Press Releases

Modern States Education Alliance Receives $600,000 Grant From the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to Advance Educational Initiatives

Grant Is Among the Largest Gifts Received in Organization’s History

Modern States Education Alliance (“Modern States”), the nation’s leading philanthropy dedicated to making a college degree more affordable and accessible for everyone, announced a $600,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. The gift, to be awarded over two years, is among the largest Modern States has received since its founding in 2017.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation funds initiatives that address the social determinants of health, including access to education. Modern States offers a “public library” of 32 high-quality, tuition-free online, college-level courses available to everyone seeking an education. The organization also pays the $93 College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam fee for those who pass Modern States courses, enabling learners to earn college credit at no cost. To date, Modern States has over 500,000 registered learners and has paid for over 150,000 CLEP exams to date. The College Board has offered CLEP exams for over 50 years, and more than 2,900 colleges and universities across the country accept a passing score on a CLEP exam for credit.

“We are honored to receive this two-year commitment from The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation,” said Steve Klinsky, founder and chief executive officer of Modern States. “Partners like Mother Cabrini, who share our aspirations to create practical paths toward affordable and accessible education for all, are essential for the success of Modern States and of enormous benefit to the hundreds of thousands of learners we serve.”

Modern States was conceived by Klinsky in 2012. The organization spent years developing its current model and producing its course library. Since launching in 2017, Modern States has become the largest free credit for college program in the country.

The organization’s courses are taught by professors from leading universities and are designed to help learners earn college credit by teaching the content that they need to know in order to pass the College Board’s CLEP exams.

“The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation aims to improve the health and well-being of underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Kathryn Connerton, president and CEO of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton and chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation’s Statewide Grants Committee overseeing strategic grants. “Our support of Modern States reflects our belief that access to higher education and the economic mobility that it provides for many people is a critical, yet under-appreciated determinant of physical and mental health. It bolsters our commitment to strategic, long-term grants that address key issues of equity and access, as they impact low-income populations.”

Mother Cabrini’s funding will allow Modern States to significantly expand the number of learners it serves in New York City and Westchester, including learners enrolled in Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York. Frederic Salerno, a member of Modern States’ Board of Directors and trustee of the Inner City Scholarship Fund, which helps students attend Catholic schools in New York City, worked closely with the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to secure the grant.

“I deeply believe that Modern States creates the opportunity for any learner who wants to get a head start on their college education,” said Salerno. “I am thrilled that this grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation will allow us to serve students and schools in New York City’s public and Catholic systems who need access to an affordable education.”

View the full list of Modern States’ college-level courses here.

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