3 Free Online Universities To Help You Get By Without A Degree

books   3 Free Online Universities To Help You Get By Without A DegreeEducation is such a valuable things these days, and with the power of the Internet, there is no reason people should be without it. However, with all this information flying around, it can be a little difficult rooting out the bad facts from the good ones. With that said, a few websites have set out to provide decent education in the format of online universities. However, what makes it great is that these websites offer all of their material for free (well, for the most part).

Granted, these sites are not true, accredited universities. However, if education is what you are truly wanting, then these sites are for you. Besides, what is a piece of paper without the desire to learn? These sites pull their information from people who want to teach with the idea that it will be going to people who want to learn. With that in mind, when people are doing what they love, you know that this information will be great.

University Of The People

people   3 Free Online Universities To Help You Get By Without A Degree

As already mentioned here on MakeUseOf, the University of the People is a tuition-free university devoted to providing easily-accessible education who would otherwise be unable to acquire it. The school requires an application process much like any other institution, and although the tuition is free, there are a few minor fees. For instance, the application itself is $10-$50, and end-of-course exams are $100 each. Granted, financial aid is available for these items, and this still is cheaper than going to a full-fledged university.

That said, the university is not accredited, so your educational experience may be viewed as questionable. However, if you are in it just to learn, then I believe that the university will have served its purpose. I certainly think this is an evolution in education, but it may not be as widely-accepted as it should be.

Reddit University

ureddit1   3 Free Online Universities To Help You Get By Without A Degree

Reddit University is not exactly affiliated with Reddit itself, but its users do flock from the “mothership”. The site itself functions quite a bit like Reddit with its upvote and downvote system, and the categories of classes are quite reminiscent of Reddit. The website has gained a great deal of credibility by users, but in the context of higher-level academics, the courses would not exactly be recognized.

This website is a great source for those of you are just simply willing to learn, and it’s even better for redditors who are already used to the open-format discussion style that Reddit already makes available. Classes range all the way from computer science to art, and there’s even an option to actually teach classes if one so desires.

The University of Reddit is mostly focused on the sharing of academic information rather than popular culture information as its sans-University counterpart.

No Excuse List

excuse   3 Free Online Universities To Help You Get By Without A Degree

The No Excuse List describes itself as “the best place on the Internet to learn anything, free”, and it actually features a couple of the sites here. However, this website strays away from academics and dives into courses including cooking and even DIY projects. It’s a website for tinkerers, and furthermore, it amps up the whole “no excuse” mantra as a way to push people to do things that they have always wanted to do, but always found a reason not to. With categories that also include music, language, and programming, there will always be something to learn.


These are just three online universities that are out there, but really, it seems like the Internet itself is one big university! Just type a search into Google, and you have all of the world’s knowledge at your fingertips.

What other websites do you use to help you with your learning? Have you ever taken online classes?

Image Credit: mettem

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Timothy Liem

nice shot, Josh!

Aswin Kumar K P

i’m already using reddit…

Joshua Lockhart

What’s your experience with it like?

Aswin Kumar K P

Its better. but too complicated to understand for a normal person.They give an @ureddit mail-id for their updates.

Debra Beshears

Thanks for the article. I will check them out. I am always interested in finding sites like these.

Zhong Jiang

There are certain classes that can be taken for little or no charge sponsored by prominent universities and the process is similar as registering for a class except for no charge included.

Márcio Guerra

Some others to add to my collection of online colleges, but the ones I have, apparently really give you a degree…



Could you kindly give us the list where we get degrees. I am certain many of us would be interested. Thanks.

Márcio Guerra

Am I blocked or something? The previous comment didn’t show up…

http://www.coursera.org/ (free) is my main suggestion.

I’ve added up a link from Yahoo! and it might be it that prevented my previous comment…

If this passes, I’ll try to paste here the Yahoo! one…


Temmuz Onur Deniz GĂĽzel

University of the People is not free. It’s 4000$.

Joshua Lockhart

Where’s your source for that? Everything I’ve looked at said it was free except for exams and some minor fees.

Joshua Lockhart

I suppose it does add up when it comes to exams. If you take 20 courses plus the application, that’s going to cost a bit. However, with financial aid, this could help. Furthermore, this pales in comparison to university tuition costs. I feel like the article made that clear.

Perhaps a better title.

Mart KĂĽng

“University” might be a word in their name, but for the last two atleast, it’s an clear overstatement.

Thomas Vercamer

How about Coursera?

I use this one, and it’s a really good method of getting to know certain subjects…

Joshua Lockhart

Great find. Thank you.

