Study.com Expands Tuition-Free College Initiative to East Palo Alto

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The Working Scholars program enables adults living or working in East Palo Alto to earn a college degree at no cost

East Palo Alto Working Scholars provides a tuition-free pathway to a college degree

“A bachelor’s degree is the key to upward mobility, but both the cost of living in Silicon Valley and the cost of a degree is skyrocketing – forcing many residents to move out of the area,” said Adrian Ridner, CEO and Co-founder of Study.com.

After the success of similar programs in Bay Area cities including Mountain View and Gilroy, Study.com is launching its Working Scholars initiative in East Palo Alto to give residents an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs. Participants take courses and earn credit entirely online, allowing them to fit learning into their busy schedules and ultimately earn a degree from Thomas Edison State University (TESU), a four-year accredited university based in New Jersey.

83 percent of East Palo Alto residents over the age of 25 do not have a college degree; Working Scholars helps remove the three main barriers to attaining a degree: cost, convenience and confidence. Students would complete the majority of course requirements online through Study.com’s College Accelerator program.

Credits would then transfer to TESU, where students would also complete final requirements online. The online format offers flexible learning for students juggling work and family commitments, while Study.com’s easy-to-digest video lessons remove much of the intimidation factor of completing college-level courses.

“A bachelor’s degree is the key to upward mobility, but both the cost of living in Silicon Valley and the cost of a degree is skyrocketing – forcing many residents to move out of the area,” said Adrian Ridner, CEO and Co-founder of Study.com. “Working Scholars is a way to address the widespread income inequality and lack of diversity in our community by offering a tuition-free pathway to a college degree. We’re thrilled to introduce this initiative in East Palo Alto and hope to continue to expand to various cities throughout the Bay Area.”

All costs of the degree are community funded: covered by grants, donations, philanthropic organizations, and the local business community including Alston & Bird, who is a founding sponsor of the East Palo Alto program. By addressing college affordability at the root and lowering the total cost of a degree to under $8,500 through discounted fees and low-cost transferrable credit, the Working Scholars program allows the community to fund these degrees in a feasible way.

Having the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree at no cost is a huge benefit for the residents of East Palo Alto and I’m so proud that our community is rallying together to support this cause,” said Lisa Gauthier, East Palo Alto City Council Member. “I look forward to seeing our Working Scholars achieve their goal of attaining a degree and be able to take part in Silicon Valley’s economic prosperity.”

Applicants are accepted to the program on a first come, first serve basis but all applicants have access to a personal finance course and a 3-month trial to Study.com sponsored by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

More details about East Palo Alto Working Scholars can be found at http://www.workingscholars.org or by attending an information session Thursday, August 24, 2017, at East Palo Alto City Hall from 6–8 p.m.

About Study.com
Study.com is the simplest, most efficient way to learn online. Over 30 million students a month use our online courses and study tools to master any subject. Study.com helps students in kindergarten through college excel academically and professionals can gain the skills they need in the workplace. The animated videos bring concepts to life and provide an easy, low-cost way to improve grades, earn college credit, and close skill gaps. Study.com was founded in 2002 and is a privately-held company located in Mountain View, California.

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Chandni Brunamonti
Study.com
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