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Hamilton, Kaplan merge

DES MOINES, Iowa --Kaplan Inc., which owns Hamilton College and Kaplan University said Tuesday the two institutions have merged.

The merger means Hamilton College campuses in Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs and Mason City in Iowa, and Lincoln and Omaha in Nebraska will be renamed Kaplan University.

The 3,700-student Hamilton College said it has operated more than a century, offering programs in health, business, computer information systems, legal studies, nursing and travel.

Davenport-based Kaplan University was established in 1937 as the American Institute of Commerce. It was renamed Kaplan College in 2000 and became Kaplan University in 2004. It offers master's, bachelor's and associate degrees and professional certificates in a number of disciplines including business, criminal justice, education, health care, education and legal studies through more than 100 programs online and on campuses.

New York City-based Kaplan Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., acquired Hamilton College in 2000. The college is a unit of the company's Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Kaplan Higher Education Corp.

The company said in a statement that the merger will provide campus students more opportunities for taking courses in class or online. Many students pursuing certificates and degree programs under Hamilton courses of study can explore similar degrees online with the addition of additional programs including master's degrees, which were not previously available on the campuses, the statement said.

Kaplan University will have about 4,800 students in Iowa and Nebraska with the merger.

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