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YouTube’s looking to help more people get into college, via a new program, in conjunction with Arizona State University and Crash Course that will enable YouTube users to earn college credits via in-app courses.

As outlined by the affable Hank Green, YouTube’s new ‘Study Hall’ initiative aims to make college education more accessible, by providing explainers on the higher education process, along with preparatory courses and elements, which can then lead into an actual course.

As explained by YouTube:

Study Hall is a new approach that demystifies the college process while creating an affordable and accessible onramp to earning college credit. A postsecondary education drives economic and social mobility in powerful ways, yet the path to higher education can be riddled with barriers, including high cost and accessibility. We’re hoping to change that with Study Hall.

Prospective students are now able to sign up for the initial ‘College Foundations’ courses, which begin on March 7th, and will offer eligibility for transfer credit.

“This suite encompasses the most common first-year college courses at many higher-education institutions: English Composition, College Math, US History and Human Communication. Developed and taught by the same faculty who conduct research and teach students on ASU’s campuses, the lessons combine ASU’s academic excellence with Crash Courses’s compelling storytelling — all on YouTube’s wide-reaching platform. Anyone can get started — no applications or minimum GPAs needed.”

YouTube plans to expand the curriculum by an additional 12 courses over the next two years, which will provide more opportunity for more people to move into higher education, in a less intimidating, and more self-governed way.

Most of the courses will be available for free, though YouTube will charge a $25 fee if the participant elects to undertake coursework.

But there are discounts:

“Learners who register before March 7, 2023 will receive special scholarship pricing of $350 per course — less than one-third of the average course cost at a public four-year university for in-state students and nearly 90% lower than the average course cost of a private four-year university.* Each course can be taken as often as needed until the learner is satisfied with their grade. This credit can then be used at any of the hundreds of institutions that accept credits from ASU.”

It’s a powerful initiative from YouTube, which could have wide-reaching implications for many people. Higher education has long been out of reach for those without high incomes or direct opportunities, but now, more people will be able to, at the least, get an idea of what’s required, and whether it’s for them, while also earning course credit for free in the app.

The process also aligns with how more and more of the workforce is shifting, with online connectivity facilitating all new types of hybrid work scenarios. Doing your initial coursework online, then, could better prepare you for the actual workforce, while also, again, facilitating more flexible learning opportunities.

YouTube Study Hall

It’s a great way to utilize the reach and familiarity of YouTube to offer more opportunities to more people – and amid the current economic downturn, which is upending many industries, now could be a good time to assess your skills, and improve your educational standing.

You can learn more about Study Hall here, which includes a range of videos, Shorts and other related clips.