We are establishing a non-profit college with a mission to make technology more equitable and ethical.

Make School students on campus (pre-COVID)

We are proud to announce that Make School has taken the first step towards independent accreditation as a non-profit college.

On December 3rd, after a comprehensive review of our academics, governance structures, and student success, Make School was granted Eligibility Status by WSCUC — the regional accreditor that accredits Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other top California colleges. We will be working with WSCUC through the additional steps towards accreditation over the next year.

The path to independent accreditation is an exciting milestone for our organization and will open up new opportunities to drive innovation. We will begin working directly with…

Institutions must rethink and redesign the admissions process to serve as an on-ramp, not a locked gate, for students.

Last month, federal prosecutors charged dozens of wealthy parents with bribing college officials to ensure entry for their children into some of America’s most elite colleges and universities. As infuriating as those headlines may be, they are simply the byproduct of a college admissions industrial complex that risks cementing our social and career hierarchy based upon the accomplishments of 17-year-olds.

Admissions at our most selective institutions is, in effect, a regressive tax on low-income students. It favors the rich, and filters the poor through a maze of factors — from legacy status to standardized tests — that magnify structural inequities…

The 21st century poses new challenges to our education system and society. We’re building a university to help lead the way.

On the heels of our accreditation announcement, we’re proud to share that we’ve raised a $15 million Series B funding round to help us realize our vision of building a modern university, designed to embody the values of the next generation of makers and leaders.

These future leaders will soon inherit the responsibility to solve significant societal challenges around climate change and income inequality — among others. But the enduring adversities of our higher education system — the student debt crisis, underemployment of degree holders, and stark inequality of opportunity in college admissions — are disempowering them. …

A collection of great memories from the past 7 years of the Summer Academy. Thank you to the Summer Academy community for so many years of joy.

A bittersweet announcement

Dear Summer Academy alumni and community,

We’re writing to you with a bittersweet announcement. After 7 straight years of running our Summer Academy, we’ve decided not to run the Summer Academy in 2019. Simultaneous to the Summer Academy, we’ve spent the past few years building a new college in San Francisco, starting with a Bachelor in Applied Computer Science degree program.

The degree program was built in partnership with top tech employers — many of whom successfully hired Summer Academy alumni — and is the first Bachelor’s degree where students pay no tuition until they get a job. Given our…

We are now accepting applications for our new Bachelor in Applied Computer Science degree program

The entrance to our new campus in downtown San Francisco, former home of the Commonwealth Club and the Press Club. Students, staff, and guests remove their shoes as they enter the building.

Part 1: The Accreditation Process

Jeremy and I first began discussing the prospect of seeking accreditation three years ago — shortly after we launched our two-year undergraduate computer science program. The discussion largely stemmed from feedback we heard from prospective students and parents — especially those with backgrounds underrepresented in tech — that a Bachelor’s degree still held weight for them, their families, and their communities, even if employers no longer demanded it.

It was unclear at the time whether we’d be able to seek accreditation while preserving the exceptional relevance of our education for the modern economy and accessibility to students of all backgrounds…

Our pilot class speaking with Kat Mañalac of Y Combinator

In Fall 2014 we began piloting the Product College with a Gap Year program where students paid tuition through their internship earnings. Initially we chose this model to sweeten the deal for students taking a risk on our pilot class. As we took a deeper look at higher education, we began to realize aligning the incentives of students and schools through Income Share Agreements could help systemically fix a challenged industry. That December we held a town hall meeting with our staff and the 11 students in our pilot class to discuss the strategy and vision of the Product College.

As America closes off to the world, our doors open wider

Countries of origin of Make School students, alumni and staff

In 2013, when Make School was 3 people working from a living room, we hired a Syrian refugee for an iOS development contract. Kotaiba was months away from graduating college with a computer science degree before the government started firebombing his hometown Aleppo forcing his family to flee to Turkey.

We listened in awe as he shared his story over Skype, giving us a rare first-hand glimpse of life in a refugee camp that lacked basic amenities and running water. Despite facing unfathomable adversity and uncertainty, Kotaiba had a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye as…

I was recently honored with the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event at Saratoga High School. I shared Make School’s vision of a Product University and the macro factors that are driving the creation of this new category of higher education. Hope you enjoy :)

When you think of a company building an app, you imagine business minds analyzing market needs.

But when a student builds an app, they create a digital imprint of a slice of themselves. An expression of their identity.

This is the beauty and joy of computer science.

This summer, 400 students across 8 cities globally expressed themselves at our Summer Academy. Most shipped their apps and games to the App Store ready to share with the world.

In such a dense environment of ideas, everyone is inspired to search inside themselves to design a unique and creative experience. …

Make School Students will be working on President Obama’s ConnectALL Initiative

President Obama recently unveiled the national service initiative ConnectALL, which aims to provide low-income Americans with greater access to broadband — along with the training and tools required to utilize this access and become digitally literate.

I’m proud to announce that The White House has asked Make School to support their push towards digital literacy. As part of ConnectALL, our students will be building a tool to show underserved, low-income individuals how to leverage the Internet to gain skills, find jobs, connect with loved ones and more. …

Ashu Desai

Founder of Make School (www.makeschool.com) | YC Alum | Musician | Vegan

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store