Freshman Year for Free program makes no-cost college a reality

May 8, 2018, 1:02 PM | Updated: May 9, 2018, 6:52 am

(Facebook Photo/Freshman Year for Free)...

(Facebook Photo/Freshman Year for Free)

(Facebook Photo/Freshman Year for Free)

PHOENIX — Students can take college courses at no cost thanks to a program called Freshman Year for Free.

The program offers more than 40 freshman-level classes taught online by professors from across the country.

David Vise, executive director of the Modern States Education Alliance, the philanthropy behind the program, said it gave students an “on-ramp to college.”

“College has gotten very, very expensive,” he said. “We wanted to do something to help bring down the cost of college and make it easier for people.”

The classes prepare students for the College Level Examination Program, also known as the CLEP exam. There also are classes that prepare students for Advanced Placement exams. Students must pass the tests to get college credits.

Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are among more than 2,900 colleges and universities across country that accept credits of students who pass the CLEP and AP tests.

Classes are offered through the Modern States website.

Students also have access to practice tests, textbooks and lectures online, also at no cost.

The College Board administers both tests and charges $85 for each CLEP test and $94 for each AP test.

Steve Klinsky, founder of Modern States, was offering to pay the exam fees of the first 10,000 test takers, and the majority of the vouchers were still unclaimed. The group said it planned to find other donors to cover future test fees.

Vise said the Freshman Year for Free program was open to everyone, from high school students and recent graduates to working adults and military personnel. He said the ultimate goal was to “make college more affordable and more accessible.”

The program started in September 2017 and had approximately 60,000 registered users.

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Freshman Year for Free program makes no-cost college a reality