5 Places to Find Free Online College Courses

by Shawanda Greene

I’ll happily invest financial resources in income boosting education. However, I’m reluctant to fork over cash for high-priced courses. After all, with any investment, you stand a chance to lose money.

According to The College Board, public four-year college tuition costs for in-state students spiked 4.8% between the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school year. Attendees of private, nonprofit four-year universities saw their tuition and fees rise 4.2% for the same period.

Although I largely agree with John Rohn’s statement, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune,” I appreciate diverse forms of education: online, offline, video, audio, written, informal, and yes, formal.

So what’s a knowledge hungry miser to do if the price of post-secondary education continues to trounce inflation?

Well, there is a solution. It’s not perfect, but it is free.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Not sure if you fully digested that acronym, but a massive amount of people, i.e., ANYONE, can enroll in these open, online courses.

Use the MOOC experience to feed your natural curiosity or learn a new skill that’ll help you excel in your career. Students can enjoy instructor led education provided by Duke, Princeton, Stanford, and other renowned universities—for free.

Find MOOCs at . . .

  1. Coursera
  2. Khan Academy
  3. EdX
  4. Udacity
  5. Canvas Network

In some instances, students who successfully complete a MOOC receive a certificate, statement of accomplishment, or other formal acknowledgement for their efforts.

But don’t expect universities to treat you the same as their traditional students. You can’t expect to skirt a lengthy admissions process, dodge steep tuition costs, AND pick up college credits. Can you?

I’m looking at enrolling in A Beginner’s Guide to Irrationality for fun and Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning for my professional development through Coursera.com. See anything you find interesting?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Remy @MLISunderstanding January 9, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I dropped CodeAcademy last year. :( But I just started Spanish and German lessons on LiveMocha — free so far, and a bunch of credits (earned by reviewing others’ work in my native language) stacked up already.
Remy @MLISunderstanding recently posted..Project Work/Life Balance: Working a Shorter WeekMy Profile


Shawanda Greene January 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Ooooh. I completely forgot about CodeAcademy, and LiveMocha is totally new to me, so thanks for sharing.

I took three years of Spanish in high school, dated a native speaker for about 4 years, and when I went to Puerto Rico a couple of years ago, I couldn’t even pronounce “mango” in Spanish. So yeah . . . I don’t think it’d hurt me to spend a few hours (or dozens) on LiveMocha.
Shawanda Greene recently posted..A Quick and Dirty Guide to Passive Income StreamsMy Profile


Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey January 11, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I love CodeAcademy! This is the place where I learned more about programming and web design. I also use Khan Academy for my kids. The videos are very helpful for them to understand their lessons better. My nephew used these websites as models for his college thesis.
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Shawanda Greene January 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Cool! I think high school seniors or undecided college students should consider taking a few MOOCs to get a better idea of what majors will work for them. I knew several people who changed their majors multiple times. University classes aren’t free! Well, at least not the ones you have to pay for. :)
Shawanda Greene recently posted..A Quick and Dirty Guide to Passive Income StreamsMy Profile


Jules@Faithful With a Few January 15, 2013 at 9:28 AM

I didn’t even know such a thing existed! Thank you for sharing!!


Jake OxyElite March 1, 2013 at 7:39 PM

I recommend both Coursera and Khan Academy. Coursera is taught by college professors, while Khan Academy is taught by some dude in an office. Both are equally nice and professional.

I can’t wait in the future where most college degrees are earned online.


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IanIRastegar September 10, 2016 at 10:02 AM

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