You can get an education from universities like Yale, MIT, and UMass for free!
Costs for higher education are soaring, with average total costs (including tuition, fees, room and board) of $16,140 for students attending four-year public colleges and universities ($28,130 out-of-state, and $36,993 private). Once the cost of books and other materials are factored in, a minimum investment of $20,000 per year is necessary to ... learn.
But if you want to continue learning and you're not interested in having a diploma that costs you $80,000, your options are pretty limited, right?
Well, it appears we are wrong.
Some universities have begun participating in a consortium called OpenCourseWare (OCW) or Open Educational Resources (OERs), which provides free online courses and/or course materials free on a global scale to educators, students, and self-learners. The courses are available to anyone with access to the internet and can contain any combination of audio lectures, video lectures, projects, assignments, tests (with answers), and notes. You can download the course materials directly from the course's site and learn everything you'd like, when you'd like, at your own pace.
No really, I'm not kidding. You really can take courses for free from the best universities in the world, from the most practical to the obscure of fields. I've clicked the links, I've checked them out... it's for real. I'm pretty excited about it myself, and I've already started planning my new educational ventures.
What's the catch? Surprisingly, none. All you have to do is sign up to use the materials provided by the university (free) and off you go.
Participating colleges/schools/universities include (this is not an exhaustive list):
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Berkeley
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Utah State University
United Nations University
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Middle East Technical University
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Notre Dame University
Delft University of Technology
Participating in these courses does not require registration at the university itself, though you may need to use your email address to have access to the programs. It does not a degree or certificate-granting activity, nor does it grant you access to the university/ies that you choose to take courses from.
For a complete list with links to all the OpenCourseWare courses from the universities above (and more), please visit this page.