Thousands of Students Take Courses Through Unaccredited Private Companies. Here’s a Look Into One of Them.

Taylor Swaak:

A growing number of students are taking courses offered by unaccredited private companies and completing them in a matter of days or weeks — often for less than $200 — and then transferring the credits to colleges.

The practice was pioneered by companies like StraighterLine, which entered the market in 2009 to a mix of intrigue and skepticism, seeking to transform college access and affordability. StraighterLine boasts credit-transfer agreements with more than 150 American institutions, most of them private,