Khan Academy Receives a Generous Donation From Elon Musk

Thanks to this important donation from a tech industry tycoon, Khan Academy can help educate more students.

Feb 4, 2021
Khan Academy Receives a Generous Donation From Elon Musk | Thanks to this important donation from a tech industry tycoon, Khan Academy can help educate more students.

Long before remote learning became a part of daily life, there was Khan Academy. This trailblazing nonprofit has enriched the lives of countless lifelong learners and traditional students across the globe, all for free. And now, thanks to a generous donation from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, this nonprofit can expand and empower the next generation.

According to CNN, Khan Academy has 120 million registered users, of whom 30 million use the site monthly. Since 2008, the nonprofit institution has provided numerous online courses ranging from algebra to art history that are translated into 36 languages.

Even prior to school closures, many students were enrolled in academic institutions that integrated Khan Academy into their curriculum. Now Khan Academy is set to expand its reach even further, thanks to a surprise donation of $5 million from Tesla CEO, Elon Musk

Salman Khan, who founded the school, expressed his gratitude to Elon Musk in a video. "Elon, I hope you really feel good about this,” Khan said. “This is going to allow us to accelerate all sorts of content. Our aspirations are all subjects; from kids to early stages of college. This will accelerate our science content, allow us to do more early learning, allow us to make the software and the practice that much more engaging.”

The Khan Academy explains that their project was born in 2004, when New Orleans native Sal Khan started tutoring his cousin in math over the phone. After word spread that Khan was an excellent tutor, he was inundated with requests for help and decided to post his tutorials on YouTube in order to assist as many people as possible.

As Khan’s YouTube channel exploded in popularity, he registered Khan Academy as a nonprofit organization and began building a platform that would host his tutorials alongside exercises, quizzes, and a personalized dashboard. Over the last decade, Khan Academy’s site has grown to cover skill sets ranging from pre-K (preschool) to university level, and employs full-time staff dedicated to developing content.

Because Khan Academy’s videos can be paused and watched again, the format allows learners to go at their own pace and helps them master tricky subjects. A study found that students in California’s Long Beach schools performed better on standardized math tests after Khan Academy was integrated into their curriculum.

With such proven success, Khan may be a lifeline to students worldwide. “I view this type of investment in what we're doing as really foundational for us to be able to build a multi-generational institution, so that future Elon Musks of the world are also able to tap into their potential and help all of us up-level who we are as a civilization,” Khan said in the video.

As a businessman lauded for his out-of-the-box thinking, Musk’s gift to Khan Academy seems like a natural fit. By strengthening Khan Academy’s unique educational system, Musk is empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs and barrier-busters. 

With online learning becoming the new educational standard, Khan Academy offers students a tried-and-true way to study remotely. Boosted by the donation, the institution can expand its development efforts and create more courses to continue investing in society’s future.   

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LAUREN MARCUS, CONTRIBUTOR
Fascinated by storytelling since childhood, Lauren is passionate about the written word. She’s a freelance writer who has covered everything from the latest developments in tech to geopolitics. When she’s not writing, Lauren is interested in genealogical research and family folklore.