About Us

Our Mission

The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF) seeks to eliminate barriers to education for overlooked and underserved students and develop them as leaders for the American workforce and their communities. KEF launched the Kaplan Leadership Program (KLP) in 2006 to do just that. KLP is a unique and trailblazing model that addresses the needs of the ‘whole’ student for low-income, high-potential Community College students.

KLP successfully transfers low-income Black, Latino and Native American students of exceptional academic merit from New York City’s community colleges to top four-year universities throughout the country, while preparing them to succeed academically and assume leadership roles in their professions and communities. Our Kaplan Scholars receive a comprehensive array of financial and academic support, transfer admissions advising and leadership skills development.

Our History

The Kaplan Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity initially established and supported by a generous endowment funded by Kaplan, Inc. executives with the idea of helping a small group of students in a big way. Kaplan, Inc. and its employees continue to provide financial, in-kind and volunteer support to KEF and our Kaplan Scholars.

Since 2006, we have provided comprehensive support to ten Cohorts of Scholars through the Kaplan Leadership Program. The success of the KLP, and of the Kaplan Scholars on the campuses of their four-year schools, has led to the development of strong partnerships with both the Community Colleges and the senior universities that seek out our Kaplan Scholars. As a result, Kaplan Scholars are receiving greater support from four-year schools, which are providing, even more, resources to transfer and non-traditional college students.

Kaplan Scholars are attending highly competitive 4-year schools while program alumni have graduated with honors, landed notable positions in their fields of interest and earned seats in highly selective graduate schools.


The Need

By 2018, 63 percent of American jobs will require a two-or-four-year college education. Yet, according to the most recent U.S. Census, only 18 percent of Blacks and 13 percent of Latinos over the age of 25 held a bachelor’s degree. Only one tenth of 24-year olds from the lowest income quartile hold a bachelor’s degree, compared to four-fifths of those in the top income quartile. In addition, 56% of Hispanic and 48% of Black undergraduate students are enrolled in Community College, yet fewer than 10% of all Community College students ever graduate from a four-year college. Unless these statistics improve, large numbers of Americans will be unable to compete in the 21st-century economy, and the nation will be deprived of this untapped talent.

Our Vision

The Kaplan Educational Foundation 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 deserving and diverse students from low-income communities and providing them with the opportunity to receive a college education, we are creating tomorrow’s Leaders who will continue breaking down barriers and lifting up the residents of their communities.

Click here for details on the Kaplan Leadership Program.