3 Ways Working Scholars Unlocks Debt-Free Bachelor's Degrees updates

The cost of higher education continues to rise, making it increasingly difficult for many Americans to afford a college education. is showing how partnering with other organizations can solve this program by creating an affordable pathway to a college degree.

Increasing College Affordability

For many, debt free college sounds like a far-fetched political platform or a too good to be true marketing scheme. Yet in many countries around the world, free college education isn't just a pipedream, it's the norm. Through different types of partnerships,'s Working Scholars program is able to offer students a low-cost bachelor's degree, helping them avoid taking on potentially crippling student debt.

Enterprise Partnerships partners with companies to provide a unique education benefit to their employees - the opportunity to earn a college degree. Through these partnerships, a company's employees can pursue a full bachelor's degree by earning college credit on and then transferring those credits to a partner university to complete degree requirements.

Although tuition reimbursement is a common employee benefit, these partnerships and the resulting education benefit to earn a degree can help generate a better return on investment. The ROI that companies receive comes in the form of workers being more engaged in their work, feeling more appreciated by their company, and thus sticking around for longer and advancing within the organization.

Government Buy-In

Similar to private companies, governments are also teaming up with These collaborations are providing a college education to city employees and city residents at no-cost to the participants! For instance, if you work or live in cities like Mountain View, CA or Perris, CA, you can apply to's community-funded Working Scholars, which gives participants the opportunity to earn a free college degree. The program plays a significant role in helping upskill members of the community and help them earn a degree that can unlock career mobility and a higher earning potential.

The image shows all the California cities that have partnered with us to provide free college education and we are expanding rapidly!

Working Scholars is expanding

Philanthropic Funding

Generous philanthropic funding from companies and nonprofit organizations is helping us make a significant impact on people's lives by conferring these opportunities. For example, Duke Realty made a donation to the City of Perris, California to help the city fund for its employees and residents. appreciates all the support that donors have given to Working Scholars. It's great to see these companies and organizations supporting the educational pursuits of learners and the huge impact they're making.

Watch this video to learn more!

Why Working Scholars is Effective

Working Scholars is designed to remove many barriers faced when pursuing a degree. Cost can be an issue, and even tuition reimbursement programs can be challenging if an employee doesn't have the money to pay tuition first. Working Scholars is changing that model and creating an option that doesn't put a strain on someone's finances.

Both employees and employers appreciate that Working Scholars fits easily into work and family obligations since students can study anytime, anywhere. There is no need to rearrange their lives so they can earn a degree.

The program also includes personalized support. This means participants have access to the help they need to be successful, and employers feel confident knowing their employees won't have to do it alone.

Reimaging Higher Education

College debt in the United States has risen to over $1.5 trillion (source: Forbes, 2019). Some Americans yearn for higher education but view college as a financial burden while others view it as wholly inaccessible. More than 33 million Americans have some college credit but no college degree, despite the education they're obtaining being a socioeconomic catalyst. Take a look at the graph, which illustrates the positive financial impact of earning a college degree. Indeed, holding a college degree allows someone to earn, on average, almost twice as much as someone who holds a high school diploma.

Earning a degree can impact earning potential

The evidence of the significant impact of higher education is all around us. However, for we don't just want the effect of higher education to be witnessed, but lived. This is the chief motivator that pushes us as we strive to make higher education accessible and affordable to everyone.

Learn more about the Working Scholars program and how you can get involved.

By Jessica Lyons
September 2019 updates working scholars

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