Modern States, the Largest “Free College for Credit” System in the U.S., Surpasses 400,000 Learners

Continued Growth of “Freshman Year for Free” Program Highlights Need for Alternative Pathways to College for Students of All Ages and Backgrounds

  • Over 125,000 credit-bearing exams taken by students, and paid for by Modern States; an estimated $300 million savings on college costs for students and families
  • Key alliances in place with Purdue, HBCUs, New York City high schools and others
  • “Freshman Year for Free” program creates an “onramp” into more than 2,900 traditional colleges and universities

NEW YORK, April 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Modern States Education Alliance (“Modern States”), the nation’s leading philanthropy dedicated to making a college degree more affordable and accessible for everyone, today announced that it has over 400,000 registered students on its online learning platform. offers a collection of completely free freshman-level courses online that lead to real credit at thousands of colleges and universities. To date, students have completed 128,000 courses and received full reimbursement by Modern States for exam fees. Assuming 10 college courses per year, this is the equivalent of up to 12,800 free years of college; a potential savings of approximately $300 million, at an average cost of college of $30,000 per year, all in.

“The philanthropic goal of Modern States is to give away great, free, credit-bearing college courses to everyone who wants them. The free Modern States courses, plus our willingness to pay the fees of the credit-bearing College Board exams, create a cost-free ‘onramp’ into thousands of traditional colleges and universities,” said Steve Klinsky, Modern States founder and chief executive officer.

Modern States produced and created an online library of over 30 top quality online college courses, all available to everyone at, and all taught by professors from leading universities such as Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Tufts and Purdue. The courses include lectures, readings and practice questions (all entirely free of charge) that prepare students to pass any of the College Board’s credit-bearing College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams. These CLEP exams have been widely accepted for college credit for more than 50 years and Modern States pays the CLEP exam costs for students who successfully pass its courses.

“I saved a ton of money and time, and I’m not sure what my life would look like now if I didn’t use it,” said Logan Lathrop, a Modern States learner who thought he would never pursue college. He discovered CLEP during his time in the Air National Guard and took advantage of the program to further his education while deployed in Kuwait. “I’m now a 1L at Harvard Law School and without using Modern States to clear out a full semester and a half of courses, it’s very possible that the entry into higher education would have been too daunting for me to consider starting.”

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Ivan Betancourt

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