Did you know that you have the opportunity to not only take online college courses which have just as much educational value as in-person courses, but also that there are actually free options available?

Free courses are offered in everything from grammar and music composition to higher mathematics and engineering!

Many colleges and universities offer online courses that are completely free! The catch is that some charge a small fee to have the course applied to an official college transcript or to be used as transfer credit. Some also cannot be transferred to other schools as credit but are still useful for general educational pursuits or career training.

Whether or not they can be transferred, all the courses listed in our guide are free of charge if the student simply wants to improve their skills in a particular area. These college courses could even be used as a more advanced alternative to high school courses.

Courses are taught by professional educators and can add a whole new level of depth to your homeschool! Ignite your student’s passion for a subject and check one of these out today!


Hillsdale College: These are free courses for anyone who wishes to learn. These courses are offered in a variety of subjects: politics, history, literature, philosophy, religion, economics, mathematics, and natural sciences.

These free, not-for-credit courses are taught by Hillsdale College faculty and are patterned after the education offered on the Hillsdale College campus.

They aim to provide students with an education that pursues knowledge of the highest things, provides insight into the nature of God and man, forms character and defends constitutional government.

Yale University: Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a wide selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.

All lectures were recorded in the Yale College classroom and are available in video, audio and text transcript formats. Registration is not required.

No course credit, degree or certificate is available through the Open Yale Courses website. However, courses for Yale College credit are offered online via Yale Summer Online, including courses taught by OYC professors John Rogers and Craig Wright.

Stanford University: Stanford’s free online courses provide you with an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills as well as study new and emerging topics. Learn from Stanford instructors and industry experts at no cost to you. From classes on Beethoven to computational logic and artificial intelligence, Stanford offers a wide selection of interesting courses.

(MIT) Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based platform for virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT program. It boasts materials from over 2,500 courses! Learn about brain and cognitive sciences, architecture, aeronautics and much more!

In addition to free undergraduate courses, MIT even offers graduate-level classes for those who want to dive even deeper into a topic.

Khan Academy: Although Khan Academy courses are mostly at high school level and below, there are some free college-level course offerings. They currently offer college-level courses in chemistry, physics, calculus, U.S. history, U.S. government, economics and art history. In addition, they offer courses on life skills and career options.

TEL Learning (Transforming and Educating for Life): TEL Learning offers several free courses as well as many paid options for college credit. Their paid options are $67 per credit hour or $200 for a three-hour course, which saves thousands on your college degree.

Their free offerings currently include American Government, Chemistry 1, Chinese 1, College Algebra, Latin 1, Introduction to Information Technology and many more.

edX: By opening the classroom through online learning, edX empowers millions of learners to unlock their potential and become changemakers. By offering over 3,000 quality courses, edX wants to transform the options and opportunities in higher education for every student.

Offering online undergraduate and graduate courses, there is something for every interest. Some courses have the option for certification with a small fee and a few only have a free audit option.

Modern States: Differing in format from the rest of this list, Modern States is a program that offers courses to help students pass AP and CLEP exams, which are worth transferable college credits.

According to their FAQ: “Modern States offers free, high-quality online courses taught by college professors that prepare you for virtually all of the major AP and CLEP exams, which are well-established and widely-accepted. Solid performance on the exams (each participating college decides what scores you need for credit) can earn you college credits and enable you to save tuition dollars. You can take one course or many; if you do well on eight exams, you can potentially earn Freshman Year for Free™.”

Coursera: A treasure trove of free college courses, Coursera is a marketplace of free learning from universities around the world! Currently offering over 1,500 free courses in a wide range of subjects and specializations, Coursera is a wonderful resource for students. Take Medical Neuroscience from Duke University or Business Management from the University of London, all from the comfort of your home and all for free!

We believe homeschooling is one of the best models for educating children, which is why we support families with encouragement and practical resources such as the information you found in this article. Will you join us in making these resources available to homeschooling families by becoming a THSC member?

Jessica Lovett

Jessica Lovett is passionate about homeschooling her own kids, sci-fi books, quirky coffee shops, and her scruffy black dog, Bofur. In her spare time, she loves playing the piano and also singing on her church’s worship team. Her writing can be seen on ChristianAnswers.net and her novel Transplanting Hope is available wherever books are sold.

Jessica Lovett