5 Ways to Get a Free Education

Photo (cc) by Will Folsom

Whether you’ve just graduated or plan on becoming a continuing education student, college life can get hectic and expensive. According to The Project on Student Debt, average student debt is more than $26,000 – and that’s just for a bachelor’s degree. While technical and vocational schools may be an option, they can also be pricey.

Even with college putting more people in debt each year – total student loan debt has now exceeded credit card debt – you can get an education without putting your finances on the line. Check out these ways to take college courses and certification classes free.

1. Coursera

More than 200 classes start every few weeks, depending on the subject matter. You can pick a course that lasts one month or 12 weeks, depending on your desired class. Professors range from Princeton, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and nearly three dozen more. See a class you like but it already started? You can still jump in. Some classes offer certification for completion of the course. Example? Introduction to Astronomy.

2. Open Culture

Like Coursera, Open Culture offers hundreds of classes. But their list of courses offering certification not only comes with a handy key for what type of certification is available, but it’s also listed by when the courses are available. This is helpful for students looking to see if a specific course comes with certification and the soonest opening for it. Many of the courses offered are curated from Coursera, but include offerings from individual universities as well. Browse the site for how to get free audio books, textbooks, and even language lessons.

3. edX

In May of this year, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced a partnership to offer free online courses, known as edX. Berkeley also offers a few courses and the University of Texas classes will be listed in summer 2013. So far, the listing is short, with only nine entries as of publication time.

4. Stanford

The course offerings from Stanford are more than double those of edX and range from computer science to the humanities. Some are curated from Coursera like Open Culture is, but there are a handful of other platforms that courses are offered on. They usually coincide with regular class listings – the ones currently on the website show fall-only classes.

5. Your local library

You may not get an official certification for a class, but many local libraries offer free textbooks and course books. For Kindle users (both the device and app), check out the selection of free textbooks on Amazon. If you’re looking to upgrade your skills or adapt some new ones to show off on your resume, don’t discredit your library!

How do you load up on free education? Tell us on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life
17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life

We’ve rounded up must-have products to help you get your ducks in a row.

22 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On
22 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On

With some items, it makes sense to pay a little more rather than hopping on the lowest price.

7 Secret Departments of Amazon You Should Know About
7 Secret Departments of Amazon You Should Know About

These little-known sections of Amazon are hidden gems for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

Believe It: You Can Save $500,000 in 15 Years
Believe It: You Can Save $500,000 in 15 Years

Even if you’re behind in preparing for retirement, there’s still a way to pull together a solid nest egg if you focus.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?
Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?

The status of another round of direct payments to taxpayers is a mix of good and bad news.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership
7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership

You don’t necessarily need to join to get in on the warehouse store’s savings.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.