VanEd vs Kaplan: Which Real Estate School Should You Choose?

VanEd vs Kaplan: Which Real Estate School Should You Choose?
  1. Overview
  2. Accreditations
  3. A Look Inside the Courses
  4. Time to Get Your License
  5. Cost
  6. Customer Service and Support
  7. Reviews and Testimonials
  8. The Winner

Not all real estate schools are created equal, and when deciding which school is going to shape the entire future of your career, it is imperative to do your research.

A real estate school that works with your needs is the difference between a successful and unsuccessful start to your career. Quality of support, course availability and structure, cost, and completion time are just a few factors to consider when choosing a real estate school.

There is so much information about each school available that it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused. This article focuses on two of the leading real estate schools in Colorado. We’ll compare these two schools side-by-side so you know which education is best for you.

1. Overview


VanEd Real Estate School Logo

Since 1997, VanEd Real Estate School has been a trusted real estate education provider. Their courses are 100% online. Students have access to their coursework anytime and can complete their modules anywhere. This model is attractive to students who have full-time jobs or busy personal lives. Students take the course at their own pace.

They offer education for agents, brokers, and appraisers within the industry. Their courses include the following:

This wide variety of courses makes VanEd an ideal school for real estate agents who plan to stay in the real estate industry. The VanEd student portal keeps track of all the courses students take in one place. After licensing, students can take CE courses or advance their careers by taking broker or appraiser courses on a familiar platform.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy features of VanEd is the customer service support team. Reviews mention the helpfulness of this staff repeatedly. The support staff is a team of dedicated real estate instructors who have years of experience in the real estate industry. This staff is available to students for anything ranging from technical support to coursework assistance.


Kaplan Real Estate  Logo

Kaplan Real Estate School has pre-license, post-license, appraisal, home inspection, contracting, and professional development courses. They have real estate education for students in just about every state.

Kaplan offers different kinds of education formats. Their three formats are live classroom, online, and home study. These courses give options for students to either complete their education online or in person.

Kaplan offers a live interactive study group every week and a career mentorship course twice a month for students who desire interaction with their studies. This interactivity is an advantage to students who enjoy collaborating with others and learning from other people within their course.

Which Real Estate School Is Affiliated With Kaplan?

You're probably familiar with the Kaplan name for its well-known SAT prep program. They're a big name in test prep with an 80-year history.

Kaplan Real Estate School is their real estate education arm.

While the brand-name recognition can be comforting, this doesn't necessarily mean they're the right fit for your real estate career preparation. Their reputation is built around college and grad school test prep, which is a different beast from professional licensing.

Kaplan certainly isn't a bad option, but it's better to choose your real estate school based on what it will offer you, not based solely on its name.

2. Accreditations

VanEd Real Estate Accreditations

All of VanEd’s courses are accredited and meet the requirements of each state. Some major accreditations include:

  • International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC)
  • Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO)
  • Real Estate Educators Association (REEA)
  • Certified Distance Education Instructor (CDEI)
  • REALTOR® Association Professional Development Directors (RAPDD)
  • Approvals in each state

You can see a complete list of VanEd Real Estate School Accreditations and learn more about each on VanEd's website.

Kaplan Real Estate Accreditations

Kaplan courses are all approved by the state where a course is hosted. There are no other mentions of accreditation on the site. On each state course page, find the accreditation under the course chart.

3. A Look Inside the Courses


VanEd’s courses are interactive and text-based and can be accessed 24/7 from any device. The courses are available as a downloadable PDF for students to study anywhere they choose. Students complete courses online at their own pace. This means that courses can be completed as fast as several weeks or as slow as 12 months.

VanEd also offers a highly organized and effective Learning Management System (LMS). Their courses contain videos, infographics, various interactive exercises, intuitive navigation, course progress reminders, flashcards, quizzes, and the ability for students to take notes and save them to their accounts.

VanEd has several videos that show the courses from inside the student portal. Take a sneak peek into what the student portal looks like by viewing the below video.

One of VanEd’s most popular real estate courses is in the Colorado market. This next video shows an overview of the Colorado course, but other courses have a similar structure.


Kaplan offers three different study formats for students who enjoy learning in different ways: Live Online Instruction, OnDemand Video Instruction, and TextBook Home Study. This variety of learning methods allows students to learn by watching videos, asking questions in real-time, or reading through their studies.

Students must complete their courses within six months. This is important to consider when purchasing a course. VanEd gives students access to their course for 12 months; twice as long as Kaplan offers.

Here is a thorough overview of Kaplan’s course offerings:

The Home Study: This structure allows students to download PDF files for studying at their own pace using a text-based format. Exams are still part of this course, but there is minimal interaction. Although it is tagged as the home study method, students can access their information and study from anywhere at any time.

Live Online: Live online courses have a fixed schedule. This e-learning class is similar to any online school and involves a teacher presenting information in real-time. This package allows students to interact with other students and their instructor.

OnDemand: This version of Kaplan’s courses gives students access to pre-recorded lectures. Students can access, pause, and rewatch videos at any time.

