Major League Soccer announced a multi-year partnership with Southern New Hampshire University on Monday that makes SNHU the league’s exclusive education partner, a breakthrough arrangement that is the first of its kind for the league.
Through the partnership, SNHU will empower MLS players to pursue their higher-education degrees, while MLS will provide exclusive learning opportunities and experiences to current SNHU students. The university will partner with MLS to reach and support students that require innovative education options.
“Through this unique partnership we have the ability to provide players who want to play professionally with an opportunity to continue to pursue a high-quality college education,” said MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott. “This is a truly innovative agreement and one that will provide great benefits to both our players and our league.”
A private, nonprofit university based at a 600-acre main campus in Manchester, New Hampshire, along with five regional centers in New Hampshire and Maine and a large online presence, SNHU is home to more than 55,000 students nationwide and offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs.
SNHU will provide educational scholarships for MLS players and staff throughout the partnership, particularly for players looking towards career options after retirement. Current SNHU students will benefit from engaging with key MLS officials through coursework integration and league-based internships. The agreement also includes several community-based initiatives aimed at supporting youth programs, local charities and the military.
“We are excited to partner with an organization that shares our passion for providing accessible, affordable, high-quality education,” said SNHU President Paul LeBlanc in a statement. "Partnering with MLS will allow us to meet students where they are and show them that higher education is within their reach."