NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Outlier.org, an online education platform working to increase access to quality college education for all and reduce student debt, today announced its new initiative in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and its largest regional campus, Pitt-Johnstown: a Frontline Workers Scholarship for 1,000 workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will award a free, for-credit online college course to each recipient, a donation equivalent to $3.8 million in University of Pittsburgh credits.
The first 1,000 eligible applicants will be granted the scholarship after completing a simple questionnaire and short video submission. Interested candidates should submit their application through Outlier.org's website.
Outlier.org and the University of Pittsburgh created the program to support those putting themselves at risk while working throughout the pandemic, including healthcare workers, cashiers, police officers, janitors, and any other employee in an essential industry who is obligated to physically show up for their job. Scholarship recipients will be eligible to take an Outlier.org course of their choice through November 19, 2022, and the University of Pittsburgh will grant three transferable credits to those who successfully complete a course.
"Our partnership with Outlier.org has been built upon a common interest in making higher education available to students from all walks of life," said Ann E. Cudd, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh. "The Frontline Workers Scholarship is yet one more way we can support the ambitions of workers who have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic."
The announcement of the scholarship program follows a recent expansion of the partnership between Outlier.org and the University of Pittsburgh. The two partners have signed a new five-year agreement whereby the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown will provide oversight of Outlier.org courses, while Outlier.org students will continue to earn transferable college credits from the University of Pittsburgh. As a rural campus, Pitt-Johnstown has long been dedicated to closing the rural-urban educational divide and shares Outlier.org's vision of increasing access to high-quality education.
"Pitt-Johnstown is deeply committed to expanding access to a high-quality education for all and reducing student debt - a goal we share with Outlier.org," said Dr. Jem Spectar, President of Pitt-Johnstown. "We are excited to partner with Outlier.org on this initiative to give frontline workers, who are sacrificing so much, the opportunity to advance their college careers."
Outlier.org currently offers four courses, including Calculus I, Introduction to Psychology, Astronomy, and Statistics. In the coming months, the company will continue to release additional introductory-level courses, expanding their mission to make top quality college education more accessible and affordable.
"At Outlier.org, we firmly believe in breaking down financial, temporal, and geographic barriers to earning a world-class education," said Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and founder of Outlier.org. "The workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic deserve access to an affordable education, and we are proud to give them this opportunity."
Through affordable online courses, Outlier.org is working together with the University of Pittsburgh to combat the $1.6 trillion student debt crisis in the United States and make education accessible worldwide. This initiative brings that cost down to $0 for selected frontline workers regardless of their previous educational attainment.
Created by the Co-Founder of MasterClass, Outlier.org offers beautiful, effective online courses that earn students transferable college credit for a fraction of the cost. In addition to featuring cinema-quality lectures, Outlier.org courses are taught by some of the most charismatic figures in academia, including instructors from Yale, MIT, Columbia, and Cornell. Students enjoy a top quality learning experience that includes access to 1-on-1 tutoring, AI-proctored assessments, dynamically-generated problem sets, and cutting-edge, active learning techniques. In keeping with the company's mission to increase access to top-quality higher education and reduce student debt, each course is priced at just $400.
About the University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, founded in 1787, is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States and today ranks among the top U.S. public universities. Through its exceptional research strength, top academic programs and relentless pursuit of its mission to leverage knowledge for society's gain, Pitt makes a difference in the lives of individuals, communities and the world.
Pitt-Johnstown offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment that is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, that is current, and that is responsive both to our students' personal and professional needs and to our communities' needs. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader educating for success in the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. The campus is located on 655 acres within the Laurel Highlands of southwest-central Pennsylvania and presents scenic beauty from various vantage points and through 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. Pitt-Johnstown is referred to as the perfect background for a purposeful education, only 70 miles from Pittsburgh and a few hours from other major metropolitan centers.