About Us

Our Mission

KEF seeks to eliminate barriers to higher education for overlooked and underserved community college students to transfer to four-year institutions to complete their bachelor’s degrees. During that time, KLP Scholars simultaneously evolve as world leaders and advocates for their communities. KEF supports KLP Scholars by providing a comprehensive array of financial and academic support, transfer admissions, advising, and leadership skills development. 

Our History

Kaplan, the company, started in 1938 when Stanley Kaplan, the Brooklyn-born son of immigrants and a star student, was rejected from medical school due to anti-Jewish admissions quotas. This setback prompted him to turn a part-time gig tutoring neighborhood kids into a full-time business – and fueled a new life’s mission: opening access to college education and thus the “American Dream” to fellow working class and immigrant children by helping them ace the SAT. Kaplan is now recognized around the world as a global education and education services company, and helps thousands of students and professionals qualify for various standardized tests.

In 2006, executives at Kaplan had the idea to make a big impact for a small group of students, and they pooled their resources to establish The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF), now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. The KEF and Kaplan are entirely separate organizations, but Kaplan and its employees continue to provide financial, in-kind, and volunteer support to the KEF.                  
Since 2006, the KEF has provided comprehensive support to 160 KLP Scholars across 16 Cohorts through the Kaplan Leadership Program (KLP). Our students have attended competitive colleges and universities, graduated with honors, earned degrees from highly selective graduate schools, and landed notable positions in their fields. KLP Scholars have attended elite schools, including Brown, Cornell, NYU, Princeton, Smith, Stanford, Wellesley, and Yale. KLP graduates have secured employment in their desired fields, from Fortune 500 companies (such as Google, Deloitte, and JP Morgan Chase) to roles in organizations making a big impact (such as lawyers for public defender organizations; teachers at universities, community colleges, and high schools; and organizers at Teens for Food Justice). KLP Scholars hold leadership roles in education, public service, and the nonprofit sector. You will have opportunities to connect with alums of the KLP, who can provide mentorship and guidance during your KLP journey.

Our Vision

KEF envisions a world where a college education is universally attainable, and where our society’s leadership reflects the full diversity of our communities. By investing in historically underrepresented students from low-income communities and providing them with the opportunity to receive a quality college education, we are creating tomorrow’s leaders and helping them access the tools to continue breaking down barriers and lifting up the residents of their communities.