That's the idea behind a new program created by a philanthropic organization out of New York called the Modern States Education Alliance.
Once a person completes a course, college credit can be obtained by taking an Advanced Placement or College Level Examination test via the College Board.
Freshman Year for Free offers some 40 courses prepared by profs out of Harvard, MIT and more than a dozen other good schools. It's perhaps the ultimate example of Harvard Professor Clay Christensen's disruption theory at work in the realm of higher education. Four years ago he predicted that higher ed was "on the edge of a crevasse."
In 2013 he observed, "I think higher education is just on the edge of the crevasse.
Generally, universities are doing very well financially, so they don’t
feel from the data that their world is going to collapse. But I think
even five years from now these enterprises are going to be in real
Now, when we gaze into our iPhones, we may very well see that crevasse gazing right back at us in the form of the "Freshman Year for Free" App.
At the same time, it's hard for any honest educator not to be excited about students being able to carry college around in their pockets. If only some of my millennial daughter's friends had been able and encouraged to take advantage of something like this in lieu of the near-lifetime debts they amassed during their college years!