OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

FREE freshman year

Both Arizona State and other are experimenting with giving away free the freshman year

Photo of Brian Butler
9 7

Written by

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Arizona State: Global Freshman Academy: Arizona State University and edX, innovative leaders in providing unprecedented access to education, have joined forces to create the Global Freshman Academy, offering a unique, cost effective way to break down the barriers to a quality education. GFA provides students the opportunity to complete their entire university freshman year coursework, risk free, and pay for the credit earned after passing the course. Courses are open to everyone with no application or transcripts required. Modern States Education Alliance - the Freshman Year for Free courses see: The initiative will offer about 30 massive open online courses designed to help students pass standardized placement tests for which many colleges award credit. Freshman Year for Free has much in common with Global Freshman Academy. Not only is Arizona State a member of both initiatives, but edX also serves as the course platform in both cases. OTHER INITIATIVES: Harvard - HBX and Harvard Extension School, have announced a new agreement to offer college-level credit for students taking the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) program. University of Illinois: iMBA - see announcement: MIT microMasters: announcement:


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kellie Marks

Another program to add to your list is UCSD's K-12 College Exploration Program ( - through which, a student could technically earn college credit while enrolled in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!

ThoughtStem, a local EdTech company, in partnership with UCSD's K-12 College Exploration Program, offers courses for 8-18-year-old students, including a "Minecraft: Intro to Computer Science" course (  As the course name indicates, students use Minecraft to learn Computer Science, and are granted college credits upon completion. 

And of course, since these students are between the ages of 8-18, they're more likely to live with parents/guardians, and less likely to need on-campus housing (so, no room & board costs).

View all comments