You don't need an Ivy League education to get a world-class education.
There are many online education websites that offer academic courses for a fraction of the cost of traditional colleges and universities, making them ideal for lifelong learners.
Here are 7 outstanding websites to access tons of academic courses – for free.
Top 7 Online Education Websites
The following online education websites offer thousands of online courses for students and life-long learners alike. While many are fee-based courses, you can also find many free courses as well.
1. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a non-profit whose missions is "to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere." Khan Academy is free for both learners and teachers, and offers lessons for students from kindergarten through early college, with topic including math, grammar, science, history, AP® exams, SAT® and more. Khan Academy's founding partners include, among others, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Ann & Jon Doerr and Reed Hastings.
Sample Free Courses: Algebra, Geometry, Statistics & Probability
Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is a global non-profit that seeks to remove three barriers of traditional education: cost, location and access. edX has more than 20 million learners and 2,400 courses from a majority of the top-ranked universities in the world. Open edX is the open source platform behind edX, and it's open to educators and technologists who want to develop new educational tools. In addition to free courses, edX also offers courses for a fee.
Sample Free Courses: The Architectural Imagination (Harvard), Financial Analysis for Decision Making (Babson), Omnichannel Strategy & Management (Dartmouth)
Coursera has more than 35 million learners, 150 university partners, 2,700 courses, 250 specializations and four degrees. In addition to free courses, Coursera offers courses generally ranging from $29 – $99. Specializations and degrees are priced higher. Course instructors include experts from the world's top colleges and universities, and courses include recorded video lectures, community discussion forums and both graded and peer-reviewed coursework. You can also receive a course certificate for each course you complete.
Sample Free Courses: Machine Learning (Stanford), The Science of Well-Being (Yale), Successful Negotiation (University of Michigan)
Udemy, a global education marketplace, has 30 million students, 100,000 courses in 50 languages, 42,000 instructors and 22 million minutes of video instruction. Unlike other online education platforms driven by content from colleges and universities, Udemy allows content creators to curate their own courses and teach them online.
Sample Free Courses: Introduction to Python Programming
TED-Ed is TED's award-winning youth and education arm whose mission is to share and spread ideas from teachers and students. TED-Ed has a global network of more than 250,000 teachers that serves millions of teachers and students around the world every week. TED-Ed includes innovative content such as original animated videos and a platform for teachers to create interactive lessons.
Sample Free Courses: The Mysterious Science of Pain, How Do Self-Driving Cars See, What Causes Turbulence
Codeacademy is an interactive platform that teaches you how to code in multiple different programming languages. Most free courses can be completed in less than 11 hours. Codeacademy has helped train more than 45 million learners in topics such as web development, programming, computer science and data science. Codeacademy alums work at Google, Facebook, IBM and Bloomberg, among other top companies. Codeacademy also offers a premium plan for a monthly fee.
Sample Free Courses: multiple programming languages
7. Stanford Online
Stanford Online, an education initiative at Stanford University, offers free online courses as well as professional certificates, advanced degrees and executive education. Stanford Online offers courses from Stanford's undergraduate and graduate schools, including Stanford Law School, Stanford Business School and Stanford Medical School, among others.
Sample Free Courses: Introduction to Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Through The Lens of Venture Capital, How To Learn Math
Whether you choose to supplement your existing education or learn a new skill, it's never too late to become a life-long learner. These online education courses can help you gain valuable knowledge, earn a certificate, complete a degree or simply expand your horizon.