Press Releases

New non-profit organization dedicated to “Freshman Year for Free”

CONTACT: DAVID VISE (202) 439-0318; [email protected]

December 17, 2014. A new non-profit group, the Modern States Education Alliance, was launched in New York today. Its goal is to create a path to a tuition free, high quality and universally accessible college education for any motivated student who seeks one.
The founding principle of Modern States is that access to a high quality education is fundamental to a society that respects every individual and is fundamental to the American dream. Modern States expects that its first major program will be called “Freshman Year for Free,” and will provide a set of approximately 30 high quality, freshman college courses, available tuition-free online, along with free online texts and materials. Modern States intends to add tutoring, mentoring, and student counseling services available free of charge, and to expand the catalog of courses over time.
Modern States will also seek broader recognition, accreditation, and transferability for high quality Massively Open Online Courses (“MOOCs”), and intends to help students who take such courses to enter the traditional residential college system and to enter the skilled and executive work place. Modern States believes that a four-year residential experience at a quality university is generally preferable to even the best online courses. However, Modern States also believes that the traditional, residential opportunity is increasingly out of reach for many students.
“No one should be shut out of education after high school because of tuition cost or lack of access,” said Steven Klinsky, Modern States’ founder and chairman. “Modern States’ goal to create at least one universally available and tuition free path toward high quality college education.”

Along with Mr. Klinsky, other members of the Modern States’ leadership include: David Bergeron (former acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education and current Vice President for Postsecondary Education Policy at the Center for American Progress); David Vise (winner of the Pulitzer Prize at The Washington Post) and Jeanne Allen, senior fellow and president-emeritus of The Center for Education Reform, who serves on the advisory board. The effort is an outgrowth of a proposal Mr. Klinsky wrote in June 2012, and then revised and co-authored with David Bergeron in October 2013.
In the coming weeks, Modern States expects to announce a number of initiatives aimed at achieving its goals. To inquire or for more information, please visit, write [email protected] or call David Vise, Senior Advisor, at 202-439-0318.

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