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U.S. Department of Education Acts On Purdue NewU Plan To Acquire Kaplan, Operate As Indiana’s Newest Public Institution

Sep. 19, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN (September 19, 2017) — The U.S. Department of Education has given its approval for Purdue University to move forward with its previously announced plan to acquire Kaplan University and operate Purdue NewU as Indiana’s newest public institution of higher education.

This development follows the unanimous decision on Aug. 10 by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) that approved Purdue NewU as a public institution of higher education under Purdue’s control and authorized it to offer academic programs.

The department’s determination, issued after a review of a “pre-acquisition application” submitted by the parties, confirms the federal regulatory agency will give its approval upon the sale’s consummation. It outlines certain conditions that need to be met, which Purdue will work to address as it prepares to complete the transaction.

“Purdue is appreciative of the Department of Education’s swift action,” said Frank Dooley, senior vice provost for teaching and learning. “Following on the heels of the unanimous approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Department of Education’s authorization is additional affirmation of Purdue’s proposal and the desire to fulfill our land-grant mission by making access to affordable education even more broadly available to those who stand to benefit the most from such access.”

The education department’s approval is the second of three major regulatory reviews necessary for the new institution, currently referred to as Purdue NewU until a new name is selected, to commence operations.

The final step in the approval process resides with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accreditor for both Purdue and Kaplan universities. The HLC reaffirmed Kaplan University’s accreditation for 10 years without any issues in August 2016 after a comprehensive review process.

In late April, Purdue announced the creation of the new institution to advance its land-grant mission, expanding access to higher education for working adults and others for whom traditional campus study is not accessible or attainable. By acquiring Kaplan University through NewU, Purdue seeks to reach the 35 million adults who started but did not complete a degree. No state appropriations will be required to support Purdue NewU’s operations.

NewU will be overseen by a six-member Board of Trustees that is itself appointed by the Purdue Board of Trustees and includes five of Purdue’s current trustees. The NewU board will oversee and approve all academic, budget, marketing and operational functions of the new university.

NewU’s board already has approved a dramatic tuition discount for Indiana resident students and free tuition for Purdue employees. The new Indiana resident rate, also approved by KU’s current board in June, took effect at the beginning of KU’s current academic term and the Purdue employee tuition policy will take effect after the transaction closes.


About Purdue University:

Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the university has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels. Committed to student success, Purdue is changing the student experience with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative use of technology. Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward.

About Kaplan University:

Kaplan University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, serves approximately 29,000 online and campus-based students. The university has 14 campuses and learning centers in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin. The university strives to help adult students by providing practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest growing industries. KU has been a leading innovator in higher education, including its pioneering role in delivering online degree programs, its long-time commitment to competency-based education linking mastery of discipline specific and professional competencies, and through its Research Pipeline designed to improve student learning and persistence by testing experimental interventions against empirical evidence. KU’s Concord Law School offered the first fully online law degree.

About Kaplan Inc.:

Kaplan Inc. serves over 1 million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training and university preparation and offerings to individuals, institutions and businesses. Across its nearly 80-year history, first as small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 15,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges and universities, and over 2,600 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit

Press contacts:

Kaplan University
Amy Hawkinson
Director, Public Relations
Office: 954-515-3603
Mobile: 773-301-6437

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