He began by preparing students for the New York State Regents exams. But when a student showed up in 1946 asking for help on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (as the SAT was then called), he saw an opportunity. And when students later sought his help on medical school exams, he signed them on, too.
For decades his services remained local, marketed to Roman Catholic schools and to yeshivas. Most students arrived by word of mouth. But he gradually began to attract students from around the country....
Despite his growing success, Mr. Kaplan faced resistance from the College Board, which continued to assert that gains from test-preparation courses were minimal. Opposition was so strong, Mr. Kaplan recalled, that some students felt a need to register under false names, like Jane Doe and Albert Einstein.
In Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania student newspaper refused to run his advertisements, and the university denied his requests to hang posters and rent rooms for his courses. He called the opposition “elitist” and distributed T-shirts on campus. Students flocked to his classes.
August 25, 2009
Said Stanley Kaplan, dead now, at 90.