The Frontline Workers Scholarship

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Free tuition for an Outlier course of your choice

The University of Pittsburgh and Outlier created The Frontline Workers Scholarship to support workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in their academic journey. The program will award a free, for-credit online college course to each recipient, a donation equivalent to $3.8 million total in University of Pittsburgh credits. 

The first 1,000 eligible applicants will have the opportunity to take an Outlier course of their choice for free. The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown will grant three transferable credits to those who successfully complete the course.

About the Scholarship

Outlier (from the co-founder of MasterClass) is reimagining higher education as a resource that is accessible, equitable, and affordable for everyone. We have developed the world's best online, for-credit university-level courses, taught by some of the most celebrated educators in the world. Our courses employ cinematic content powered by cutting-edge science to create an immersive, student-friendly learning experience that’s delivering game-changing student success levels.

If you're a frontline worker, you’re eligible to receive a full for-credit online college course for free.

This scholarship is available for the first 1,000 eligible applicants who complete a simple questionnaire and short video submission.

Scholarship recipients will have a full two years from the scholarship launch to enroll in a course of their choice (scholarships expire November 19, 2022). Outlier.org currently offers Calculus I, Psychology, and our newly announced Astronomy and Statistics courses. We will be launching additional courses in the next two years; while we can’t announce specific courses yet, we’re working on creating courses that fulfill common graduation requirements that count towards popular majors across STEM and liberal arts programs.

Eligibility requirement

Frontline workers:

For the purposes of this scholarship, we define “frontline workers” as employees within essential industries who are obligated to physically show up to their jobs. Frontline workers include, but are not limited to:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Cashiers in grocery and general merchandise stores
  • Janitors and maintenance workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Childcare workers
  • Transportation workers (e.g. buses, taxi, Uber, Lyft, subway, etc.)
  • Mailing and shipping service workers
  • Educators
  • Protective service workers (police and EMTs)
  • Social welfare service workers (e.g. housing shelters, food banks, etc.)
  • Restaurants and food delivery workers

What do I have to do to apply?

The application is short and simple. We'll ask you to provide the following:

  • Part 1: Your name and job description
  • Part 2: Three multiple-choice questions
  • Part 3: Make a short video (up to 60 seconds)

Apply for the scholarship

Apply now

Credit transfer

Not sure how Outlier credits will work with your academic institution? Check out our Transfer Credit Toolkit for each step you would need to complete when approving and transferring your credits (including a handy checklist).

Learn more

Courses the scholarship covers:

Please note the scholarship will also apply to any future courses launched between now and November 19, 2022.

Frequently asked questions

  • Outlier (from the co-founder of MasterClass) has developed high-quality, university-level for-credit courses, taught online by some of the most celebrated educators in their respective fields. Our courses employ engaging content and cutting-edge educational technology to create an immersive, student-friendly learning experience. Outlier is reimagining higher education as a resource that is accessible, equitable, and affordable for everyone.

  • We will get back to you as soon as possible. Currently, we are responding within 48 hours.

  • If you are currently enrolled in another institution and receiving financial aid, please check with your institution’s registrar office to ensure that your enrollment at Outlier (or receiving credits from University of Pittsburgh, our accreditation partner) will not result in current or future financial aid adjustments.

  • We are excited to be partnering with the University of Pittsburgh (a top 60 school) for our courses. Upon successful completion, you will receive 3 college semester credits from the University of Pittsburgh, transferrable to other colleges and universities subject to review and approval by the receiving institution.

    When you transfer your credits, it will come as an official transcript from the University of Pittsburgh for Fundamentals of Calculus I (MATH 6210) and Introduction to Psychology (PSY 6010).

    Not sure how to approve your credits or where to start? We’ve created a Transfer Credit Toolkit with guidance on each step you would need to complete when approving and transferring your credits (including a handy checklist).

    Once you've completed the course, you may request a transcript from the University of Pittsburgh and they will send an official E-Transcript to your school of choice.

