Modern States Educations's Case Study

Modern States Education Alliance
“I’ve worked with IBL over the last several years, and they’ve brought creativity, integrity and technological expertise. They come in on time, on budget, with the highest quality imaginable. I recommend them very, very highly.”
David Vise, Executive Director of Modern States Education Alliance
The Freshman Year for Free Program.
Explore the wide variety of courses created by Modern States for the Freshman Year for Free program — the College Board’s full CLEP 33-course catalog, approved and marketed by them!
Full College Board Course Catalogue
40+ Core College Subjects
Featured in Bloomberg, WSJ, etc.
Meet Modern States.
Modern States Education Alliance is dedicated to making the process of obtaining a college degree more affordable for anyone.

Founded by Steve Klinsky, the Modern States philanthropic “Freshman Year for Free” program’smission is to provide 1M learners with full access to all of the College Board’s CLEP catalog.
The Challenge.
Due to the high number of students expected to enroll, Modern States needed an online learning ecosystem that was able to support such a large student body. After formally launching in the summer of 2017, there have been nearly 100k enrollments.

Hosting the sheer amount of users is made possible by the utilization of the Open edX learning ecosystem and the architecture it was fundamentally built on.
The Solution.
To make this reality come to life, Modern States Education Alliance partnered with and IBL Education to create the online ecosystem supporting their initiative.

The Freshman Year for Free program, which has a full catalog of free online courses, offers high-quality classes taught by exceptional instructors in over 40 core freshman subjects. These classes prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams.
The Results.
The Freshman Year for Free program has attracted over 100,000 learners.

The initiative has been featured across media outlets, including Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired, City Journal, and RealClear Policy.

As part of their philanthropic efforts, Modern States is also paying the test fees for the first 10k users who complete the online courses. This endeavor has been noted with success, as 77% of CLEP test-takers, paid for by Modern States, have passed their exams.
If you consider the pricing model for a license on a standard learning platform, the nearly 100,000 enrollments that Modern States has accrued could have been incredibly costly — considering that 10k users costs just over $100k per year.

With ~100k users, Modern States would potentially be looking at a cost in the millions under a standard license. However, by partnering with IBL Education and creating a personalized Open edX ecosystem, they now own their platform and are in full control of their content.

Open edX platforms are tried and true, with over 26M learners and integrated education at scale. In terms of cost, it is negligible in comparison to a standard learning platform (less than 10%).