Howard University has become the third HBCU to partner with Kaplan, a global educational services company, for its new “All Access” initiative, which will provide Howard students with graduate admissions test prep courses at no cost.
The free test prep courses will cover 10 different graduate-level and professional licensing exams and are open to all.
The list of exams includes: LSAT, MCAT, GRE and GMAT as well as NCLEX-RN, a bar exam, and INBDE and USMLE, which are two medical-related exams. Test prep courses will also be provided for students taking the exams in pursuit of becoming a CFA or CPA, two finance-related certifications.
According to the Dec.13 press release, Kaplan’s Director of Institutional Partnerships, James Polulach, emphasized that bringing this initiative to Howard aligns with Kaplan’s mission of “looking at increasing access amongst all students as opposed to only those who could fit within a budget or fit within a scholarship,” he said.
The university has not provided full details on how the initiative will be funded. However, Howard’s Provost & Chief Academic Officer, Anthony K. Wutoh, mentioned that he closely “coordinated” with the university’s finance team to make sure “it would be financially structured in such a way that we would be able to support it sooner rather than later,” he said.
Wutoh spoke to the effect that this initiative will have on Howard students.
“…We’re always looking for ways to support our students in terms of preparing them for graduate and professional programs if there is an interest. And we also always want to look for ways to remove cost and finances as an obstacle,” he said.
Undergraduate students at Howard are excited about the university making efforts to provide additional resources for its students through the Kaplan partnership.
Mia Rivers, a junior biology major, chemistry minor from Prince George’s County, Maryland, who is currently preparing to take the MCAT exam said, “A couple of months ago I had read an article about the partnership between Kaplan and Howard University. I thought ‘about time.’ I wish I’d known they were planning to partner with each other sooner,” Rivers said. “I bought the 2022-23 MCAT set from Kaplan in October. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to access the resources promised from the partnership.”
Austin Dellafosse, a junior chemistry major, mathematics minor from Lake Charles, Louisiana said, “…I did hear about Howard’s new partnership with Kaplan. Hearing about it seemed like an amazing opportunity for students to take advantage of.”
Wutoh said that the university is “still in the implementation phase” of this partnership, and as far as how to access this new initiative, “We’ll announce that shortly once we work out those details with Kaplan,” he said.
The press release notes that Kaplan has prepared for standardized tests for nearly 85 years, and Howard University is among its first HBCU partners for the company’s new “All Access” initiative, joining Xavier University of Louisiana and Cleveland State University. Their mission is to prepare students for “a variety of high-stakes admissions and licensing exams that they need to take in order to reach their ultimate professional goals.”
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee