Finding College an Expensive Prospect? Consider Free Online Education

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“Higher education that overcomes the boundaries of geography, time and money!” – Gerald Dicen

Although financial aid and scholarships can ease the financial burden of a college education, it is fair to say that the costs involved can be prohibitive for many potential students. There may also be other factors that prevent you from attending college in person. You might be working full time or be a single parent with little support. While both noble pastimes, neither of those lifestyles will stop you yearning for the higher education you never had. Why not reap the benefits that a world class education can offer and pursue an online education for free? All you will need is an internet connection and a healthy dose of motivation.

Many of the world’s leading universities and colleges offer online courses free of charge. You will have access to the same course materials as those students who are attending college in person and benefit from the majority of the same resources. On successful completion of some of the online courses available, you will receive a certificate signed by the course instructor. You will also have access to a wide range of exciting topics and have the opportunity to broaden your mind and learn new things. Isn’t that what education is all about?

There are so many great resources out there that there is really no excuse not to have a go. Coursera offers more than 100 courses from 16 leading universities. You could be studying Cryptography from Stanford, an Introduction to Sustainability from the University of Illinois, or Social Network Analysis from the University of Michigan. You could also head over to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where the number of free courses available exceeds 2,000. MIT Open Courseware allows you to access the lecture notes, assignments and solutions associated with courses from over 30 departments. The diverse range of courses available includes everything from Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics to Developmental Entrepreneurship. With distance no longer an issue, the UK’s Open University Learning Space is yet another option available to you. You can access more than 600 online courses in fields such as Arts & Humanities, Social Science, and Law. Courses vary from introductory to postgraduate level, so there really is something for everyone.

Although you won’t necessarily get official credits from your endeavors in online study, you can still use your free online education to further your career. You just have to be a little bit creative about it. Many employers will understand that college costs can rule some people out and they will also understand that the geographical boundaries of attending college in person can be too restrictive for those with other responsibilities. Keep track of the online courses you have taken and always be thinking about how you can apply what you have learnt in your career. The majority of employers will be impressed with those who have pursued an education when life could have otherwise got in the way.

What will you learn today?

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