Making Higher Education Available to Everyone

Disrupting Education

Play Video

For Profit and People

Play Video

Who We Are

UniversityNow is a social venture based in San Francisco, CA, whose mission is to ensure that a quality higher education is available to people everywhere. We are the parent company of

Patten University offers rigorous, flexible and accredited academic programs, available on our award winning online learning platform and on-campus at Patten University in Oakland, CA.

What People Are Saying

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Inside Higher Ed
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • New York Times
  • GigaOm
  • Wall Street Journal
  • All Things Digital

"Gene and his team are basically saying, the heck with [grants and loans that actually prop up college prices]... We think people can afford it if we offer it at this low a price… [and] that could be revolutionary." - Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education

"The myth that UniversityNow challenges here is, in part, that students need to go into debt to achieve their degrees." - Audrey Watters, Inside Higher Ed

"What you see on their Web site is the clear influence of recent trends in online commerce: an ultra-clean user interface, the ability to sign up with your Facebook or Twitter account, the influence of 'gamification' in the way the course experience is designed, and so on." - Kevin Carey, The Chronicle of Higher Education

When asked why city officials would turn to a for-profit company rather than a public college, Desley Brooks, an Oakland City Council member, said the answer is cost: “You can’t even go to a J.C. and get this level of education for that amount of money. The trust comes from the people who are involved.” - Anya Kamenetz, New York Times

"We don’t need to reinvent Harvard... We need to build a school that works for everyday people. To do that, [UniversityNow] is creating a network of low-cost, accredited universities that let students complete courses at their own pace." - Ki Mae Heussner, GigaOm

"Investors believe [the] for-profit, high-tech approach to college education will make a social impact while turning a real profit.... Most companies in education have been 'cobbling existing [technical] solutions together' to provide online course offerings to students. In contrast, UNow’s product is being built with consumer web DNA." - Lora Kolodny, Wall Street Journal

"The goal is to help people who might not otherwise get a college degree, due to cost or other commitments... and many of them in the U.S. can get their tuition covered by a tax credit." - Liz Gannes, All Things Digital