 2007 through July of this year. The advisors routinely searched through students’ e-mails to look up their user names and passwords for Kaplan’s enrollment system, and then they used that information to sign in using multiple student identities, enrolling them in classes they never intended to join, he said.
It gets worse: they then hit the kids up for cash to pay tuition fees for the courses they were forcibly enrolled in. This sounds an awful lot like something people would go to jail for in a functioning democracy.