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Illinois Probing Washington Post’s For-Profit Kaplan Schools

Washington Post Discloses Illinois Probe of Kaplan Unit
The Washington Post Co. headquarters in Washington. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Washington Post Co.’s Kaplan Higher Education Corp. operations, already being investigated by a U.S. Senate committee and the Florida attorney general’s office, are now the subject of an Illinois probe.

Washington Post said it intends to cooperate with a civil investigative demand from the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Robyn Ziegler, a spokeswoman for Madigan, confirmed the probe into the for-profit education company’s practices.

“We’re taking a look at the company and at their for-profit schools,” Ziegler said.

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, has led the Senate probe into the business practices of Kaplan and other for-profit educational companies, including those run by the Phoenix-based Apollo Group Inc.

The Chicago-based Kaplan Higher Education unit was operating 63 schools in 17 states, providing classroom-based instruction to about 38,500 students by the end of 2010, according to the company’s SEC filing.

A related Washington Post unit is being investigated by the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

The Florida probe is examining allegedly deceptive practices regarding recruitment, placement and graduation rates, and alleged misrepresentations regarding financial aid, according to Bondi’s website.

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