  • Scholarship Expiration 

    Eligible for the first 1,000 qualified students that apply. 

    Scholarships expire on November 19, 2022; students must enroll before 11:59 pm PST on November 19, 2022. 

    Enrollment Limit

    Enrollment in Outlier courses is limited to the size of a given cohort and a number of other factors, so we can’t guarantee that the course you want will be available for the dates you choose. That said, new courses start every two weeks, so if the course you want is full, there’s always another starting two weeks later. 

    Dropping a Course

    If a student decides to exit a course BEFORE that course’s drop deadline, it is defined as dropping a course; there is no impact on a student’s academic record, and scholarship recipients will be eligible for a voucher to enroll in a future Outlier course before the scholarship expiration deadline (November 19, 2022). 

    For our standard-length terms, the Drop Period ends at 11:59 pm PST on the 12th day after the course’s start date. For our intensive-length terms, the Drop Period ends at 11:59 pm PST on the 3rd day after the course’s start date. To drop a course, students must submit a Drop Form before that course’s drop deadline.

    After 11:59 pm PST on the last day of your course’s Drop Period, vouchers may be given at Outlier.org’s discretion. 

    Students can find a course’s drop deadline in their course syllabus. 

    Eligible students can request to drop a course by submitting a Drop Form, prior to the drop deadline. To request access to our Course Exit page, where you can view whether you’re eligible to drop a course in which you are enrolled, please email us at success@outlier.org. Students whose requests are accepted will receive a code to apply towards a future course within 3-5 business days of their submission. 

    If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@outlier.org.

    Withdrawing from a Course

    Students may withdraw from the course during their course’s Withdrawal Period. For these dates, please check your course syllabus. 

    If a student decides to exit from a course AFTER the drop deadline and BEFORE the withdrawal deadline, it is defined as a withdrawal. This is different than having dropped the course as a grade of W will appear on your transcript. Withdrawals do not affect your GPA, but they do count towards the number of credits attempted. Students will still have access to review the lectures and active learning, but progress in the course will not be saved. Students who Withdraw are not eligible for a voucher. 

    If a student has not exited a course before the withdrawal deadline, they will receive a letter grade for that course, regardless of whether they complete it.

    Eligible students can request to withdraw from a course by submitting a Withdrawal Form prior to the withdrawal deadline. To request access to our Course Exit page, where you can view whether you’re eligible to withdraw from a course in which you are enrolled, please email us at success@outlier.org.

    Administrative Drops

    Students who wish to exit a course should complete a Drop Form or Withdrawal Form before the corresponding dates for that course. Students can find a course’s drop and withdrawal deadlines in their course syllabus. To request access to our Course Exit page, where you can view whether you’re eligible to drop or withdraw from a course in which you are enrolled, please email us at success@outlier.org

    Students who do not meaningfully participate by the time 20% of the term has passed will be administratively dropped from the course. For standard terms, the 20% mark is the third week of the course. For intensive terms, the 20% mark is prior to the second week of the course.

    Meaningful participation includes regularly logging into the course, completing quizzes, engaging in the discussion channel, and responding to Student Success outreach.

    Students who are administratively dropped from the course are not eligible for a voucher to enroll in a future Outlier course. 

    Other Refunds

    If students complete all coursework but are unable to achieve a passing grade in the course, they will be eligible to request a voucher to re-enroll in the same course. Students will be eligible to request a voucher if they complete all coursework described in their course syllabus (including, but not limited to, watching video lectures, completing active learning assignments, completing practice problem sets, completing flashcard sets, completing all versions of quizzes and exams) and do not achieve a passing grade (that is, a final grade of 60% or higher) in the course.

    The request for a voucher must be received by Outlier.org within one year from the date on which the course was purchased and before the scholarship expiration date (November 19, 2022). 

    Terms and Conditions

    Outlier.org reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, amend or cancel the Frontline Workers Scholarship Program at any time without notice, and to decide all questions respecting the awarding of scholarships and the administration of the terms and conditions of the program.