With the exponential rise of college tuition and the increasing amount of free available information via the internet. It has become more and more encouraged to find information through an online course for a free or reduced price rather than pay thousands upon thousands at a brick and mortar institution. Coursera provides over 2,000 online courses from various participating colleges throughout the world. Each course is about 4 to 5 weeks long and are categorized under Art and Humanities, Business, Computer Science, Data Science, Life Science, Math and Logic, Personal Development, Physical Science and Engineering, Social Science, and Language Learning. Some courses are grouped together for a specific specialization and if paid for, students would receive a certificate for that specialization at the end of all the courses. Students can decide whether to take the audit class for free or pay for the the full course in order to receive college credit, certificate, and even a masters degree.Be careful, not all course credits are transferable.
I’ve taken a number of free classes throughout the years on Coursera. Most of them being in the Arts and Humanities category. For the most part, when you take a free course you only get access to the lectures and readings, but not the assignments,tests, and quizzes. When you do pay for a full course with credit, one course is normally $49 which is much cheaper than college tuition, but it is still costly. Coursera has very recently started an unlimited access plan that is $49 per month and students can take any amount of full access courses that they want. It is a good deal, but only worth it if you’re taking more than one course per month. I have not taken a paid course on coursera, but I have read in certain course FAQs that even if paid for, it does not count towards college credit. So make sure you read everything before you start opening up your wallet.
If you’re just looking for personal brain food without a hefty cost Coursera is a good place to take a look at. There are many other free and or affordable online course websites popping up that are also worth a shot, but because of my overall positive experience with Coursera, it has become my go to site for affordable online courses.