Our two cents on free online courses
Many schools now offer free online courses for non-students. Sounds great, but “time is money” as the saying goes, and investing your time in free classes can end up costing you big time. Consider our two cents before spending countless hours on “free” education…
You’re spending quality time.
Why put in all that hard work on classes in if you get nothing to show for it? Invariably, free online courses can not transfer towards degrees. If you’re working to get into a degree program, those free classes you spent your free time on won’t count for much. You’re better off in the long run spending your time (and money) on transferable, accredited units that you can use.
What’s more, non-students can only audit these classes, meaning the only grades you can get from them is “pass” or “fail.” So even if you ace a free class, you’re “A+” is no better than a “C-” in the end. That ultimately translates to an “F” for your best efforts.
Factor in financial aid.
The gross cost of tuition can seem, well, gross. But it can become more palatable if you factor in financial aid. There is an unprecedented amount of grants, scholarships and other financial aid available to you, even for community or junior colleges. Your employer may even reimburse your tuition. BUT… almost all of them require you to work towards a degree. If you’re looking to save money with free online courses, instead, why not find the financial aid you qualify for to take a big bite out of your tuition? Ask your employer for any tuition benefits they might offer, or consult the US Dept. of Education
This day and age, nothing is for free. If it’s worth your time and effort, especially if it’s for a better future, it is certainly worth paying for. If you’re looking at free online courses to continue your education, look a little further for accredited, transferable options. It may cost you up front, but it will pay dividends back to you in the long run. Don’t sell yourself short with free online classes.