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2019 Transparency Report

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

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Student working on his laptop writing in a notebook
Six core pillars of 2U's 2019 Transparency Report

What is 2U’s Transparency Report?

With so many adult learners choosing to pursue their education online, we believe it is important to provide greater transparency about our partnerships with non-profit universities, the nature and quality of the offerings we power, and the great student outcomes we deliver together.

At 2U, we understand the responsibility we have to provide more transparency around the value of the programs we power and the learning outcomes we deliver with our partners to students. In an effort to deliver on that commitment to transparency, we launched our Transparency Report focused on six key pillars: University Oversight & Accountability, Marketplace Openness, Access, Affordability, Quality, and Outcomes. Our hope is that this report will lead to an improved, more informed dialogue about the role we play in building and sustaining a higher education sector that better meets society’s critical needs.

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University Oversight & Accountability.

We value and respect the institutional independence of our non-profit university 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.

2UOS brain cog graphic

Marketplace Openness.

As a partner to more than 70 universities, we believe in the importance of publicly disclosing the existence and nature of our partnerships. And our transparency extends to the investments and services we provide our non-profit university partners.

Every year, we invest hundreds of millions of dollars into our partners’ Title IV eligible degree programs through 2UOS—a comprehensive bundle of people- and tech-enabled services and capabilities. This bundle includes functions like placement, accessibility, learning technology, and more. Since inception, we have invested $1.3 billion in our non-profit partners’ degree programs.¹


¹ Defined as the all-time (2008-2019) marketing and sales, servicing and support, and technology and content development expenses plus capitalized content development costs.

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Access.

Learners need greater access than ever before to high-quality online education—a demand accelerated by COVID-19. 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 2019:

  • 18% of students who enrolled in a 2U-powered degree program did not have an equivalent degree program within 50 miles of where they live.²
  • 34% of learners across 2U-powered degree programs were Black/African American or Hispanic, and 8% were military-affiliated.³
  • 19% of learners in 2U-powered boot camps were over the age of 40.⁴
  • 20% of students in 2U-powered short courses did not have a bachelor’s degree.⁵


² Data is self-reported, inception to December 31, 2019.

³ Demographic data are self-reported by students. Figures above are based on the total number of students that reported demographic data through December 31, 2019 for those programs and students to which 2U has access to the information. This includes race/ethnicity data for 72 percent of students, gender data for 83 percent of students, and age data for 97 percent of students. Military affiliation is defined as military students (active duty, veteran, and reserve) plus dependents and spouses.

⁴ Demographic data are self-reported by students. The figure above is based on the total number of students that reported demographic data through December 31, 2019 for those programs and students to which 2U has access to the information. 79 percent of students provided age data.

⁵ Demographic data are self-reported by students. The figure above is based on the total number of students that reported demographic data through December 31, 2019 for those programs and students to which 2U has access to the information. 80 percent of students provided level of education data.

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 $19.5 million in scholarships and fellowships for students in the degree programs we power, and approximately 38% of our total 2019 revenue was derived from Title IV loans.⁶


⁶ Estimate based upon non-Title IV alternative credential revenue and analysis of College Scorecard data released by the Department of Education in 2019.

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Woman working on her laptop with coffee

Quality.

Across all programs we power, the student experience is grounded in our Learning Experience Framework (LXF), a research and learning science-supported approach to designing high-quality, engaging online education. We were proud to have a net promoter score of 52 for 2U-powered degree and non-degree offerings in 2019.⁷


⁷ 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, 2019.

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Students smiling and sitting at the white coat ceremony at medical school graduation

Outcomes.

At 2U, we believe student outcomes are paramount and that a positive educational experience can transform lives.

We’re committed to enabling those learning outcomes. By creating relevant and high-quality educational offerings with our partners, we make it possible for learners to graduate with the skills they need.

In 2019, our boot camp services team made more than 7,300 employment referrals for our graduates, and hosted 150 demo days and more than 115 industry sessions to help learners identify their career path and build professional networks.⁸


⁸ Industry sessions include tech talks, company spotlights, recruiting sessions, career paths sessions, alumni events, panels, and similar events.