NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Modern States Education Alliance, a philanthropy dedicated to making a college degree more affordable and accessible, today announced a partnership with the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) to help districts across the state give students the opportunity to earn free college credit while they are still in high school.

The "Freshman Year for Free" program through is the first-ever catalog of tuition-free online courses for more than 30 core collegiate freshman subjects. The initiative enables learners to earn traditional academic credits at more than 2,900 major U.S. colleges and universities. Modern States' free courses, taught by professors, prepare students for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam offered by the College Board, which also provides the SAT.

“Modern States is an organization that will have a positive impact on school districts in Tennessee,” said Dr. Tammy Grissom, executive director of the Tennessee School Boards Association. TSBA represents all Tennessee public school districts and provides a variety of services for Tennessee boards of education. “Our public schools are always struggling for funds and school boards are always on the lookout for ways to stretch their limited financial resources. This partnership will allow students to take free courses online, leading to more postsecondary credit.”

Through the partnership, Modern States is providing the resources and support to make the program operational throughout public school systems in Tennessee, including a guarantee of at least 500 CLEP vouchers for students. The support by Modern States will save students at least $50,000 in CLEP test fees. 

Modern States also has similar partnerships in place with Collierville School District, the Jackson-Madison County School District and the University of Memphis. Modern States also works with the Ayers Foundation, an organization committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Tennessee through education, conservation and social welfare. The partnership, formed in 2017, creates additional pathways for Tennessee high school students to pursue a college education free from economic burden.

"Modern States is delighted to join forces with the Tennessee School Boards Association to help make a college education a reality for more high school students," said Steve Klinsky, founder and chief executive officer of Modern States. "The cost of higher education has gotten more and more unaffordable, with student debt in excess of $1.5 trillion. We value allies who are helping bring top quality, tuition free college courses to those who need them the most.”

The professors who teach the Modern States courses include faculty from some of the nation’s best universities, including Columbia, Purdue, Rutgers, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Baruch College, University of Texas and Cal Berkeley. Over 100,000 students have registered at, which aspires to be a practical “on-ramp” into the traditional college system for anyone who seeks it.

About Modern States
The Modern States Education Alliance is a NYC-based philanthropy dedicated to making a college degree more affordable and accessible for everyone. Its first initiative is “Freshman Year for Free”: more than 30 online college courses available tuition-free for credit, from top university professors available to anyone with an Internet connection. Students can use these courses to earn college credits by preparing for and taking AP and CLEP exams, as offered by the College Board. Modern States is also paying for the first 10,000 exam fees. Learn more at

About Tennessee School Board Association
Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) is a non-profit, private service organization for Tennessee boards of education. The mission of TSBA is to assist school boards in effectively governing school districts. Through the years, TSBA has helped school boards and their members reach their highest potential through associated programs, meetings and services.