How to Get a College Education for Free!
If you have received your tuition bill for next semester, chances are you are less than thrilled with how much money you’ll be spending. It’s no secret that college is expensive; between tuition, housing, meal plans, books and other fees, it can cost a small fortune to attend the school of your dreams. Unfortunately, some students are finding it increasingly difficult to cover those expenses and are even starting to question whether a college degree is even worth the expense. In my opinion, college is definitely worth the money. I am a firm believer that a college education is the key to success. But, what options do you have when you find college to be financially out of reach? Luckily, there are several other people who also believe in the power of a higher education and they have created some pretty amazing online resources that allow you to get a college education for little or no money. Here’s a look at some of the better resources available online.
1. iTunes U
Learn anything, anywhere, anytime – that’s Apple’s mantra. With over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books and more online, you can learn a new language, study Shakespeare, or discover new worlds. Hundreds of colleges, including Stanford University and Yale University, are among those who offer courses through iTunes U. Just upload the iTunes U app to access all the course materials online, use the note taking feature, or share the course information with others. The app if free, but you will need to create an iTunes account and have an iPad to access materials and view iBooks online.
2. Khan Academy
In 2008, Khan Academy launched its website in an effort to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. You can view thousands of bite-sized videos, step-by-step problems, and even earn badges while completing the courses. Topics include mathematics, sciences (such as biology and physics), and the humanities. You can study at your own pace and even track your work. All materials and resources are free of charge.
One of the fastest growing online education resources is Coursera. Their impressive list of colleges offering free online courses includes: Stanford University, Columbia University, Princeton University, and 30 other top-tier schools. You can choose from over 200 different courses that are presented in short (15 minutes or less) video clips. The videos include interactive quizzes that are designed to increase your retention of the material, and you receive your grade for each module instantly. Whether you are looking to expand your knowledge within your degree or explore another, Coursera has you covered!
Founded in 2010, Udemy offers both free and paid courses online. If you are looking to add to your skills, such as learning how to use Excel or Photoshop, you’ll find it here, along with the more traditional college courses in math, science, and the humanities. But, unlike Coursera, which uses professors to teach materials, Udemy enlists the help of best-selling authors, business leaders, celebrities and more. There are over 5,000 courses currently offered, so finding something that interests you should not be a problem.
Founded in 2009, The University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first tuition-free, online institution dedicated to providing access to higher education to qualified individuals around the world. Unlike the aforementioned resources, you can actually earn one of four degrees at UoPeople. The institution offers an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in computer science and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business administration. UoPeople works with New York University to enroll students in their programs and does not charge for tuition or materials. If you are accepted, you are responsible for a one-time application fee of $50 and must pay a $100 exam processing fee per course. However, through a partnership with Hewlett-Packard, UoPeople is able to offer some scholarships to help cover these costs, if you are unable to pay.
Tuition-free education is growing in popularity. For some, online courses may not be the best option. For people whose learning styles require more face-to-face interaction, several brick and mortar colleges currently offer a tuition-free education on campus. Regardless of setting, these resources allow more people to experience the advantages of higher education at little to no cost.