Launches Third Cohort for Perris, Calif. Working Scholars Program

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Working Scholars Initiative Continues National Growth and High Retention Rate, a leading online education platform, today announced the start of the newest Working Scholars student cohort for Perris, Calif. This group of students make up the latest to get their bachelor’s degree 100 percent paid for through the program. Perris is upskilling the community to unlock economic opportunities while getting an affordable education. This creates access to a population of more than 75,000.

Working Scholars is a program created by to help residents earn a little to no-cost college degree. Participants take online, self-paced courses on that lead directly to college credits. Those credits are then transferred to Thomas Edison State University, where the scholars complete final requirements and earn their bachelor's degree. In addition to, support from sponsors such as Duke Realty make this possible.

“I am extremely pleased that we have filled our Working Scholars program to its capacity and more so for our community members who have made it to the program," said Michael Vargas, Mayor of Perris, Calif. “It's remarkable to have an opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree for free and I'm ecstatic to have a great relationship with the team at I am also grateful for Duke Realty whose contribution made this possible.”

To date, Working Scholars has continued an 85 percent retention rate and graduated its first class of students in Mountain View back in August, including East Palo Alto’s Mayor and now’s own, Lisa Gauthier. Earlier in 2019, Working Scholars expanded by partnering with the City of Santa Clara, the Desert Hot Springs Police Department and launched Perris’ second cohort of students. The program has already graduated several students from Perris’ earlier cohorts with Gauthier giving a commencement speech.

Households in Perris have a median annual income of $54,657, which is less than the median annual income of $60,336 across the entire United States, according to Data USA. A bachelor’s degree unlocks career mobility and has a multigenerational impact providing a better future for the student and their families, who earn more than 50 percent more lifetime earnings that those without a degree.1

“There were jobs I wanted to apply for that I knew I was qualified for. But not having a degree they wouldn’t even give my application a second look. It was stopping me from moving up in my current role,” said Katie McClendon, Parent Educator at Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce. “It was amazing to study on my own time and take my courses at my own pace. Being able to take them from my phone or my laptop was like having education in the palm of my hand.”

Additional highlights of Working Scholars:

  • Access to more than 390,000 residents
  • More than 10,000 credits earned
  • 3,625 courses completed

For more information about’s Working Scholars program:

1According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2018

About is an online education platform that helps learners of all ages excel academically and close skills gaps. From test prep and homework help to earn low-cost college credit and developing workplace skills,’s online courses, short animated video lessons and study tools have made learning simple for over 30 million students, teachers and working professionals. was founded in 2002 and is a privately-held company located in Mountain View, Calif. Learn more at or download the mobile app from the iOS app store or Google Play.

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Marshall Hampson
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