In this episode we meet the students of Minerva University, a startup university program with no lectures and no final exams. Minerva believes in preparing students to lead, innovate, and solve complex challenges, that will help students to positively impact the future. Minerva is an alliance with the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), and it offers four-year undergraduate degrees in five accredited majors: Arts & Humanities, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Business.

At Minerva, all courses take place online, and the students live in a different country each year.Minerva’s freshman class is made up of students from 36 countries. They live together in rented housing and take classes through their computers.

Listen to the Podcast Episode 

” This was recorded back on day 20 of a 30 Day Impact Podcast Project! “.

About Minerva University


 The school, officially called Minerva Schools at KGI, is a non-profit undergraduate program. It was formed as a joint project between the Minerva Project and Keck Graduate Institute (KGI). The startup, created in 2012, doesn’t aim to be another elite private school, though; its model is vastly different from what four years of school in the prestigious Ivy League resembles.


Ben Nelson, Founder and CEO of Minerva Project. Minerva Project

The Minerva Project is a for-profit company which owns the technology and intellectual property associated with the Minerva Schools. One of the biggest draws to Minerva is its annual tuition and charges, which is much lower than other selective schools. For the 2016-2017 school year, Harvard lists its total tuition, room and board, and additional fees at $66,900.

Minerva University admitted its first class of 29 students and recently landed $70 million in funding, enough to offer the founding class of students full scholarships through graduation.

Ben Nelson, Founder and former Snapfish president believes schools like Minerva will start to create competition in the higher-education arena. Nelson says, “Students are realizing that institutions can’t just sit on their brands that they’ve built over decades or centuries and deliver the same ineffective experience”.


Show Notes

Here are a few articles worth reading about Minerva.

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  • Value Proposition: “Minerva offers a unique undergraduate education. The intensive four-year experience is deliberately designed to enhance your intellectual growth and prepare you for success in today’s rapidly changing global context.

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