10 Best Online Colleges You Can Start for Free

In this article, I’ve compiled the 10 Best online colleges that you can start for free.

however, in the last three decades, the average cost of attending college has increased by over 1,000 percent and continues to rise at a rate higher than financial aid is expanding.

Higher education is indeed in crisis and as students continue to graduate from college with mountains of debt into an unstable economy, many are asking how to further their education without accruing such debt.

One such option is by pursuing that education at a tuition-free online colleges.

If you are looking for accredited online colleges that you can start for free? Trust me it’s possible.

I know it sounds like a surprise to you but don’t panic because there are thousands of online colleges that you can start for free.

With so many established higher education institutions now offering free online courses, it can be a challenge deciding which one you should go for. 

What is online education?

Before I dive into the main article let me quickly explain what online education is.

Online education is a form of education which is delivered and administered using the internet.

However, it can also be defined as electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher/student interaction and the distribution of class materials.

With online education, students can turn anywhere with Internet access and electricity into a classroom.

Online education enables the teacher and the student to set their own learning pace, and there’s the added flexibility of setting a schedule that fits everyone’s agenda.

As a result, using an online educational platform allows for a better balance of work and studies, so there’s no need to give anything up.

What is an Online College?

Online College is an electronically supported learning that provides students with the opportunity to take courses and complete a degree program completely online.

Online colleges allow students to earn their degrees primarily or entirely via an internet-connected computer.

What is an Online Degree?

An online degree is defined as an academic degree that can be earned primarily or entirely through the use of an Internet-connected computer, rather than attending college in a traditional campus setting.

However, the improvements in technology and the increasing use of the Internet worldwide, and the need for people to have flexible school schedules while they are working have led to a proliferation of online colleges.

This colleges awards associates with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

10 Best Online Colleges

The Colleges listed below are 10 Best online Colleges that you can study for free.

  1. Harvard University
  2. The University of California, Irvine
  3. Georgia Institute of Technology
  4. Michigan State University
  5. Stanford Online
  6. Carnegie Mellon University
  7. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  8. UCL (University College London)
  9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  10. École Polytechnique

1. Harvard University

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.

Harvard is a large, highly residential research university offering 50 undergraduate majors,134 graduate degrees, and 32 professional degrees.

For the 2018–2019 academic year, Harvard granted 1,665 baccalaureate degrees, 1,013 graduate degrees, and 5,695 professional degrees.

Harvard University offers over 600 free online courses and enables you to get a taste of an Ivy League education for free.

Recognized consistently as one of the top private Ivy League institutions in the world, Harvard University offers online options for particular degree programs and free tuition. 

If you’re interested in courses from Harvard University, the institution offers many through its website.

While some of these courses are paid, there are dozens that are also available for free.

2. The University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine is a public land-grant research university in Irvine, California.

UCI is one of 65 universities in the U.S and Canada elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Moreover, UCI offers more than 85 undergraduate degree programs, as well as master’s programs; an M.D., Ed.

This College offers a variety of courses on a wide range of subjects.

Check out the available free online courses

3. Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology is commonly referred to as Georgia Tech or, in the state of Georgia, as Tech.

It is a public research university and institute of technology in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Tech has continuously been rated amongst the top few schools in the United States.

The college is ranked at number 1 in Industrial Engineering, and is in the top 10 for many other majors.

Their College of Computing was also recently ranked at number 7 globally by Times Higher Education.

Georgia Institute of Technology has been offering online courses since 2012.

Since then, 3.3 million people have enjoyed these world-class courses, in a wide range of topics.

4. Michigan State University

Michigan State University is a public land-grant research university in East Lansing, Michigan.

MSU was founded in 1855 and served as a model for land-grant colleges and universities later created under the Morrill Act of 1862.

The university was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country’s first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture.

After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became coeducational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture.

However, MSU is one of the largest universities in the United States (in terms of enrollment) and has approximately 634,300 living alumni worldwide.

Michigan State University is the nation’s premier land-grant university and one of the top research universities in the world.

Every day, Spartans work to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.

Wherever you go, there are Spartans working to make a better world.

The MSU community includes more than 12,000 faculty and academic and support staff and an alumni network nearly half a million strong.

 Michigan State University also offers a selection of free online courses.

5. Stanford Online

Stanford Online is an educational initiative launched by Stanford University which offers a variety of professional education opportunities.

As a part of Stanford Online, Stanford University created an open-access OpenEdX platform that offered a variety of Massive Open Online Courses in 2013 but that site is no longer accessible.

Online classes previously offered on that platform can now be accessed on an updated platform known as Edx.

However, their free online courses provide you with an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills and study new and emerging topics.

Learn from Stanford instructors and industry experts at no cost to you.

From free online courses to advanced degrees and executive education, Stanford can help you meet your goals for life and professional advancement.

To learn more about which type of program or course is best for you, visit the Stanford Online Credentials page.

You can as well visit their free online course page to access all their free online courses.

6. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees.

Carnegie Mellon University provides free online courses for anyone wishing to access them.

However, it even offers materials for instructors who wish to teach their students these courses.

For independent learners, there are short courses on topics such as computer science, biology, psychology, and more.

You can visit their website to access their free online courses.

7. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is a public research university in Clear Water Bay Peninsula, Hong Kong.

Founded in 1991 by the British Hong Kong Government, it was the territory’s third institution to be granted university status.

The University is renowned for its academic excellence, world-class research programs, global connections, and social impact.

However, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is an international research university that aims to advance teaching and research in science, technology, engineering, management, and business studies.

This college offers free online courses for advanced Degree programs visit their website for more info.

8. UCL (University College London)

University College London, which operates as UCL, is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a member institution of the federal University of London.

UCL is a great place to be a student for so many reasons and this reasons includes:

  • World-leading, world-impacting research
  • 400+ degree programs.
  • Students from more than 150 countries.
  • 30 Nobel laureates.
  • An award-winning sustainable university.
  • Over 300 student clubs and societies.
  • In the heart of London, the world’s best student city.

UCL has a very large research portfolio and world class researchers.

This means it ranks highly in global tables that primarily measure research, either by quality or quantity.

However, the college is one of the top schools in the UK, ranking eighth in the world in the most recent QS World University Ranking.

The college offer a wide variety of free online courses visit their site for more info.

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was a pioneer in offering online college courses.

The university gives you the ability to download and follow their archived courses through its OpenCourseWare platform.

The benefit of using the platform is that you get access to a huge range of actual courses that the university has offered over the years.

Visit their website to access the free courses offered by the college.

However, the website also doesn’t offer accreditation or certification, since these are archived courses.

Read: How To Create A .edu Email Account For Free [2021]

10. École Polytechnique

École Polytechnique is one of the most prestigious and selective elite higher education institutions in France.

It is a French public institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, a suburb south of Paris.

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute that combines top-level research, academics and innovation at the cutting edge of science and technology.

It offers 29 online courses, 10 taught in English and 19 taught in French.

Visit their web page for more info.


All the Colleges listed above are currently the best that offers free online courses that you can study for free.

Some can award you with a Degree but with a fee.

Please drop your honest feedback in the comment box below.

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