October 7 2020

With Access for All Scholarship Campaign, edX Doubles Down on its Mission

$10M scholarship campaign eliminates cost barrier to education, starting with $1M gift from Macquarie Group Foundation.

Cambridge, MA - At edX, we believe that education has the power to change individuals and that individuals have the power to change the world. Yet, access to high-quality education—and in some cases, access to any education at all—has been a privilege of the few. We are launching the Access for All scholarship campaign to drastically increase the number of learners edX can help gain access to life changing education, especially during a time of economic struggle and job loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requests for financial assistance on edX increased exponentially over the past year, up 240% from June 2019 to June 2020, with the biggest spike of 30,000 requests from March 16, 2020 - June 7, 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are supporting these learners by creating a dedicated scholarship program to help them reach their potential. As a non-profit, we’re uniquely positioned to bring together philanthropic organizations to create a scholarship program that gives back directly to our learners. Charitable gifts have always been an essential component of our funding; $50M to date of fundraising has been raised to support our mission.

This scholarship campaign will radically increase the number of people who can gain access to the knowledge, skills, and financial mobility needed to propel their lives, their communities, and the world forward. Our research shows that financial assistance also increases the likelihood of completing and earning a certificate and that these certificates provide learners with positive career changing outcomes. What’s more, globally, higher education can increase one’s wage earnings by 16% on average, and by as much as 27% in low-income countries. 

“We will feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and higher education reverberate for years to come,” said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and Founder. “This scholarship campaign will be instrumental in empowering learners everywhere to reach their full potential and change the world. Our effort is representative of our sustained effort and leadership towards achieving our mission.” 

We’re proud to announce that the first named scholarship in the Access for All campaign is the Macquarie Group Scholarship for economic recovery in support of learners in the United States, Australia, India, and the United Kingdom. This $1M scholarship’s goal is to support low-income and underrepresented groups of learners in these countries that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

“We’re thrilled to announce the Access for All campaign and share that we’ve set an ambitious goal of a $10M Scholarship Campaign over the next three years,” said Cathleen Coyle Webster, Vice President of Development, edX and former Assistant Dean of Development at Harvard Kennedy School. “The generous support of the Macquarie Group Foundation moves the needle towards our goal, and we look forward to offering additional scholarship opportunities to meet the needs of our diverse learner community. Starting at $1M named scholarships, corporations, foundations, and philanthropists have the opportunity to be a key part of our campaign and further amplify the positive impact that learners on edX leave on the world.”   

For anyone interested in applying to the Macquarie Group Scholarship, please visit https://www.edx.org/macquarie-scholarship-application. For foundations and donors interested in becoming a supporter of the Access for All campaign, reach out to scholarships@edx.org for more information.



About edX

edX is the trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 30 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. Fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. edX is where you go to learn.


Email: press@edx.org