Tucson Morning Blend


How to get four years of college for the price of three

Posted at 6:28 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 21:28:04-04

Modern States is a paid sponsor of The Morning Blend.

Despite challenges brought on by COVID-19, education remains a priority for over 65% of high school graduates heading to college. Yet, the reality for many students is that college affordability is a barrier to furthering their education. In fact, The Federal Reserve estimates that in quarter three of 2020, Americans owed more than $1.7 trillion in student loans — an increase of nearly 4% compared to quarter three of 2019. Whether you’re still in high school, a current undergrad trying to finish in time or an adult learner going back to school, it’s imperative to understand there are alternative paths to receiving college credit available today.

In response to this growing issue, Modern States, a non-profit dedicated to making a college degree more affordable and accessible to everyone, offers alternative solutions to help pave the way to a college degree. The organization provides top quality online college courses taught by college professors for free that prepare students to take the corresponding CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams. CLEP is a College Board program enabling learners to earn free college credit at over 2,900 colleges and universities, from Ohio State to Morehouse. Modern States also pays the testing fee ($89) for learners who complete its courses.

A private equity investor and long-time education reformer, Steven Klinsky is the visionary behind Modern States. His concern for the higher education inequity problem in this country led him to pursue alternative ways to make college affordable and accessible for all. He designed and funded the organization’s first initiative “Freshman Year for Free”, as a philanthropic effort that empowers people to earn college credits through tuition-free online courses. Klinsky’s commitment to education dates back to 1999 when he wrote the application for New York’s first ever charter school, the Sisulu Walker School in Harlem. He founded other education programs in K-12 throughout his career, including an after-school program in Brooklyn that helps prepare students for middle school. The Gary Klinsky Children Centers are named after his late brother.Klinsky serves as chairman of the advisory board to Harvard’s Program for Education Policy and Governance. He designed and endowed the Klinsky Professorship of Leadership and Progress at Harvard Law School. Klinsky has also established medical clinics in the Central African Republic in partnership with the International Rescue Committee and is chairman or director of numerous philanthropies. Klinsky is the founder and CEO of New Mountain Capital, a growth-oriented private equity firm that oversees more than $20 billion in assets. A native of Southfield, Michigan, Klinsky attended public school in the Wolverine State and earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan in 1974. He received his law degree at Harvard Law School and his MBA at Harvard Business School. His two brothers attended Michigan State – which accepts CLEP – and his family were proud owners of Albert’s, a women’s apparel retailer.