Ways to Get a College Education for Free

05 Dec, 2016 / By

College and expensive tend to go hand in hand these days. In fact, the average student debt is now more than $26,000. Even vocational and technical schools can be pretty pricey. The good news is that if you want to get an education without putting yourself into debt there are plenty of ways to do so. Here are five ways to get a free education.


At Coursera you can find over 200 classes that begin every couple of weeks depending on the subject. You can choose a course that lasts between 3 to 12 weeks contingent on the class you want to take.  Professors come from a variety of backgrounds that range from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and Princeton to almost three-dozen other institutions. Even if the class you like has already commenced you are still able to enroll. You may also find some classes that give a certification of completion such as Introduction to Astronomy. Coursera has also joined with the U.S. government in order to create learning centers throughout the globe. These institutes allow people to gain access to the Internet in order to take these online courses if they do not have such access at home, as well as free access to class time with teachers and in-person discussions about the topic being covered.

Open Culture

Open Culture is similar to Coursera as it also offers hundreds of different classes online. However, unlike Coursera, Open Culture gives users a key in order to easily determine the type of certification they can gain by completing a course. This is extremely helpful to students who are looking to receive a specific type of certification, as well as the soonest available class to obtain it. Many of the classes that are offered at Open Culture are actually curated by Coursera, however there are also courses offered by individual universities. It is recommended that you browse this website to find how to get free textbooks, audiobooks and language lessons.


Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard have announced that they are creating a partnership in order to offer people free online courses from these institutes. If you are interested in receiving an Ivy League quality education without paying the price then this may be your answer. University of Texas and Berkeley also offer a few free online courses, although their course listings are pretty limited.


The free courses that are offered at Stanford are more than twice that of edX and range from the humanities to computer science. Some of these courses are curated by Coursera, similar to Open Culture, however there are plenty of other intuitive platforms that these free Stanford courses are offered on. These courses usually coincide with Stanford’s regular class listings, and so you’ll notice that the ones that are currently available on the website are for fall only.

Local Library

By going with this option you may not receive an official certification for the class that you take, however you can still gain access to many free course books and textbooks. This is a great option for people who are more interested in becoming knowledgeable in a certain topic instead of gaining credentials for it. If you have a Kindle device or app then you can also look at the wide selection of free textbooks that are offered on Amazon. Many libraries also have free tutoring sessions for a variety of subjects from English to Calculus that you can take advantage of. If you are interested in upgrading your skill set or learning some new ones to put on your resume then your library should not be discredited.

Jennifer Hamilton

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