Edtech startup Outlier.org raises $16M to provided an online education platform that offers online courses that earn students transferable college credit
The rising cost of college is creating a financial hole for parents and students. The average price for tuition and fees at four-year private colleges (and some public colleges) and universities has outpaced the rate of inflation by more than 3 percentage points. The current part is not only unsustainable but will also leave college many students in debt even after college. That’s why Outlier.org, an edtech startup was founded by Aaron Rasmussen, who formerly co-founded and led the creative direction of MasterClass, is on a mission to make college affordable with an online education platform that offers online courses that earn students transferable college credit.
Unlike traditional online education programs, Outlier.org produces cinema-quality lectures that are taught by some of the brightest and most charismatic figures in academia, including professors from Yale, MIT, Columbia, Cornell, and Davidson. For $400, about one-sixth the cost of a traditional college course, Outlier.org students enjoy a world-class learning experience that includes access to 1-on-1 tutoring, AI-proctored assessments, dynamically-generated problem sets, and cutting-edge active learning techniques.
Today, Outlier announced it has raised $16 million in total funding. The announcement includes a recent $11.7 million Series A round led by GSV Ventures with participation by Harrison Metal, Tectonic Capital, and Jackson Square Ventures. Harrison Metal led a previously undisclosed seed round for the company.
The funding follows an extension of Outlier.org’s successful 2019 fall pilot program with the University of Pittsburgh, which will continue into the spring and summer terms in 2020. In that pilot, Outlier.org students achieved a C grade or better at the same rate as those in comparable courses within traditional classrooms. The results indicate a breakthrough in providing truly scalable, affordable, for-credit college education.
“Our mission is to increase access to high quality education and reduce student debt,” said Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and founder of Outlier.org. “With this funding and the insight that we have gained from our two pilot courses in the 2019 fall semester, we will continue building more intro-level courses and expanding to accommodate more students and more experts in their fields who can provide top-quality education at a reasonable cost.”
“We are proud to support Outlier.org in their efforts to change higher education for the better,” said Julia Stiglitz, board member and investor at GSV Ventures. “The 2019 fall semester is just the beginning, and Outlier.org has the capacity to give students an opportunity to get an education in their respective fields without committing to decades of student debt payments.”
Founded and 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 professors 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 costs only $400.
Outlier.org is now accepting enrollments for the 2020 spring semester which starts on January 13th. You can check them out Outlier.org