Timothy Clark

UofP seems remotely interesting… if they would just get accreditation then that would be awesome. Then they would have a lot on Kaplan U or Grand Canyon U… Attended both, incurred loads of loan debt and go screwed completely. ha

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Yes. Took a few from Coursera a little while back but due to schedule conflict with my real-life school, I only managed to finish one. Pretty good though like real school, quality of the classes vary from decent to horrible. Udacity is also a good one, and it has garnered attention from reputable universities.

Chew Jian Yue


Mart KĂĽng

Makeuseof has writen about these free education thing before, but what about real degrees obtainable online? Are there some university courses you can take that will give you a real diploma. And I don’t expect them to be for free.

Joshua Lockhart

Well, we focus primarily on things that are free. That’s why I included just the ones you see here.

Furthermore, if we were to write about online university courses that offered a diploma, I personally would want to have inspected these courses (and possibly taken a few). With the amount of money it would potentially cost to us to look at several different schools, that might be a bit difficult…

Additionally, if I were to just write about the universities without actually taking the courses, it could result in a lot of people ending up in a lot of debt after spending a while taking courses that actually weren’t worth it. There are a TON of diploma mills online, and it’s very hard to flip through them all.

Admittedly, I did not take the courses offered here. However, for the last two I looked through some of the material, and it was quite thorough. As for the first one (UoP), I did my research and found it to be fairly reputable. I also wrote about it with the understanding that it was free (save for exam costs), so I knew that people would not be in debt if they decided to jump in and try it out.

Maybe an article with interviews from people who have taken courses at various online universities would work. However, I would expect it to be very thorough. Granted, it would stray from the whole “free acces” theme we have with most of our articles.

I hope that explains a few things.

Joshua Lockhart

Just realized there are no spaces between my paragraphs. They used to be there… I think it just got reformatted. My apologies for the wall of text.


I never knew reddit have that

Douglas Mutay

I like the No Excuse List. I found in it this wonderful website http://www.teoria.com with tons of tuto and exercises to learn music theory. I am giving training to young student on playing piano and this website has provided me with great tool to enhance the way I am teaching music. Thank for sharing.

Joshua Lockhart

Thanks, Douglas. Additionally, thank you for encouraging young folks to embrace art. We need more people like you.

Boni Oloff

Never stop learning, even you have no money to go to the university.. :D

claudine ratelle

Awesome! I love learning! These will be useful.

vineed gangadharan

Thanks for sharing……

Muhammad Ahmad

Excellent article. Thanks for great info. I will learn about pc security.

Eric Wilborn

I feel that a big miss here is Coursera. Definitely check them out.

Joshua Lockhart

Thanks, Eric. You’re definitely not the only one who said that. I’ll look into it. : )

Kamruzzaman Chowdhury

Thank you very much. Many many thanks for this information.

Ahmed Khalil

awesome news, thanks for this article sharing

Bishal Mahat

nice article !!!

Gary Mundy

Thanks. I have to check’m out

Keith D.

Wow! I never knew! Now that I do, I just have to decide which one… or which two… MAYBE I’LL DO ALL THREE! Price seems to be RIGHT! lol

Christopher Webb

Don’t forget Coursera or Khanacademy. They’re great for free classes.

Joshua Lockhart

Haven’t heard of Khanacademy. Thank you.

nikhil agarwal

I would like to mentions some names like coursera , udacity , edx for the structured courses free of cost. udacity charges for test and accreditation. Also Udemy there are several courses paid and free by different individuals.

Christine St Syr Griffin

aclibrary.org online classes. all you need is a library card i believe they are free well at least here in alameda county ca. and maybe a small fee for non residents the url is http://guides.aclibrary.org/content_mobile.php?pid=198258
offering over 500 classes. really cool stuff all over the board from basic learning business computer wiccan studies reiki holistic proofreading anyways check it out i find it a wonderful resource
thanks so much

Eath Chantrea

Great for poor study lover.

Ankush K

And we all are humble students of University of Google :).

Lamees Al Shareef

It’s true; with all the info out there it isn’t as easy as click a button to find trusted sources.
i found the comments useful too

Peter Clarvis

Very interesting article, thanks. Love to learn. Never too old to learn.

mohit kumar

What about Udacity or Coursera?


Thanks for the info. You left out one online university(W3 schools). Peace. -Everette-


Hey guys don’t forget W3 schools.-Everette-

Charlie Player

wooo..very cool ..i never heard abt online universities..it must be awsm..XD

Caroline West

These are great. I’ve looked at all 3 and they are very impressive! I have some fresh sites now to add to my ‘Study’ bookmark folder. A lot of links within the sites above for other learning institutes as well. Thanks a lot for compiling this list – it is of great help :-) And thanks to those of you that mentioned coursera.org, looks good too!