University of the People is currently the only source for a free, accredited, online bachelor's degree. However, numerous websites enable you to take free college courses online. Some of these courses are available for credit with an extra fee paid to the partnering college. Additionally, certain colleges in your state may offer tuition-free programs.
University of the People, or UoPeople, is a non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university that is currently offering Associates and Bachelors degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science. Prospective students need only be English-speaking individuals of 18 years or older with the equivalent of a high school diploma. Students are expected to pay an application fee of $50 and exam processing fees of $100 per exam. However, scholarship programs are available for students who cannot afford these fees.
If a college education is desired even without official credentials, the recent massive open online course, or MOOC, movement may be a suitable option. This type of course features unlimited, open access to professionally designed college courses that rely on learning materials such as video lectures, readings and problem sets. Support is available through community forums and contact with professors or teaching assistants. Some MOOCs offer certificates or credit through partnering colleges for an additional fee.
MOOC providers may be non-profit or for-profit. Popular non-profit MOOC providers include EdX and P2PU. Popular for-profit MOOC providers include Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy.