If you are thinking about going back to school there is a tremendous amount to consider, of course, the most overwhelming of which always seems to be the cost.
Furthering your education is not cheap… or is it. We are lucky enough to live in a time where endless information is available to us, literally, at our fingertips. Instant access has made way for an exciting new trend on the internet, sharing of FREE online “courseware.”
The Open Education Movement has made way for educational institutions nationwide to offer their courses online and for free, all working together for the sole purpose of providing knowledge to anyone who seeks it. Goodwill Hunting provided us with a glimpse into the sad truth that there are so many intelligent people with a passionate desire to educate themselves, who are being held back by their lack of financial means. That is not the case anymore. Now, desire = knowledge = power.
Participating in the Movement
There are a huge number of schools participating in this movement, a great number of them Ivy League. Below is a list of some, but through your own research you will discover many more I am sure. There are more joining the trend every day. While looking into the various offerings of each institution, pay attention to whether or not the programs offer classes only, classes for credit, certificate, or in some cases, even degrees. You simply want to know exactly you are getting for your efforts.
Participating institutions are:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon University, Tufts University, University of Washington, University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, Berkley College of Music, Gresham College, Open University, Utah State University
There are literally hundreds of courses to choose from in every subject available from all over the nation, and because they are free there is nothing to keep you from learning about anything you have ever been curious about. These courses also provide a wonderful opportunity to beef up job skills that may have become rusty while unemployed, or to simply learn new skills necessary to keep you competitive in the job market of advancing industries.
Before choosing a course to take, do your research and pay attention to the fact that although these programs are free, there may be some small fees for mailing material like textbooks or paperwork to you or for membership for certain sharing communities. Even if this is the case, the small cost still beats the cost of tuition at any of these schools. Did you really think it would ever be possible to get a formal education from an Ivy League school for the price of a postage stamp? We really are lucky to have access to an education available to us at our fingertips.
About The Author
George Gallagher writes about personal finance and interesting education trends he finds online. He is also working to provide information about private student loans to a large Internet community of soon-to-be college students.