Freshman Year for Free? The Future of Online Education

Several months ago, we wrote about edX’s High School Initiative, a groundbreaking expansion into online APs, which will unveil comprehensive MOOCs for eight different AP courses (as well as other college-preparatory material) over the next year. Last month, in partnership with the Modern States Education Alliance, edX announced yet another significant expansion of their AP offerings.

The Modern States Education Alliance’s new initiative, Freshman Year for Free, is designed as a means for students to earn free college credit by taking MOOCs that prepare them for AP and CLEP exams. The new material will include a broad range of subjects, from English and math, to anthropology and philosophy, to foreign languages.

While MOOCs have seen considerable criticism – not least for their lack of student-teacher engagement – a program like this has one key advantage. Today’s college students graduate with an average of nearly $30,000 in debt; the ability to obtain an entire year of credits for free could significantly ease students’ financial burdens.

You can read more about the Freshman Year for Free initiative in the edX press release or this feature from Wired.

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