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College for America at Southern New Hampshire University

Blazing the trail with flexible, affordable degree pathways 

In 2013, SNHU once again pushed the boundaries of higher education with College for America (CfA). Made possible with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, CfA introduced competency-based education (CBE) to students for whom education is not a guarantee. Available only through SNHU partner organizations, this format empowered learners to complete projects and demonstrate skills, rather than take scheduled online classes. 

CfA also became the first university program in the nation to be approved for federal financial aid under the U.S. Department of Education’s direct assessment provisions, independent of traditional credit hours. 

The present and future of CBE 

Today, we continue to offer competency-based education programs for students everywhere, most notably through the SNHU Global Education Movement (GEM) and Community Partnerships. These efforts, along with other innovative education pathways, support our commitment to expand access to higher education for all. 

Looking to learn more about our course-based online programs, outside of CBE? Visit our online college degrees to choose from our 200+ online degree programs.

Putting Students First

SNHU President Paul LeBlanc“When a student can come to SNHU and unlock opportunities for a better job, then they can open a better path for their family. That’s the classic American dream, and it’s slipped out of reach for too many Americans.”

Paul LeBlanc, SNHU President
Author of Students First: Equity, Access, and Opportunity in Higher Education