Are Free Online Classes the Future of Higher Education?

You can’t beat free, but are free online courses offering students anything they will actually be able to use in the future? After all, you get what you pay for right? Well that may not be entirely be true for some no cost online courses.


The first major advantage of taking free online courses is obvious – they are free! This means anyone with an internet connection can reach potentially valuable education and knowledge. No longer will someone’s access to information and training be limited to the amount of tuition they can afford. Web users can find all different kinds of classes that will train them in skills they can use later on in the workforce. While employers may not give much attention to the completion of no cost courses, they may be a major benefit to entrepreneurs, the self-employed, and even business owners.


One of the most notable disadvantages to attending free online classes is that the students won’t receive any type of official degree. Currently, none of these institutions are accredited, so do not count on future employers raising any eyebrows over completion of a no cost class. Another disadvantage is that there may not be as much choice when it comes to the availability of various courses. Some free online schools only offer a very limited selection of courses. For students who are looking trying a free class, it is important that they choose a reputable site, otherwise the information may not be accurate.


Udacity is a privately owned online school that provides no cost classes to internet users. This free university was created by three roboticists who wanted to create a way to offer quality education to everyone. They believed that the value of an educated nation is far more important than themselves making a profit through charging enrollment and tuition fees. Currently, the institute offers six different courses for users to choose from.

• CS101: Building a Search Engine
• CS212: Design of Computer Programs
• CS253: Web Application Engineering
• CS262: Programming of Languages
• CS373: Programming a Robotic Car
• CS387: Applied Cryptography


Coursera is an online school that offers high quality learning to everyone, completely free of charge or tuition. These classes are based on the same material taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the nation. The material is designed to help the user master their education and improve their skill set. Through this program, people can choose to take courses based on many different topics and areas of study. Courses taught range from humanities, medicine, science, biology, math, business, social sciences, computer sciences, and many more. Coursera recently partnered with the following top universities:

• University of Michigan
• University of California at Berkley
• Stanford University
• University of Pennsylvania
• Princeton University

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a web based school that hosts over 3,100 videos that cover topics ranging from math, finance, history, and hundreds of other specialties. The site offers users the chance to learn about practically anything, for completely free. Khan Academy was founded in 2006 by a MIT and Harvard University graduate who wanted to provide free education to anyone, regardless of their financial situation.