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

Joshua Lockhart 14-11-2012

Education 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 The 13 Best Chrome Extensions by Google You Probably Aren't Using Personalize your browsing with these must-have extensions from Google. Among the thousands of Chrome extensions in the Google Web Store, some are developed by Google. These are the best picks from Google itself. Read More 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 Interesting World Simulations For Predicting The Future & Understanding Society Lots of people are very concerned about issues that affect their local communities, and maybe even their country, but are you the kind of person that's actually also very concerned about the entire world itself?... Read More 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 Dropbox Offers Up To 25 GB Free Storage Space To Students And Schools [Updates] You really have to give it Dropbox, they seem to always find a way to give users more and more free storage space—from the free 500 MB space for referral sign-ups to additional 500 MB... Read More . 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

online universities

As already mentioned here on MakeUseOf, the University of the People This Online Learning Guide Will Save Your Career A survival guide to help you navigate the world of online learning and show you tools that will help you achieve your learning objectives. Read More 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

online colleges and universities


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 Reditr: A Desktop Client for Reddit With Embedded Content Do you love Reddit, but find the user interface infuriating? Try a new way to get at the best content on the web. Reditr shows you the latest posts from your favorite subreddits in easy-to-skim... Read More . 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

online universities


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 10 Mega-Popular YouTube Cooking Channels By Cuisine I didn’t realize I was following so many cooking channels until I saw Joshua’s list of great YouTube cooking channels to follow. I knew at least 5 of the 6 channels in his list so... Read More 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


Related topics: Education Technology, Study Tips.

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  1. Caroline West
    November 22, 2012 at 6:14 am

    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, looks good too!

  2. Charlie Player
    November 19, 2012 at 5:38 am

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

  3. everette
    November 19, 2012 at 5:29 am

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

  4. everette
    November 19, 2012 at 5:28 am

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

  5. mohit kumar
    November 18, 2012 at 6:27 am

    What about Udacity or Coursera?

  6. Peter Clarvis
    November 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

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

  7. Lamees Al Shareef
    November 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    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

  8. Ankush K
    November 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

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

  9. Eath Chantrea
    November 17, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Great for poor study lover.

  10. Christine St Syr Griffin
    November 17, 2012 at 4:07 am 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 [Broken URL Removed]
    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

  11. nikhil agarwal
    November 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    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.

  12. Christopher Webb
    November 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

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

    • Joshua Lockhart
      November 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Haven't heard of Khanacademy. Thank you.

  13. Keith D.
    November 15, 2012 at 7:08 am

    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

  14. Gary Mundy
    November 15, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Thanks. I have to check'm out

  15. Bishal Mahat
    November 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    nice article !!!

  16. Ahmed Khalil
    November 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    awesome news, thanks for this article sharing

  17. Kamruzzaman Chowdhury
    November 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

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

  18. Eric Wilborn
    November 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

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

    • Joshua Lockhart
      November 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

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

  19. Muhammad Ahmad
    November 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

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

  20. vineed gangadharan
    November 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing......

  21. claudine ratelle
    November 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Awesome! I love learning! These will be useful.

  22. Boni Oloff
    November 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

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

  23. Douglas Mutay
    November 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I like the No Excuse List. I found in it this wonderful website 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
      November 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

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

  24. Terafall
    November 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I never knew reddit have that

  25. Mart Küng
    November 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    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
      November 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

      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
      November 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

      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.

  26. Chew Jian Yue
    November 14, 2012 at 11:09 am


  27. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

    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.

  28. Timothy Clark
    November 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

    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

  29. Thomas Vercamer
    November 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

    How about Coursera?

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

    • Joshua Lockhart
      November 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Great find. Thank you.

  30. Mart Küng
    November 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

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

  31. Temmuz Onur Deniz Güzel
    November 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

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

    • Joshua Lockhart
      November 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

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

  32. Márcio Guerra
    November 14, 2012 at 7:59 am

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


    • shubho
      November 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

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

      • Márcio Guerra
        November 18, 2012 at 6:29 am

        Hi! A great place to start is this one: (free, from what I understand) (several links inside)

        Hope they serve as a good start. I thought I had more links, but as I've looked, are several from Coursera, several courses they have (had) that I was interested in attend. Not many as I would like to give you...


      • Márcio Guerra
        November 18, 2012 at 6:42 am

        Am I blocked or something? The previous comment didn't show up... (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...


  33. Zhong Jiang
    November 14, 2012 at 5:56 am

    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.

  34. Debra Beshears
    November 14, 2012 at 5:50 am

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

  35. Aswin Kumar K P
    November 14, 2012 at 3:19 am

    i'm already using reddit...

    • Joshua Lockhart
      November 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

      What's your experience with it like?

      • Aswin Kumar K P
        November 18, 2012 at 6:42 am

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

  36. Timothy Liem
    November 14, 2012 at 1:36 am

    nice shot, Josh!