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Transparency Report

As more people pursue education online, we recognize the importance of increasing transparency around our partnerships and the learning outcomes we deliver. That’s why we release our annual Transparency Report–the first of its kind for the edtech industry.

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Six core pillars of 2U's  Transparency Report

What is 2U’s Transparency Report?

We believe it is important to provide transparency about our partnerships, the nature and quality of the offerings we power, and the great student outcomes we deliver together. The need for this information has only increased as the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped our lives and accelerated the adoption of online learning.

To deliver on our commitment to transparency, we have released the 2019 Transparency Report and 2020 Transparency Report focused on six key pillars: University Oversight & Accountability, Marketplace Openness, Access, Affordability, Quality, and Outcomes. Our hope is that these reports will lead to an improved, more informed dialogue about the role we play in building and sustaining a higher education sector that meets society’s critical needs and unlocks human potential.

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University Oversight & Accountability.

We value and respect the institutional independence of our partners. In degree programs, our partners retain control over all core academic functions, which is consistent with accreditation requirements and critical to the success of our partnerships. The principles of institutional independence are also reflected in our degree program contracts.

These functions include admission processing, tuition, financial aid, accreditation, curriculum, and program delivery, development, and support.

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Marketplace Openness.

By the end of 2020, we had more than 75 partners, and we believe in the importance of publicly disclosing the existence and nature of those partnerships, including the investments and services we provide.

Every year, we invest hundreds of millions of dollars into our partners’ Title IV eligible degree programs through functions like placement, accessibility, learning technology, and more. Since inception, we have invested $1.6 billion in our non-profit partners’ degree programs.¹


¹ Defined as the all-time (2008-2020) marketing and sales, servicing and support, and technology and content development expenses plus capitalized content development costs.

Access.

Learners need greater access than ever before to high-quality online education—a demand accelerated by COVID-19. These learners are from all over the world. Since inception, 2U-powered degree and non-degree offerings have served students from all 50 states in the United States and the District of Columbia, as well as over 175 countries.

Our portfolio of degree and non-degree offerings is meeting this need for a diverse cross-section of learners, regardless of gender, race, age, or geography. In fact, the number of students of color increased across our partners’ boot camps (49%) and degree programs (50%), creating more diverse pipelines of talent in high-demand disciplines and fields of study.²


² Demographic data are self-reported by students. Figures above are based on the total number of students that reported demographic data through December 31, 2020 for those programs and students to which 2U has access to the information. This includes race/ethnicity data for 75 percent of degree students and 78 percent of boot camp students.

Affordability.

While our non-profit university partners are responsible for setting tuition pricing, we remain committed to making the programs we power more affordable.

In 2019, we invested $32 million in scholarships and fellowships for students in the degree programs we power, and approximately 31% of our total 2020 revenue was derived from Title IV loans.³


³ Estimate based upon non-Title IV alternative credential revenue and analysis of College Scorecard data released by the Department of Education in 2020.

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Quality.

We work hand in hand with our partners to ensure a high-quality experience for students. At a time when many students experienced emergency remote education due to COVID-19, students in 2U-powered programs engaged in offerings grounded in 2U’s Learning Experience Framework, a research- and learning science-supported approach to designing high-quality, engaging online education. We were proud to have a net promoter score of 53, 51, and 50 for degree programs, boot camps, and short courses respectively in 2020.⁴


⁴ Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures a customer’s willingness to recommend a company’s product or services. Students are asked “How likely are you to recommend [insert offering name] to a friend?” A higher score indicates that the student is more likely to recommend their program, boot camp, or short course. An NPS can range from -100 to 100 and in general, an NPS above 30 is considered excellent. NPS is a measure of advocacy rather than satisfaction. As of December 31, 2020.

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Outcomes.

At 2U, we believe student outcomes are paramount. When students win, we win, and by coming together with our partners, we deliver relevant and high-quality educational offerings and make it possible for learners to graduate with the skills they need to thrive.

In 2020, 90% of students who started 2U degree programs, stayed in 2U degree programs.⁵ And after those students graduated, they experienced positive career outcomes. Our 2020 Gallup-2U Graduate Alumni Outcomes Study discovered that 97% of all 2U-powered degree program alumni achieved a positive career outcome after graduating, whether through finding a more fulfilling career, changing careers, getting a promotion, earning more money, or attaining more up-to-date and relevant skills. Moreover, 94% of Black alumni and 97% of first-generation alumni achieved a positive career outcome after graduating.⁶

We recorded a 91% average course completion rate for short courses⁷ and a 79% graduation rate for boot camps.⁸ Additionally, our boot camp services team made more than 11,000 employment referrals for our graduates.


⁵ Defined as the percentage of students who enroll in a program and remain through the add/drop period in 2020 who also enroll in the second term of the program and remain through add/drop period, excluding students on leaves of absence

⁶ Gallup, Positive Career Outcomes and Equitable Experiences: The 2020 Gallup-2U Graduate Alumni Outcomes Study, 2021.

⁷ Defined as the number of students across all short courses that completed a course, regardless of grade received, as a percentage of the total number of students that enroll in a course from inception to December 31, 2020.

⁸ Defined as the number of students that have successfully met all program requirements and received certificates by their respective cohort's end-date. Includes cohorts ending from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.