EXPIRED: 08/23/09 – Stanley Kaplan, 90, had eyes on med school, but they filled their quota of Jews admitted so he tutored kids in the basement of his mother’s Brooklyn apartment instead. He eventually sold Kaplan Test Prep for much more than a doctor’s salary, making his mother very proud indeed. Baruch hashem!
After planning to become a doctor, Kaplan was rejected from five New York medical schools because they had already filled their quota of Jewish students. The rejections fueled a lifelong desire to make education more meritocratic.
Kaplan’s test-prep behemoth not only helped millions of students level the playing field in what he described as a “poor man’s private school” but also smashed a widely-believed fallacy—that the SAT measured the innate ability to learn, and therefore couldn’t be studied for. Kaplan’s company became very successful in the wake of World War II, when the United States government passed the GI Bill, which caused a large increase in college enrollment among American veteran.
Despite dogged resistance from the College Board, Kaplan built his test-prep firm into a hugely profitable empire—bought by the Washington Post Co. in 1984, the firm accounted for 58% of the company’s revenue last quarter.