Free College Education, on iTunes?

Photo (cc) by Tom Coates

If you’ve ever listened to an MP3, you’re probably already familiar with iTunes. The software/store created by Apple has transformed the way we buy digital music (and to a lesser extent, TV shows, books, and movies).

But the iTunes Store has one category you might not be aware of: iTunes U. Packed with more than 350,000 audio and video lectures from more than 800 institutions, you can learn almost anything you want. And the best part? It’s completely free.

I learned to program for the iPhone with Stanford University’s Developing Apps for iOS series. It’s the exact same course students at Stanford pay thousands of dollars to take, all of the learning materials and course slides are publicly available online, but I never paid a dime to “sit in.” Since then, I’ve written five iPhone apps and secured a moderate monthly sales check that supplements my income.

Not a programmer? No problem. iTunes U has courses on everything from anthropology to zoology, from jazz to ancient Greece, from photography to the culinary arts. If it’s taught as a class at an American university, I’d put money on being able to find it, or something like it, in the iTunes U catalog.

Even my alma mater, Emory University, has its own section. The third most popular thing on iTunes U is its series of lectures called The Pursuit of Happiness. And while I may not be able to duplicate my entire B.A. in Film Studies on my iPod, there’s a series called Emory Looks at Hollywood that would’ve cost a fortune as part of my tuition. The most popular segment discusses Harry Potter as a Christ figure – interesting stuff.

But even though you can’t earn a degree from iTunes U (you’ll have to pay a school directly for that), you can improve your skill set. A photographer might benefit from a course like Sensing Place: Photography as Inquiry from MIT, while a chef could view The Art Institutes’ A Taste of Italy.

Or maybe you just want to kick back and watch something spacey like the University of California’s Astronomy or the Cassiopeia Project’s Bang to Man. Even the Kahn Academy is on iTunes U so you can take their bite-sized lessons with you everywhere.

The best part is, if you already have iTunes installed on your computer, you already have access to iTunes U. Simply open up iTunes, head to the iTunes Store, and click the iTunes U link at the top of the page. If you don’t have iTunes, don’t worry, it’s also free and can be downloaded from apple.com/itunes.

Once you’ve downloaded a lecture, it can be synced to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod just like any other song or video in your iTunes collection.

Happy learning!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
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.

14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask
14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask

With these companies, it might be easier than you think to negotiate your monthly bill down.

5 Ways Anyone Can Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs
5 Ways Anyone Can Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

Here’s how to lower your health care costs without skimping on care.

9 Free Things That Used to Cost Us Money
9 Free Things That Used to Cost Us Money

Not everything is getting more expensive.

8 Things You Can Buy for $1 or Less on Amazon
8 Things You Can Buy for $1 or Less on Amazon

They say you get what you pay for — but not always. Sometimes, you can uncover a good deal at a great price.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

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.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

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.

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.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

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.