/ Modified may 5, 2015 3:06 p.m.

ASU Launches Online Program for Freshmen

Partners with leader in online education, EdX.

laptop, computer, wifi spot


Forget dorm rooms, large lecture halls and the freshman fifteen. Through Arizona State University's new Global Freshman Academy students will complete their first year of college entirely online, from anywhere in the world – for a fraction of the price.

The school is teaming up with EdX, an online course platform Harvard and MIT launched in 2012. Since it began, EdX's course offerings and participating universities have grown, but the Global Freshman Academy will be the first time EdX classes put students on track to earning a degree.

ASU already has 13,000 students enrolled in 70 degree programs.

Chief Academic Technology Officer Adrian Sannier said the Global Academy is different to the school’s existing online programs because it’s not a degree in itself, rather, an opportunity to start college and then transfer their credits to ASU or elsewhere.

Sannier said this is the latest example of how ASU has been trying to increase access to education.

"That’s taken the form of new campuses like the new downtown campus; it's taken the form of the ASU online," he said. "There’ve just been a number of programs at ASU where we try to take the educational opportunities available at ASU and project it in all these different ways."

The price structure is also meant to increase access. Instead of paying up front, anyone can enroll and take classes for free. Payment will only be required at the end of the course, assuming wants to earn credit.

A full freshman year will cost about $6,000. In-state students enrolled in traditional ASU courses will pay $10,478 next year; out-of-state students will pay $25,458.

The Global Freshman Academy will launch its first course – Astronomy – in August.

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