LANHAM, Md., Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, today announced it will begin to offer a deferred tuition plan in collaboration with its partners. Online students in Simmons University's School of Nursing will be the first students eligible to apply for the new deferred tuition payments, representing the first master's degree in the U.S. to offer income-based tuition payments without interest. The move is part of a broader effort by 2U to extend deferred tuition benefits across its portfolio of degree programs.
"The deferred tuition plan introduced today by 2U and Simmons Nursing demonstrates our joint commitment to investing directly in student outcomes, while keeping interest payments at the absolute minimum: zero," 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher "Chip" Paucek said. "It's our intent to bring deferred tuition options to as many students as possible. This is an extremely student-friendly payment model and a powerful example of how 2U's scale enables us to work with our university partners to make their high-quality programs more affordable."
The deferred tuition plan for Nursing@Simmons offers U.S.-based students a simple way to lower the upfront cost of the program:
- Eligible students may defer up to 50% of total tuition until after graduation.
- After graduation, income-based payments will not rise above 10% of yearly income.
- The plan has zero interest charges. Students only pay what they defer.
"As the demand for nurses rises across the country, it's imperative that we try innovative ways of making nursing degrees accessible to more people who can contribute their skills to the profession," Simmons University President Helen Drinan said. "Bringing our master's in nursing degree online with the help of 2U was a first step. We believe that an income-based deferred tuition plan will open the door for a wider, more diverse audience of people to choose this important career path."
The deferred tuition plan is being implemented with the support of a new partnership between 2U and EdAid, which specializes in powering affordable ways to finance education via income-based payments.
As student debt in the US reaches over $1.5 trillion, universities, policymakers, and employers are considering alternative ways to fund career-enhancing education. While income-based payment models are slowly gaining traction, many end up requiring students to pay back significantly more than the cost of the program.
"The rise of income-based financing models in the U.S. is an important step toward solving the student debt crisis, but not all models are created equal. We are proud to work with 2U and its partner universities, which have set an example by providing students with the fairest terms possible," EdAid Founder & CEO Tom Woolf said.
Nursing is an increasingly appealing career choice as demand for registered nurses is projected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the national average. The deferred tuition plan will be available for students in the Nursing@Simmons program beginning in early 2020. Simmons University School of Nursing offers one of the oldest Family Nurse Practitioner programs in the country, and the same high-quality program is offered online. In 2018, 95.9% of Simmons University nursing graduates passed their boards across both the on-campus and online programs, well above the national board pass rate average of 85.5%.
About 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU)
Eliminating the back row in higher education is not just a metaphor–it's our mission. For more than a decade, 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology, has been a trusted partner and brand steward of great universities. We build, deliver, and support more than 250 digital and in-person educational offerings, including graduate degrees, professional certificates, Trilogy-powered boot camps, and GetSmarter short courses. Together with our partners, 2U has positively transformed the lives of more than 150,000 students and lifelong learners. To learn more, visit 2U.com. #NoBackRow
About Simmons University
Founded in 1899, Simmons University (www.simmons.edu) is a nationally recognized private university with a cherished history of visionary thinking and social responsibility, and a strong mission that has remained constant for over a century: to provide transformative learning that links passion with lifelong purpose. Simmons offers undergraduate programs for women in the arts, sciences, and several professional fields; and graduate programs online and campus-based open to all at the master's and doctoral levels. Located in Boston's renowned Longwood Medical Area, the Simmons School of Nursing provides rigorous academic preparation and exceptional clinical experiences, and meaningful research opportunities. Our programs are perfect for undergraduate students and licensed nurses wishing to pursue an advanced degree. Our reach extends across the country through the innovative, online Nursing@Simmons program. Follow Simmons on Twitter at @SimmonsUniv and @SimmonsNews, and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/school/simmons-university/.
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SOURCE 2U, Inc.