Washington Post’s Kaplan to shut school in Florida

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – The Washington Post Co’s education unit, Kaplan College, is planning to shut its campus here as it failed to attract students for its programs.

The college said it would allow 53 of the students currently enrolled in the school to complete their courses and will continue to be in operation through May 2013.

“This was a difficult decision but there just wasn’t enough student demand for the campus’ program offerings,” spokesman Ronald Iori said.

Student enrollment at most for-profit colleges have declined in the last several quarters, as new government rules passed by the U.S. Department of Education led to tighter admission policies.

The rules were passed after government investigations found fraudulent admission policies, high student debt, and low job prospects. The Pembroke Pines campus was one of the colleges where deceptive student recruitment practices were found.

The company said it had informed the appropriate programmatic, state, federal and accreditation authorities about the closure.

The campus, which employed 24 people, laid off 4 employees last week, Iori said. It was looking to find jobs for the rest at other campuses.

However, a nursing program that the online Kaplan University runs from the campus, would not be affected by the closure, he said.

Kaplan accounts for almost 60 percent of Washington Post’s total revenue.

In the fourth quarter, the firm’s provision for credit losses and foreclosed-property expenses rose to $4.7 billion from $4.5 billion in the third quarter. Its provision for loan losses narrowed to $18.7 billion from $23.6 billion a year ago.