Golden Gate University Degrees+ Powered by Outlier
Outlier Articles Home


Golden Gate University & Reinvent Affordable College with Degrees+

09.07.2022 • 5 min read

Outlier Staff


For less than one-third the price of the national average college tuition, students will earn an associate degree plus a job-ready certificate from Google, IBM, or Salesforce.

New York, NY, September 7, 2022 - Golden Gate University is launching Degrees+, powered by, with three associate degrees that reimagine the two-year degree for a rising generation of students that demand high quality education without the crushing cost. For annual tuition of $4,470 all-inclusive, students will earn a two-year degree that uniquely brings together the best of a college education with a career-relevant industry certificate.

Beginning today, students can apply to be part of the first class, which starts in Spring 2023.

“This is a full associate degree plus a job-ready certification that will be fully funded for more than half of Americans under existing federal aid guidelines,” said Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and founder of and co-founder of MasterClass. “Imagine if everyone had the option to go to college with top instructors from Harvard, Yale, Google, and NASA via the highest-quality online classes. By upgrading the two-year degree, we can massively reduce student debt and set students up for success, whether that’s transferring into a four-year degree or going straight into their careers.”

“This is a full associate degree plus a job-ready certification that will be fully funded for more than half of Americans under existing federal aid guidelines.” --Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and founder of and co-founder of MasterClass

“Golden Gate University has been providing life-changing educational options to adult students since 1901,” said Brent White, Provost of Golden Gate University. “We are proud to partner with IBM, Amazon,, and others to offer a new type of associate degree that meets students’ aspirations to get a two- or four-year degree on their own schedule via a top-quality online learning experience.”

While 86% of Americans agree that a college education helps adults advance their careers, less than half (49%) believe the economic benefits outweigh the costs. In fact, nearly half of Generation Z students (48%) believe postsecondary education should be two years or less.

“Degrees+ is an innovative response to growing public doubt about the return on time and money invested in college,” said David Fike, President of Golden Gate University.

For tuition of $4,470 per year all-inclusive ($149/credit), students in a Degrees+ program can earn an associate degree from Golden Gate University with no hidden fees. Golden Gate University and worked together to carefully follow Department of Education guidelines so that students can leverage federal financial aid for these degrees. Based on data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, more than half (56.3%) of college students would be eligible to have their Degrees+ tuition fully funded by the Pell Grant alone.

Students can pick among three Degrees+ programs to earn an AS in Applied Computing, an AA in Business Administration, or an AA in Liberal Studies.  In addition to lectures from world-class instructors, Golden Gate University faculty will lead each course and provide interactive support including class discussions, office hours, and much more. Each program is designed to combine durable communication and critical thinking skills developed in classic liberal arts courses, with the option to complete a professional certificate from a company such as Google, IBM, Meta, Intuit, Salesforce, or HubSpot. Each certificate is specifically designed to prepare students for in-demand, entry-level roles.

Steep declines in college enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic have illustrated how difficult it is for most students to fit traditional college experiences into their lives. Today, 74% of college students are parents or working full-time, while only 15% live on campus.

There are 39 million people who have started college but not earned a credential in the United States alone, and only 13% of community college students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. By accepting up to 75% of the credits required to graduate as transfer credits, the Degrees+ programs are built to make it possible for those people to finally earn a college degree, on their own schedule.

“Programs like Degrees+ are promising because they put students on the path to a college degree while earning certificates along the way that have tangible labor market value,” said Rusty Greiff, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer at Jobs for the Future. “After year one, students will have skills they can immediately take into the workforce.” is also working with partners to distribute Degrees+ to prospective students who can benefit most. Through a partnership with Amazon’s Career Choice, the company will pre-pay any of the Degrees+ programs for their 750,000+ qualifying employees.

“Amazon employees who are looking to obtain degrees desire flexibility in many areas of their education—from scheduling to types of classes to locations,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Director for Career Choice at Amazon. “Because of this,’s customizable, transfer credit-friendly courses are powerful additions to the Career Choice education network. We’re excited to offer a national associate degree to our employees, in addition to the variety of programs already available.”

In addition to helping new and returning students complete their associate degrees and find pathways to bachelor’s programs at Golden Gate University, the institution is actively working with to build a network of employer and university partners to streamline both workforce recruitment with employers and matriculation into four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Employers and universities who would like to partner on Degrees+ are encouraged to reach out to

Prospective students can learn more about the Degrees+ programs and apply at

About empowers students to earn their degree with the best instructors without the debt. Students choose from for-credit courses and degree programs taught by leading instructors at Yale, MIT, and Harvard and enjoy a rigorous online learning experience with cinematic video, access to 1-on-1 tutoring, AI-proctored assessments, and active learning material. All courses and programs are transcripted by either the University of Pittsburgh or Golden Gate University.

About Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University, a private nonprofit university in the heart of San Francisco’s financial and high-tech district, empowers working adults to achieve their professional goals with nationally renowned undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Founded in 1901, GGU has been a leader in online education for nearly three decades, and its programs offer maximum flexibility for modern students. With a primary campus in San Francisco, GGU also has teaching locations in Silicon Valley and Seattle. GGU graduates join nearly 70,000 alumni.