Last month, according to the New York Times, the enrollment past two million, and 70,000 students a week sign up for over 200 different courses. The faculty of Coursera consists of professors from 33 elite universities from around the country.
The classes are free for students, and are taught by accredited professors from recognized universities. Many traditional colleges around the country have recently began developing their online course offerings to attract students from around the globe, however this program from Coursera is the first to offer free classes, and while students cannot earn a full degree from Coursera, they can get a head start on essential skills and greatly increase their preparedness for college.
Coursera has just started to charge licensing fees for universities in order for them to access the website and offer classes, however that expense is not passed along to the students. The benefit to the college is that even though they pay for usage of the Coursera’s services, they allow students to experience their school and staff in the hopes that the student will ultimately choose to attend their university full time.
With the rising cost of higher education, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to pay for college without grants or large loans; loans which put young graduates into massive debt before they even receive their diploma. Coursear may be the future of higher education… a higher education made available to the masses by people who genuinely care about access to quality education for all.