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Kaplan Educational Foundation Celebrates 10 Years of Helping Disadvantaged Community College Students Transfer and Successfully Earn University Degrees

Jun. 15, 2016

Chancellor James Milliken, City University of New York, and Jonathan Grayer, CEO, Weld North LLC Are Honored at New York City Event

New York, NY – (June 15, 2016) – The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF), which helps disadvantaged black and Latino community college students complete their associate’s degrees and transfer to top U.S. colleges and universities, celebrated its 10 year anniversary at a dinner event last night in New York City.

James B. Milliken, Chancellor of The City University of New York, was honored with the 2016 KEF College Partner Award in recognition of the critical support and help provided by the leaders, administrators and faculty at the University and its seven community colleges, from which all KEF Scholars have graduated.

Jonathan Grayer, CEO of Weld North LLC, an investment firm focused on educational technology businesses, was honored with the 2016 KEF Leadership Award in recognition of his role as founder of the Foundation when he was CEO of Kaplan, Inc. The KEF is an independent charity created in 2006 and principally funded by employees of Kaplan, Inc., the global educational services company and largest subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC).

For the past decade, the KEF’s Kaplan Leadership Program has been at the vanguard of helping high-achieving community college students from underrepresented communities successfully transfer to top colleges and universities such as Brown, Stanford, Mount Holyoke, NYU, Morehouse, Amherst, Cornell, and others. Through a combination of generous financial support and wraparound counseling, tutoring and support services, the Kaplan Leadership Scholars attain remarkable outcomes: 87% earn an associate’s degree and 90% of them transfer to a four-year college; all KEF alumni are employed in their field of study or are in graduate school.

The Kaplan Leadership Program’s model seeks to fill a gap, ensuring low-income, high-potential community college students of color successfully complete their associate’s degree and go on to earn a four-year college degree. In demographic terms, Kaplan Leadership Scholars range in age from 18 to 37 years old and almost all are Pell Grant eligible.

Nationally, the challenges facing low-income, first-generation students are steep; only 12% of minority community college students transfer to a four-year institution within four years of enrolling and only seven percent complete a bachelor’s degree within 10 years.  The Foundation’s experience proves the effectiveness of financial resources and, more importantly, comprehensive, high-touch support systems these students may lack in their secondary education or home experiences.

There are currently nine cohorts of Kaplan Leadership Scholars.  This includes 17 active Scholars in the program and 35 alumni. Since the program’s inception, 30 percent of program alumni have enrolled or completed graduate degrees from schools such as the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the NYU Silver School of Social Work, and Stanford University.  Alumni are employed in various fields, from education to medicine to scientific research to finance and marketing.

About the Kaplan Educational Foundation

The Kaplan Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity launched in 2006 with funding from Kaplan, Inc. executives. Its comprehensive program provides financial aid, academic support, leadership skills development, and cultural enrichment for low-income, high-potential, underrepresented community college students seeking to transfer to highly selective four-year schools. For more information about the Foundation, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year, please visit

Press Contact:
Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF)
Mike Tague
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