Here is a peek inside Kaplan’s online courses:

4. Time to Get Your License

The amount of time it takes to get your real estate license isn't entirely up to your real estate school. It will vary based on your state's pre-license education requirements because some states require 60 hours of instruction time while others require 180. Different states also have different exam schedules, application timelines, and processing delays.

However, the format and flexibility of your real estate school can make a real difference in how quickly you complete the required education.

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Real Estate License With Vaned?

Compared to other options, VanEd real estate school puts the control over how quickly you can earn your license in your hands.

VanEd provides you with 12 months to complete your coursework, twice as long as Kaplan. You may or may not need this time, but life comes with all sorts of surprises, so it's a nice amount of breathing room in case anything goes wrong.

On the minimum end of the scale, VanEd's on-demand model allows you maximum flexibility to work through the material. You can study when and where it's convenient, including from a mobile device, and the on-demand courses are text-based, which allows you to review the material as quickly or carefully as needed for your learning style.

In most states, you can complete the courses in a few weeks if you're really committed.

How Quickly Can You Get Your Real Estate License With Kaplan?

Kaplan asks you to commit to one of three learning models when you enroll. Basically, you can choose to read on-demand (Home Study), watch videos on-demand (Online Videos), or attend scheduled live courses (Live Online).

The most flexible option for your schedule is the text-based Home Study package, but the material is presented in a PDF format, which makes it difficult or impossible to study on the go from your mobile device.

Online Videos will allow you to study when and where you like, but the video format dictates the amount of time you spend on the material.

For live online courses, you'll be locked into a class schedule.

Kaplan appears to give you more choices, but each option compromises your autonomy and flexibility one way or another.

Kaplan also limits you to six months for course completion. This is likely to be ample time for most learners, but if you have a hectic life or suddenly encounter a life emergency, you could run out of time. That means you'd have to start over from scratch and be out a second enrollment fee.

5. Cost

Cost is an essential factor in real estate school. Understanding what you are paying for is essential for finding a product that is both valuable and affordable.

Keep in mind that because each state has different licensing requirements, prices vary. Below, we use Colorado as a comparison example for each school.

How Much is VanEd Real Estate School?

Prices vary in each state, but VanEd generally hits the middle mark at their base pricing. They're constantly offering significant discounts that make their school extremely affordable. In select states, the courses include a free trial period.

In each state, VanEd typically offers packages at different price points. The "extras" for each state's different packages will vary based on what's useful in your state.

In Colorado, VanEd's pre-license courses come in three different packages: Essentials, Advantage, and Premium. Every package consists of a complete education, exam prep courses, live customer service, and live instructor support. You can see the prices and "extras" for each package in the table below.

VanEd Colorado Real Estate Course Pricing
168-Hour Essentials 168-Hour Advantage 168-Hour Premium
$298 $368 $455


  • Required Courses
  • Exam Prep Course
  • Live Customer Service
  • Live Instructor Support

Essentials plus:

  • Ebook for each course
  • Course Study Guide Workbooks
  • Exam Practice Workbook

Advantage plus:

  • CREC Annual Commission Course
  • 20% discount on 1yr of Continuing Ed
  • Career Kickstarter Course

How Much Is Kaplan Real Estate School?

Kaplan’s course prices range from average to expensive, depending on which package you choose. The most expensive package is the Live Online package. The least expensive package is Home Study, which is a competitive price compared to other real estate schools.

Kaplan offers some sales throughout the year, but sales do not occur not often.

Kaplan Colorado Real Estate Course Pricing
Home Study OnDemand Live Online
$599 $799 $999


6. Customer Service and Support


VanEd offers students the ability to speak directly with a knowledgeable instructor. VanEd instructors are successful real estate professionals who now teach students how to find success in the industry. Having instructors who know the industry and understand the exams is a huge advantage.

All instructors are practicing professionals with many years of experience in real estate and appraisal. The VanEd instructors are available during the workweek by phone or email.

The online Q&A system lets you contact instructors by email and browse through a well-organized collection of previously posted student questions and instructor answers.


Kaplan has a support staff available who can help potential students pick out the best course package for them or answer any questions about the courses.

Kaplan has weekly study sessions for students to interact with other students and instructors. Here, students can ask questions and have discussions. This interaction is helpful for those who enjoy study groups.

Kaplan hosts a career development course twice a month. This course allows students to understand their future careers better and listen to stories from those with real estate experience.

7. Reviews & Student Testimonials

The most critical opinions to consider when looking for a real estate school are ratings from current and past students. Here are what recent students had to say about these two schools in Google.


VanEd Real Estate School has received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from 167 students.



Kaplan Real Estate School has received an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars from 19 students.


8. VanEd vs Kaplan: The Bottom Line

VanEd Real Estate School is the winner and the best online real estate school in Colorado for those interested in a long career in real estate. Students having 24/7 course access, a phenomenal team of professionals as a resource, and education available for the next steps in their real estate career sets VanEd apart from Kaplan.

However, Kaplan is a great alternative school for those interested in learning live online. Their education courses in alternative real estate fields are a good option for those looking for a real estate career in home inspection or contracting.

Written and Published by: VanEd

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