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
5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful
5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful

These tips will leave your ride smelling delightful for next to nothing. Some options are also chemical-free.

70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question
70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question

Can you answer this fundamental retirement income question?

What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?
What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

The best battery depends on what you need it for and how big your budget is. Here’s how to find the cheapest brand that will do the job you need.

5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down
5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down

Here’s how to bring down recurring expenses and save hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars each year.

8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper
8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper

Here’s how a veteran thrift shopper scores the best deals — and turns a profit from them.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021
7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021

Recently, both Social Security and Medicare made some major announcements about benefits for 2021.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

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.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

Longer Trips to This Type of Store May Raise Coronavirus Risk
Longer Trips to This Type of Store May Raise Coronavirus Risk

An airborne-disease expert recommends exiting these stores within 30 minutes.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

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.

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

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021
4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

15 Things You Can Get for Free in December
15 Things You Can Get for Free in December

December is here, which means it’s your last chance to take advantage of fabulous freebies in 2020.

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.