According to a recent statement from the Department of Education, the tuition at four-year, public schools ran higher by 15 percent in recent 2 years. It is a 10 percent rise on average at private institutions. No wonder many parents are worried about their kids not being able to receive proper education. More parents doubt if paying higher education is a good deal. After all, how much can these graduates earn when they just step out into society? Is that enough to cover the tuition and fees?
Though you are not the one calling the shots as to how much schools should charge for tuition, you can always find another way. It is the same with your decision to go to a supermarket three blocks away where a jar of jam is priced at 2.60 dollars when the one at your community store costs 2.80 dollars.
That is to say, if you can not afford to attend the university at your state, you’ll just find another place offering decent education but charging less. Online schools, for instance, provide online programs at lower costs but great flexibility. What’s still better, there are now even free online programs! It seems that after all, there is free lunch.
Let’s see what your options are. Yes, you can even pick your free online programs.
University of the People
Headquartered in Pasadena, California, University of the People (UoPeople) is a non-profit, tuition-free online academic institution. Founded by entrepreneur Shai Reshef in 2009, UoPeople is committed to post-secondary education that can be made available globally.
Since Sep 2009, UoPeople has accepted an increasing number of students from countries around the globe. As of June 2012, more than 1500 students from over 130 countries have enrolled in UoPeople, embarking on a journey of distance education.
- The mission of UoPeople
Constrained by economic and geographic inconvenience, millions of people around the world are deprived of higher education. The founder of Uopeople has the vision that if modern technology and the efforts of volunteers are combined, education is within reach of people in developing countries or those in the poorest areas of the world.
And that is exactly what UoPeople has been doing. By applying social networking to academia, UoPeople now is able to credit open-source, tuition free online education to qualified students on a part-time basis.
- The operating model
Operating on a not-for-profit basis, UoPeople does not charge for course registration, instruction, books or even enrollment like most educational institutions do. Students only have to pay for applications and end-of-course examinations.
Because of the limited operating funds, UoPeople employs online discussion forums and online communities for students to learn, to share and exchange resources and ideas. Learning by teaching and peer-to-peer learning plus the support of instructors, students from across the world can enjoy the access to education at minimum costs.
- UoPeople Programs
Currently, UoPeople offers 2 online undergraduate programs, which produce both associate and bachelor degrees.
1) Business Administration
Students will get exposed to business administration and economics and study behavioral and quantitative sciences. Mastery of mathematics is required since it is widely used to analyze complex problems and data interpretation.
2) Computer Science
The focus is software designing. Therefore, students will also learn the modern mathematics applicable to variable aspects of software designing, development and verification. Upon the completion of the program, you are expected to appreciate the foundations of computation, to understand the structure of programming language and to apply the knowledge gained to practice.
World-class education is within a few clicks at Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that offers free courses online for anyone. Partnering with top universities in the world and combining modern internet technology, Coursera is able to provide the food for thoughts for millions of people.
Some of the partnering universities include Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of Technology, John Hopkins University, University of Washington and University of Edinburgh.
Hopefully, more universities will be added to the platform in the near future.
- Course features
Helping you have the mastery of the materials is the ultimate goal of Coursera courses. To reach that goal, courses here feature
1) Instruction by world-class professors
2) Interactive exercises that ensure student engagement and promote long-term retention
3) Frequent feedback to assist you in monitoring your progress
4) A global community of students
5) Pedagogical foundation-based courses
6) Mastery learning that includes various efforts you can make to acquire new knowledge
Courses at Coursera involve a line of topics, from Humanities to Medicine, from Biology to Social Sciences, from Mathematics to Business and Computer Science.
As for 2012, available courses include
1) Fundamentals of Pharmacology supported by the University of Pennsylvania, which starts from June 25th, 2012 and lasts for 10 weeks
2) Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act supported by the University of Pennsylvania, which starts from June 25th, 2012 and lasts for 8 weeks
3) Vaccines supported by the University of Pennsylvania, which starts from June 25th, 2012 and lasts for 8 weeks
4) Software Engineering for SaaS supported by the University of California, Berkley, which starts from Jul 13th, 2012 and lasts for 5 weeks
5) Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation supported by the University of California, Berkley, which starts from Jul 17th, 2012 and lasts for 8 weeks
6) Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World supported by the University of Michigan, which starts from Jul 23rd, 2012 and lasts for 10 weeks
7) Internet History, Technology, and Security supported by the University of Michigan, which starts from Jul 23rd, 2012 and lasts for 7 weeks
Introduction to Finance supported by the University of Michigan, which starts from Jul 23rd, 2012 and lasts for 10 weeks
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