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The Beginning of a Journey

After feeling the financial pinch of rising college textbook costs, Adrian Ridner and Ben Wilson, two classmates at Cal Poly State University---San Luis Obispo, knew there had to be a way to relieve the financial burden being placed on students.

In 2002, Adrian and Ben helped launch an online book exchange that allowed students to bypass campus bookstores and save money on textbooks. Within months, thousands of students began using the service, and word began spreading beyond Cal Poly.

Adrian and Ben were thrilled to be reducing textbook costs, but both realized there was a much larger problem at hand: it wasn't just barriers to books that confronted students but barriers to all kinds of education resources. Solving the problem of education access became their cause and signaled the start of

Our Mission & the Dream that Drives Us

As a true self-funded start up, began with one dream, one garage-based office and one mission: making education accessible to everyone, everywhere. With the help of a handful of talented contributors, Adrian and Ben worked relentlessly to turn this dream into a profitable, 50-person company known today as is now a true collaboration of the best minds in education, with more than 200 instructors, subject experts and editors contributing to it every day.

What We Do

The cost of college education is skyrocketing, rising faster than inflation — faster even than health care costs. We're building the solution: online courses that lead to real college credit — credit that is already accepted at over 2,900 colleges and universities.

Other websites just repurpose existing college materials and throw them up on the web. We think this model leads to a poor learning experience and are doing something very different.

We're completely re-imagining online education as a visually stimulating, engaging, multi-media experience made specifically for the web user, and we're building our courses from the ground up. Over 50 world-class educators, video editors, and animators are working to create the fun and engaging 10-minute video lessons that make up each course. More than 1 million students have flocked to our courses, and both students and instructors alike are hungry for more.

Soon our courses will cover all the material that is taught in the first two years of college… and we don't plan to stop there. We already have several courses completed, so we invite you to explore our course catalog and start learning now. Once you've mastered the material, sign up for your exam and earn credit that transfers.

Our courses offer students a real solution to the rising cost of college — a solution that they can take advantage of right now to avoid student debt.

Read our FAQs to learn more.

Helping You Make Life-Shaping Decisions
thousands of articles

Choosing the right degree program is the first step to a successful career. We've published thousands of unbiased, professionally reviewed articles that have helped millions of students make informed, life-shaping decisions. Thanks to our Perfect Search Guarantee, we promise that our library of articles and videos can help you choose a career path and find the education you need. And if you can't find what you're looking for, just ask! Message us on Facebook for personalized answers to your questions.

Funding Your Education

Adrian Ridner presenting a check to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Providing You Financial Support

We know college costs are rising, and want to help make your education more affordable. We're providing funding from every angle imaginable. We offer eleven annual academic scholarships, which help fund the education of college students around the country.

Supporting Public Universities

We know that public universities are one of the most affordable options for students, but budgets cuts are endangering this valuable resource. As the lead sponsor of a state-of-the-art computer lab at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California, we're helping public universities provide world-class education at affordable prices.


Riecken Foundation

We're committed to fighting poverty with education.

In 2009, we partnered with the The Riecken Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to building sustainable libraries in rural Central America.

For the vast majority of these rural communities, the Riecken libraries are the only source of educational programming, books, computers and Internet, and they serve as critical settings to increase literacy and community independence.

We have donated $30,000 to directly support Riecken's 64 libraries and have pledged an additional $30,000 to be donated over the next two years. Join us on the front lines to bridge the digital divide and close the gap between the world's richest and poorest communities.

A message from Riecken Foundation's CEO

"Beyond being generous, has shown it is truly interested in our cause. The donations provided have kept rural communities in Guatemala and Honduras connected to technology and the Internet. Thanks to's support, a group of thirty teenage Chorti Mayan teenagers from the Honduras region of Copan were recently able to receive three days of computer and Internet training. The teens live in very poor villages in an isolated region of Honduras. The teens aspire to continue studies after primary school, and this training, their first ever with computers, inspired many to continue studying. Thank you,"

— Bill Cartwright, Tegucigalpa Honduras; Antigua, Guatemala

Other education charities we financially support include:

  • Ben Wilson

    President and Founder

    Ben brings over nine years of Web media experience to and leads our team of educators and content developers. Ben has been a driving force in making the lowest cost and most efficient path to college credit available. Ben holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. In his spare time, Ben enjoys watching basketball, going bass fishing and spending time with his wife and children.

  • Adrian Ridner

    CEO and Founder

    With over nine years of experience in Web engineering, Adrian leads's team of developers and engineers to integrate our content with the latest technologies. His team works to make our resources simple to use, easy to navigate and enjoyable to engage. Adrian earned a master's degree in computer science from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He was born in Argentina and spent a large part of his childhood in Venezuela and Brazil. Adrian is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

Director of Education

Jessica Bayliss, M.S.

Jessica Bayliss Jessica is our Director of Education and leads the development of's courses. She has 10 years of experience in education and online teaching. Her work with students of all age levels drives her belief in the power of online resources to make higher education more affordable and efficient. Jessica's favorite part of the day is reading feedback from's students. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in instructional technology from Texas A&M - Kingsville.

Our Instructors

Greg Chin, Ph.D.

Greg Chin, Ph.D.Greg has taught genetics, molecular biology, and general biology to high school, collegiate, and post-graduate students at Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, Santa Clara University and the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He has also taught science workshops for the general public and led biology teacher enrichment workshops throughout the U.S. He received a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Find out how your genes work in Greg's introduction to genetics video lesson!

Max Pfingsten, M.Ed.

Max Pfingsten, M.A. & M.Ed.Max has taught classics, history and philosophy at a variety of levels at the Dikemes Academy in Athens, the Boulder Valley School District, University of Colorado at Boulder and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). His work is noteworthy for its synthesis of technology and simulation with more traditional teaching approaches. He received a B.A. in Classics from Depauw University, a M.A. in Classics from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a M.Ed. from Jones International University. See Socrates come to life in Max's lesson on the life, death, and philosophy of the great Socrates.

Stacy Redd, M.A.

Stacy Redd HeadshotIn addition to being a contributing instructor for our English literature course, Stacy works with hundreds of instructors nation-wide to bring our video lessons into their classrooms. She has worked in higher education administration at UCLA and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught Fundamentals of English at Santa Monica College. Stacy has a bachelor's degree in literature from UC - Santa Barbara and a master's degree in literary cultures from New York University.
Meet all 53 of our instructors

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you! Please tell us how we are doing or how we can help you.Contact us on Facebook, telephone at 877-266-4919 or even write us at:
100 View St. #202
Mountain View, CA 94041

If you have a general question about, please contact customer support.