Everybody says college is one of the best experiences of your life. It’s where you really come out of your shell, discover who you are, and sometimes even meet the people that will be part of your life forever. Sounds appealing, right? The only problem is the people who likely told you this attended when the college tuition was half as expensive as it is today. In fact, to attend a decent four-year college in the mid-western part of the United States, it would cost around $20,000 annually without scholarships. With the job market not getting much better, is it really worth it to put yourself in thousands of dollars of debt only to graduate and go live in your parent’s basement until you find a low paying job? It’s not knocking the people who are forced to live this lifestyle, but it’s an unfortunate reality. So what if you could get the kind of education you wanted for absolutely free? What if you could add lists of knowledge to your resume and not a drop of debt to your name? You’ve read the title of the article, so obviously you know that there is a way to take online college courses for free. The sites below offer free online college level classes to anyone willing to spend the time on them. Each are different and some have all of the materials online and some may want you to purchase or borrow a textbook to follow along with. Each of them offers complete courses with only one thing missing: the credit for the coursework to put towards a matriculated degree.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a nationally accredited online college and was one of the pioneers in offering online college courses and they still have the most diverse and in-depth collection of classes available anywhere. Their online offering is an archived version of real courses that have been taught at MIT, and you may need to purchase the textbook to follow along with the class. These courses come highly recommended.
If you want to attend college online and really get a quality education where you can take away tons of knowledge to help you in your journey, Khan Academy may be the place to start. Salman Khan began putting videos on YouTube to help with tutoring a cousin. When he started receiving feedback that they were helping a lot more people than just his cousin, he realized he was on to something good. There are currently over 1,000 videos on Khan Academy, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Most videos are of the math variety. However, there are also many other topics that he explores. These are not college courses per-se, but the math he introduces in them are at college level and hundreds of people praise them for being clearer and easier to comprehend than actual college courses they have attended.
Carnegie Mellon is based in Pittsburgh and has a variety of online college courses available for anyone. One of the great things about them is their free courses are presented in an easy to follow online format. They’re are similar to what a paying student would receive minus the course credit or access to an instructor.
Johns Hopkins Open Courseware has one of the best online schools if you are interested in the medical field. Johns Hopkins is a very respected medical school outside of Baltimore, Maryland. They offer a selection of courses from their school which would be of particular interest to medical students.
Stanford has made many of their online courses and lectures available on iTunes in iTunesU. This collection is great if you are on the go or want to listen to courses while commuting. They have an impressive collection of content available, all for free. Even if it is just a few free courses online, you know you will be getting a solid education.