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Modern States Education Alliance is a non-profit dedicated to making a high quality college education free of cost and accessible to any person who seeks one. Its founding principle is that access to affordable education is fundamental to any philosophy that respects all individuals, and fundamental to the American dream.

Freshman Year for Free

Modern States’ initial program, Freshman Year for Free, is intended to let students earn up to one year of college credit without tuition or textbook expense.

Modern States is partnering with edX, the leading online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. Modern States has given edX the money to complete the development of more than 30 high quality freshman college courses, taught by some of the world’s leading universities and professors. Each course includes online lectures, quizzes, tests, and other features. Textbooks and materials will also be provided online, free of charge.

The courses are designed to prepare students for the major “Advanced Placement” (AP)* or “College Level Examination Program” (CLEP)* tests offered by the College Board, including subjects such as History, Computer Science, Math, English and Economics.

According to the College Board, more than 2,000 traditional colleges and universities already offer credit to students who pass AP and CLEP tests.  Students can take one course or many courses on Modern States, and then – by passing the AP or CLEP exams – can begin with up to a full year’s worth of credit after they enroll in traditional college, making Modern States an “on-ramp” to college.  Modern States hopes to provide links for students to tutoring, mentoring and college advising groups as well.

Open to Everyone

In short, Modern States works like a global digital public library of great college courses. Enrollment in Modern States courses will be “massively open” to all people without regard to age, location, family income, nationality, prior credits or other factors. The courses may also provide a critical “road back” for students who have left the traditional US college system. Modern States is not in opposition to any traditional college and recognizes that a four-year residential experience at an established university is the preferred alternative. However, such an opportunity is out of reach for many people, given the high cost of tuition and other factors.

Modern States was initially conceived and funded by businessman and philanthropist Steve Klinsky (the CEO of Modern States), but has grown as an alliance with the guidance and support of other education and foundation leaders. College systems with over two million students have affiliated with Modern States Education Alliance, including systems in New York, Texas, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.

Working closely with Klinsky is Pulitzer Prize winner David Vise, Executive Director of Modern States. The author of four books, Vise was a reporter at The Washington Post for more than 20 years before joining the investment firm New Mountain Capital as a Senior Advisor.

Modern States is a philanthropy intended to increase global access to high quality education and seeks to partner with others who share its goals.

*Advanced Placement, AP and CLEP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these offerings.

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