Mountain View California Offers Residents Tuition-Free Education

The recently launched Mountain View Working Scholars program was designed as a low-cost way for the community to help adult workers earn a college degree. The program, which is a joint effort between the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Edison State University and online course provider, leverages partnerships between the private, public and nonprofit sectors to remove the most prevalent barriers to education, cost and inconvenient class schedules.

Through the partnership, working adults can earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year university entirely online by taking college courses from and Thomas Edison State University. Participants have the flexibility to take courses anytime and to continue to work while they earn their degree. The program addresses the college affordability problem at the root by reducing the total cost of a college degree from over $44,000 to under $4,300 through a combination of discounted fees and the use of low-cost transferable credit. Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation is pairing this low-cost degree path with scholarships created from corporate sponsorship to make it free for participants.

Most people associate Mountain View with Silicon Valley and the tech industry. The reality is that for every tech worker, there are 5 non-tech workers in service-related industries. Approximately 45% of adults over the age of 25 living in Mountain View do not have a bachelor’s degree. With the high costs of rent, home prices and other living expenses in the Bay Area, a college degree can be the key to unlocking greater earning potential.

“As an edtech company in the heart of Silicon Valley, we have been grateful to participate in the tech boom, but realize that many outside the tech industry have not prospered and are increasingly burdened by the rising cost of living. A bachelor’s degree is the key to upward mobility and the foundation for success in today’s knowledge economy. Mountain View Working Scholars is bringing the dream of a college degree within reach for thousands of local workers” says Adrian Ridner, CEO of

The program, which is still actively enrolling participants, was the brainchild of Adrian Ridner and Ben Wilson, co-founders of who wanted to give back to the community. To date, over 200 people have applied for the program and 42 are actively taking courses.

More details about the program can be found at or by attending an information session Thursday, January 19th 2017, at Mountain View City Hall from 6:00-8:00PM.

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