As you likely know by now, Alternatives to College is a start-up. We provide individuals with information about tens of thousands of college alternative programs nationwide, including descriptions and direct access to thousands of providers of certifications, apprenticeships, career and technical training, and other sources of non-traditional higher education.

Our mission is direct: help close the skills gap and provide direct paths to good, in-demand jobs that pay well and are faster and cheaper alternatives to colleges. We are fighting three battles: the skills gap; the overwhelming impact of student debt on individuals, families and the economy writ large; and how to connect those people with credible, vetted providers of training, credentials and jobs.

Which brings us to today.

We have decided to stay in business, to be of service to millions of people who want, need or are contemplating a good job with a good future without throwing good money after bad. And, we’ve decided to stop earning money, for now, off the backs of the unemployed or under-employed and the entities created to help them.

You’ve heard this before, but rarely in this situation: if not now, when; and, if who, why not us. The answers are easy: NOW and US. When the economy restarts, America is going to need workers prepared for a new normal, new future and new way of working.

Our commitment is to stop charging for access to our database and the millions of people who need it to find their next stage in life and work. And, we’ve decided to give the thousands of postsecondary, non-traditional education providers who are benefiting from our platform a financial breather to get back to their mission and mandate. All we ask of them is to tell us confirm which website address we should be featuring in their listing in www.AlternativesToCollege.com so prospective students can go directly to their enrollment team.

So, for the next 90 days, we’re not going to ask schools and providers to pay us to fill their classrooms. After our self-imposed recess ends and doors and windows and classrooms reopen, it will be back to business as usual. But until then, we know both individuals and providers need a chance to plan their future, connect with each other and turn the lights on.

We challenge all information providers to take a step back and realize that doing good for your entire eco-system is good for our entire economy and well-being. In the end, solid businesses will rebound. But the last thing people and providers in America need is something else to worry about.

So, if you are using this period to consider school or career alternatives, feel free to use www.AlternativesToCollege.com for free. And, if you are providing those pathways, make sure to tell your prospective students to explore their areas of interest and show off your presence.

It’s the least we can all do for each other.

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