The 15-Year-Old College Freshman
Sam Matey is not your average 15-year-old. While he does participate in his high school rock climbing club and enjoys spending time outdoors like other Maine teenagers, Sam is also completing his high school education at the same time as his freshman year of college with Arizona State University (ASU) and edX’s Global Freshman Academy (GFA).
How did you hear about GFA?
I was looking on the edX site for classes for the upcoming school year and read about GFA. It seemed really awesome with no downside, so I brought it up to my parents and enrolled in three courses. At first I thought it was too good to be true, but when I realized it was real, I jumped right in.
Did you see any downsides to GFA?
No. GFA courses are completely online, adaptive, personalized, and free until you complete the course and choose to purchase course credit.
What surprised you about GFA?
I’m surprised more people aren’t doing this. I don’t know why this isn’t the biggest news since the iPhone. Why spend $15,000 on college when you can try it out online and not have to pay unless you pass the course?
What’s one of your favorite things about GFA?
I think GFA is amazing. You can pause lectures to take notes and receive personalized help from professors.
I was so inspired by this experience that my dad bought me a telescope so I could continue to explore my new interest in astronomy. I also decided that I’m going to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sustainability from ASU because of the strong impact the GFA sustainability course had on me.
Do you feel like you are part of the ASU community?
Yes! I plan on going on with ASU to finish my degree even though I’m taking the courses in Maine. I’m getting a first year experience that’s so much better and less expensive than what my peers are getting. I really am an ASU freshman.
How would you rate the overall experience?
The experience was spectacular. I like this style of learning and will continue to take every course available.
Inspired by Sam’s story? Learn more about Global Freshman Academy and its course offerings.
“I’m surprised more people aren’t doing this. I don’t know why this isn’t the biggest news since the iPhone. Why spend $15,000 on college when you can try it out online and not have to pay unless you pass the course?”