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Campus: The Online Alternative to Community Colleges That Democratizes Access to Top Professors

Image Credits: Campus
By: Headliners News / May 15, 2024

In the realm of higher education, community colleges often serve as crucial stepping stones, yet the transfer rate to four-year universities remains relatively low. However, Campus, a new and innovative online community college alternative, is on a mission to change that narrative.

Founder Tade Oyerinde was driven by a vision of democratizing access to top-tier professors, many of whom struggle financially despite their academic prowess. To realize this vision, Campus has attracted significant investor attention. The startup recently announced a $23 million Series A extension, with Founders Fund leading the charge and 8VC joining in.

Campus sets itself apart by hiring adjunct professors from esteemed institutions like Vanderbilt and NYU, compensating them generously at $8,000 per course. This commitment to quality education comes with an affordable price tag of $7,200 annually, fully covered for Pell Grant recipients, ensuring accessibility for 40% of its student body.

Beyond academics, Campus provides comprehensive support, including laptops, Wi-Fi access, tutors, and personalized coaching to keep students on track. Oyerinde notes a rapid uptick in enrollment, attributing it to Campus being perceived as a modern pathway to traditional four-year programs.

Previously, Campus secured a $29 million Series A round, attracting investment from prominent figures like Sam Altman and Shaquille O’Neal. With an eye on expansion, the company utilized initial funds to acquire a physical campus in Sacramento, offering select in-person courses alongside its online curriculum.

Founders Fund’s increased investment underscores Campus’ scalable tech platform’s potential, positioning it as a disruptive force in education. Their partner Trae Stephens emphasized the unique cost structure that eliminates out-of-pocket expenses, a rarity in traditional academia.

However, Campus remains vigilant against the pitfalls of for-profit education, prioritizing student welfare over profit margins. Oyerinde stresses the company’s commitment to affordability and student success, steering clear of debt-laden models that plague the industry.

While Campus continues to attract top-tier professors and eager students, recruiting dedicated coaches presents an unexpected hurdle. Oyerinde acknowledges the challenge of finding individuals capable of fostering long-term student engagement, highlighting the unique nature of this pivotal role.

As Campus navigates the complex landscape of higher education, its commitment to accessibility, quality, and student empowerment remains unwavering. With substantial funding and a clear vision, it’s poised to redefine community college education for a new generation of learners.

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