Outlier.org aims to provide access to quality college education that’s more affordable than what’s currently available in traditional means. With their partnership with University of Pittsburgh, you’ll usually get three transferable college credits for every Outlier.org course you’ve passed. “Thank god I found Outlier, which ended up being a third of the price my university would have been,” a student of their Calculus I course mentions. More info about Outlier.org is on my review below.
The structure of Outlier.org is heavily influenced by its founder Aaron Rasmussen. Coming from a small town, Aaron knows how unusual it is to have easy access to quality education. He’s able to graduate as probably the poorest kid in Boston University, but he had to essentially do all the penny-pinching stuff to get to it.
And so, he would take courses from cheaper community colleges and transfer the credits into his uni. The said credit transfer would then be a feature of Outlier.org, a very welcomed one, although I should mention that only four of the courses here have transferable credits if your school only accepts courses with ACE credit accreditation.
Aaron ain’t playing around when he says his platform is all about quality education, something comparable to Ivy league schools, for relatively affordable prices. And it shows on their choice of instructors from very reputable institutions. Regarding this, he mentions that they “have handpicked professors from NASA, MIT, Yale, and Harvard teaching you courses, but at the cost of community college.”
To add, the way courses are taught in Outlier.org is far from the usual boring lectures. No more snooze fest galore where you accumulate more ZZZs than book smart knowledge. This is through them opting to build their courses around active learning – something like an interactive textbook that’s engaging to almost everyone. That’s how they deliver on their quality claim.
On the other hand, the affordability claim is on Outlier.org’s price at $400 per course, on par with the average price of standard three-unit courses in community colleges at $135-$750. The best part related to payment? They’ll offer a full refund if you do all the necessary work , but somehow still end up with a big fat F. That’s on them, they say.
The necessary work needed to qualify for the refund is described in the course syllabus—including, but not limited to, watching video lectures, completing assignments, completing practice problem sets, completing flashcard sets, and completing all versions of quizzes and exams.
If you don’t vibe with the course right off the bat, they also offer a no questions asked refund equivalent to dropping courses in a traditional college. It’s up to 14 days for their standard-length 14-week course, and then up to 7 days for their 7-week intensive length courses.
Here’s the list of courses posted in Outlier.org: College Success, Intro to Financial Accounting, College Writing I, Intro to Statistics, College Algebra, Precalculus, Calculus I, Principle of Economics, Intro to Psychology, Intro to Business, Intro to Astronomy, Intro to Macroeconomics, Intro to Philosophy, Intro to Sociology, Intro to Macroeconomics, and Computer Science I. Outlier.org also offers three certifications, although it’s on the expensive side with prices up to $1,600.
My thoughts here? This could be quite useful for college students who want a different way of learning subjects while getting an actual credit for it. From the (very few) reviews I’ve read online, the instructor here does a very good job at explaining things. The email tutors of Outlier.org are also alright in providing quality answers to your queries, albeit responding at a turtle pace of around one to two days later after you emailed them.
However, Outlier.org using Examity for test proctoring might be a deal breaker for ya. To those who are not in the know, a lot of students hate it for being laggy, buggy, and problematic overall. Not only does that service make Outlier.org not suitable for Chromebooks and tablets, Examity is also notorious for requiring some crazy camera setups for you to get their acceptable camera angle right. They do it to avoid cheating, but it’s a hassle for sure.
Finally, if you’re just looking at Outlier.org to supplement your learning, then I suggest starting off with free educational content on the internet first. Most of the time, that one Indian guy on YouTube is more than enough to make you understand the x and y’s in your math. Take it from me. Been there, done that.