Press Releases

Modern States receives $1.3 million in additional funding

Modern States Education Alliance Marks Second Anniversary With Additional $1.3 Million in Gifts and Over 150,000 Students

Philanthropy Helps All Learners Earn College Credit for Free

  • Modern States is now America’s leading free college program
  • In two years, over 150,000 students registered for free courses on
  • Program is entirely free for students; no barrier to entry

New York (August 13, 2019)– Modern States Education Alliance, a philanthropy dedicated to making a college degree more affordable and accessible to everyone, today announced that it received an additional gift from its founder and CEO Steve Klinsky, and grants from foundations including the Achelis and Bodman Foundation, the Laura B. Vogler Foundation and The Starr Foundation. The Heckscher Foundation for Children also has partnered with Modern States, providing funds to New York City public schools in Harlem and the Bronx to facilitate adoption of Modern States.

The support of these foundations will help Modern States continue to provide a free path to college for all kinds of learners.

“We are very grateful for the growing levels of support from outstanding and like-minded foundations,” said Klinsky, who conceived of the Modern States program originally and paid for the program’s courses to be developed. “No one should be blocked from education by lack of funds. The new grants and gifts for Modern States help ensure that many thousands of students can learn at a college level, save on tuition, and move one step closer to earning their diploma.”

“Tens of thousands of poor and underserved youth fail to obtain a degree due to the high cost associated with attending college,” said Peter Sloane, chairman and CEO of The Heckscher Foundation. “There is no better way to obtain free credits for college than Modern States.”

“I’ve seen firsthand hundreds of students benefit from this extraordinary opportunity to earn free college credit,” said Darrin Theriault,director of academic testingat Kennesaw State University in Georgia. “Modern States’ Freshman Year for Free has been a game changer in many students’ lives.”

Modern States’ “Freshman Year for Free” offers everyone tuition-free online courses with free on-line textbooks, that lead to real college credit at more than 2,900 major colleges and universities. There are Modern States’ courses in over 30 subjects, taught by professors from Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Rutgers, MIT, Purdue and elsewhere. Each course prepares students to take and pass the widely accepted CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams offered by The College Board.

Some students opt to use Modern States to earn a full year of college credit for free, while others utilize the program for fewer courses or to earn elective credits needed for graduation. Modern States offers a state-of-the art course in all 32 subjects for which there is a credit bearing CLEP exam, plus Advanced Placement courses. Courses tied to CLEP exams include: Psychology, Biology, American History, English Literature, College Math, Information Systems, Introductory Business Law, and many others.

Launched in August 2017, is designed for people of all ages and backgrounds, and has helped thousands of high schoolers, college students and adult learners save on tuition while working toward a college degree. Over 150,000students have signed up for Modern States’ free online courses and textbooks in just two years. And a U.S. Military program now suggests Modern States as a way for active duty military to prepare for CLEP exams.

“Modern States provides a great opportunity for students to prepare for CLEP exams and earn college credit, free of charge,” said Emily Paulsen, executive director of CLEP for The College Board. “The Modern States courses are a great resource for working students, service members, and students of all ages and backgrounds to ultimately save on tuition and get a head start on their college degrees.”

The pass rate of students who use to prepare for a CLEP exam is 75 percent, well above the national average. Each Modern States free course and exam passed can save students and their families $1,000 to $2,000 in college costs, with no taxpayer dollars spent. has quickly become the leading free college for credit program in America, with more students gaining traditional academic credit through the organization than through any known alternative.

In addition to paying the $89 CLEP exam fee, Modern States reimburses students for test center fees, typically $25. Thousands of colleges and universities accept CLEP for credit, including major universities such as Penn State, Ohio State, SUNY, Texas State, Morehouse, and many others. is an “on-ramp” into the traditional college system for students, and major college systems have been highly supportive of the Modern States effort. Whether someone takes just one course or enough credits to fulfill their freshman year requirements, Modern States’ “Freshman Year for Free” is providing a path to college for all kinds of learners.

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