Written By - Cynthia S.

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Dixie Brown

Looking at the cost of education these days, one can imagine that education is a big business. But, even in this day and age, there are ways to get a free education. Leading the change for free education these days are the online platforms that have come up in a big way. Several universities have teamed up together to promote online platforms for free education. Some private players have partnered with universities to bring free education to one and all. There are also repositories where one can find educational material for free, just with registration and application.

Apart from those online platforms, students can even do an audit class to further their education for free. Also, some universities have tuition benefits for their employees. These are the primary ways one can get an education for free. In a guide, we will discuss how to get a free education – in detail.

How to get a Free Education

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

This webpage may mention the possibility of free education offered by various educational institutions. However, please note that the inclusion of any school on this page does not guarantee or imply free education. The availability and terms of free education are subject to change and may vary between institutions and/or may not exist at all. For the most accurate information, please consult with schools directly.

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Growing Cost of Education

According to CNBC, in the years 1978-79, the cost of attending a private college was the modern equivalent of $17,680 per year, and for a private college, it was $8,250. By 2008-2009, it grew to $ 38,720 for private colleges and $16,460 for public colleges. Fast forward to 2018-19, those costs have risen to $48,510 for private and $21,370 for public colleges, respectively[1]. So, education is a costly affair. But education remains a very sane investment. According to the Fred Economic Data, in 2020, college graduates’ weekly wages were approximately 84 percent more than those of high school graduates[2].

According to a Sallie Mae study (2022-23), average families spend approximately $28,026.00 on education, up from $25,313.00 in 2021-22[3]. That is an increase of roughly 11 percent in two years. Considering how big a business education is, this growing cost of education is here to stay. The cost can approach up to $100,000.00 if one enrolls in Ivy League colleges.

The Start of Free Education by Reputed Institutions

This cost of education is a hindrance to all, and it has been a privilege for a few.  Keeping this in mind, in 2012, professors at MIT and Harvard realized it was a time for a seismic shift in learning. From the tried and true to the leading edge, “for some” to “for all” – by opening the classroom through online learning, edX[4] empowers millions of learners to unlock their potential and become changemakers. Thus, free education gained massive steam from these actions, and many more online platforms for free education came into being. Today free education is a viable option, and organizations have recognized these platforms and have even started collaborating with some. With the internet’s power, online platforms and free education are here to stay.

Types of Free Education

As discussed above in section one, there are multiple ways of accessing free education. Here are the details:

OpenCourseWare (OCW)

OCW is a public platform that offers free courseware. Some OCW platforms partner with universities to offer their programs, imparting free education to enrolled students. Coursera[5] is one such platform. Coursera partners with more than 200 leading universities and companies to bring flexible, affordable, job-relevant online learning to individuals and organizations worldwide. They offer a range of learning opportunities—from hands-on projects and courses to job-ready certificates and degree programs. Khan Academy[6] is another such platform. However, they don’t offer certificates or degrees but prepare students to learn and discuss further studies. Their mission is to provide free education for anyone, anywhere.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)[7] are free online courses for anyone to enroll in to pursue free education. These are courses run by universities, corporations, or institutions leading to certification if you desire a minimum fee. edX[4] is one such platform. eDX is a consortium of 160 universities joining the platforms to offer various online courses championing the cause of free education. Similarly, Udemy[8] is another resource where many students find free educational resources. Coursera[5] is also considered a MOOC. Coursera also has an extensive database of free courses that students can benefit from.

Work for a University or a College

There are universities with employee tuition benefits. There could be some prerequisites, like being employed for a certain amount of time to avail of tuition remission benefits. But this is an excellent way to further your education for free.

Educational Repositories

There are a few online education repository platforms like iTunes[9] and YouTube Leanring[10], where one can find a lot of study material for free. All they need to do is free registration and download the application or a browser to work with, thereby furthering the cause for free education.

Student Audit Classes

If students decide to audit a class, they must register for it but do not get to sit for the exams or earn credits for the course. But they get to do the entire course for free, thus getting free education.

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