Kaplan CEO Andrew S. Rosen

Some Members of Congress are stepping up to increase oversight over the for-profit college industry, which is heavily subsidized by taxpayers but which continues to abuse our veterans and other students.

As a part of this effort, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sought to report about the salaries of top executives at these companies. Keep in mind that more than 86 percent of the funds for 30 major for-profit colleges studied by Congress come from taxpayers. So that means that these execs are essentially living large on the public dole.

One major company, Kaplan, which is owned by the Washington Post, refused to respond. Here’s the explanation for why:

As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Washington Post Company, Kaplan is not required to disclose its executive pay to the SEC. Citing this rationale, Kaplan refused to comply with Ranking Member Cummings’ request for information.

We know from a new report by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) that Kaplan in 2010 received 85.89 percent of its revenue from U.S. Department of Education grants and loans ($1.46 billion out of $1.7 billion) — one of the highest percentages of any school.  We also know that Kaplan is one of the top ten recipients of additional federal college aid through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Total federal aid could be as more than 90 percent of Kaplan revenue.

And we know that Kaplan’s previous CEO, Jonathan Grayer, received a $76 million compensation package when he resigned in November 2008.

But if taxpayers want to know what Kaplan’s current CEO, Andrew Rosen, is making — essentially, what is being done with their tax dollars — they’re out of luck.  That’s a particularly egregious situation when you consider that — even though most of the Post Company’s revenues in recent years have come from Kaplan — somewhere inside that company is still housed a newspaper, one with a long tradition of standing up for disclosure and accountability.

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Filed under: Congress, Plutocrats

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