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Kaplan University vs Capella University

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Online Degrees
163 Total (view all)
181 Total (view all)
Annual Undergrad Tuition
$10,105 - $15,957
Annual Grad Tuition
$7,920 - $12,726
School Type
Graduation Rate
Retention Rate
Student Population
Year Founded
Military Friendly?
Recommendation Rate 56% (231 reviews) 58% (141 reviews)

At first glance, it can be difficult to tell the major distinctions between Kaplan and Capella University. Both are private, for-profit distance learning institutions, offering over 100 training programs in dozens of subjects. However, when you look closely at each school's degree offerings and student experiences you can begin to see the distinctions between these two large online colleges.

Hybrid Versus Distance Only

Kaplan University has many campuses and learning centers throughout the US, while Capella is primarily online only. If you live near one of Kaplan's campus locations and are planning to complete a program that requires hands-on work, such as medical assisting or fire science, then Kaplan might be a  better option for you. Currently, students who attend on-campus classes through Kaplan also complete about 41 percent of their coursework online.

Some Capella programs, such as the counseling psychology degrees, also require on-site work. Students may need to come to campus to participate in colloquia, or they may complete an internship at a learning site in their local community.


Student Reviews

In our online student reviews of the two colleges, Capella comes out ahead. Capella has an overall recommendation rate of 62 percent, as well as a career helpfulness rating of 66 percent. Kaplan's overall recommendation rate is 44 percent, while 59 percent of reviewers said their training helped their career. The one particular area where Capella came out squarely ahead was financial aid services. Capella students reported an easier time accessing financial aid and understanding the financial obligations of their program.

Carmen, one of our student reviewers, had this to say about her experience with financial services at Capella: “I was given all the information upfront about when to expect to pay, when to expect a refund, etc. I had trouble once when I expected my loans to get disbursed to a class, and they hadn't disbursed 3 weeks into the class. I called and it was handled right away.”

Diverse Graduate School Opportunities

If you are interested in earning a graduate degree, then you will notice some big differences between the programs available at each school. Capella offers doctorate degrees in many areas, including psychology, education, business and technology, public service, and healthcare and nursing. Current professionals seeking to earn the terminal degree in their field may find that Capella has doctorate opportunities that fit their needs. The master's degree is the highest degree that Kaplan offers in most fields.

One unique graduate option that Kaplan does offer is the Juris Doctor degree, which is available through Concord Law School. Graduates of Concord can sit for the Bar exam in California, to become licensed attorneys.

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Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Recommendation rate refers to the percent of students who said they would recommend this school based on reviews submitted to our partner site,
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.