Coursera changes their rules about payment

Coursera taking away free option for certificates and homework

New year 2016 will bring us new Coursera. The most famous site for online education will now be charging for certificates and homework.

What exactly is changing at Coursera?

In the past, you would sign up for the course, carry on through your studying, complete your homework, get your grades, and, having passed all necessary exams or quizzes, you would get your certificate.

Starting January 2016 this will no longer be possible. To get grades for your homework and a certificate for completing the course, you will have to pay. Currently, this price is around 50$ for the majority of courses.

What does this paying policy change at Coursera mean?

It means that while all the educational material of a course will still be available for you for free, you will not be experiencing the course to the fullest, unless you pay a fee, because you will not be able to get feedback for your homework, and thus won’t be able to know how well you’ve progressed.

Will it happen to all courses?

No, as it’s explained on Coursera blog the changes will apply only to some of the courses. Intuition, though, suggests, those might be the most popular courses of the best quality.

You can try to apply for Coursera financial aid program and, in case you qualify, you will access even paid options for free.

What do Coursera’s students think about these changes?

The opinions of Coursera students have been divided, with some students celebrating their favourite site’s new ability to grow financially, and others being upset and disappointed. Many point out that the sum for the full experience of several Coursera courses combined will now be even higher than a price of getting an offline college degree in some countries.

You can look up the developing discussions on this topic on Reddit or on Coursera blog.

What does the future hold?

Obviously, it holds some restrictions to the opportunities that used to be easily obtained. On the other hand, it challenges students to explore other platforms that are still completely free, like edX, for example. Whatever path you choose, the result will depend not on how many opportunities there were, but on how many of those opportunities you actually used.