The Humbling of a Would-Be Disruptor

A Disruptor Who's Down but Not Out 1

Noah Berger for The Chronicle

Paul Freedman founded Altius Education after reading about community colleges' retention problems.

This was the year that Altius Education was supposed to hit big—the year Paul Freedman's young company to help adults to earn associate degrees and move on to four-year colleges would start turning serious profits and begin to prove that creative private models could solve some of higher education's biggest challenges.

It would have been a triumphant second act for the smart, unassuming 35-year-old, who had already made millions building and selling