It's no secret that getting a traditional education can be expensive. That's why more and more people are searching for online classes for adults as a way to get ahead in their careers without breaking the bank.
In this guide, we will cover everything from free GED classes to free Associate, Bachelor's and even Master's degrees. We'll also discuss specialized classes and certificates that can help you reach your career goals.
So whether you're just starting out or you're looking to take your education to the next level, we've got you covered!
What are online classes and how do they work?
Online courses are a great way to get a quality education without having to physically attend classes. Most online classes follow the same syllabus and pacing as an on-campus course, but they are typically self-paced and organized into modules or units that can be completed at your own convenience.
Online classes may require you to watch video lectures, complete assignments, participate in discussion boards and take exams.
How to Get Started with Online Classes for Adults?
Getting started with online classes is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps.
1. Assess Your Learning Needs
What are you looking to learn and what type of class do you need? Are you looking to get a GED, or do you need to complete a bachelor's degree program, master's or a specialized course?
2. Research Online Course Providers
Once you know what type of class you need, start researching online course providers that offer the classes you are interested in taking. Below we will cover many of the fully accredited free educational programs available.
Free Online Classes to Get Your GED
Yes, you can get your General Equivalency Diploma (GED) online. There are many free and low-cost options available.
On average it takes about three months to 1 year to prepare for the GED, but this can vary depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying.
What topics are on the GED?
The GED, or General Educational Development test, has four sections: science, social studies, mathematics, and reading. You will have a set amount of time to answer questions in each section that can be multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, short answer, and extended answer. Your score for the entire exam is based on a range of 100-200 points; however you must earn at least 145 points to pass the GED.
Free Online Learning Resources Include:
- Test Prep Champions
- The Florida Literacy Organization
- USA Classroom
For more information on getting your GED, "Free GED Classes Online: A Guide to Getting Your GED".
Find Free Courses for an Associates Degree Online
With online degree programs, you can get an associate degree without quitting your day job--and often in a shorter time frame than traditional college programs.
What is an Associates Degree?
An associate degree is a two-year college degree earned at either a community college or four-year university.
An Associates degree falls between having only a high school diploma and holding a bachelor's. A few your career options after you've obtained an Associates include entering the workforce or continuing onto getting your Bachelor's
You can also earn your Associate degree after working for several years. It can be the first step to a new career or help you advance in your current one.
We take a deep dive in our article "Associate Degree Online Free- Achieve Your Career Dreams."
Obtain a Free Bachelor Degree Online
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a bachelor’s degree earn 67% more than those with only a high school degree.
The high cost of education is a significant deterrent for many people, However, there are ways to get your degree online for free. These degrees are also flexible and you can keep your job while attending classes.
Online Colleges Free Tuition Degrees
There are only two online colleges that offer truly tuition-free accredited degrees.
You can still get a great education from many universities through their online courses. While they may not offer free courses for college credit, the price per credit hour is much lower than if you attended in person classes.
There are many ways to turn paid courses into free ones through scholarships and grants. We will cover more of this below.
For a complete guide on getting a free Bachelor Degree, "Online Colleges Free With Scholarships – 2023/2024".
Learn About These Free Online Courses for a Master's Degree
According to recent data, employees with a master's degree earn $1300 more per month, on average, than employees who only hold a bachelor's degree in the same field.
Master's candidates also enjoy increased respect from employers and greater networking opportunities that can lead to new job possibilities down the road.
In addition, receiving a tuition-free master's degree often leads to promotions at work and creates more job satisfaction and improved self esteem when you specialize in an area of interest.
Which Schools Offer a Free Master's Degree Online?
Both schools offer degrees in wide range of topics from arts & education to topics related to data science. Most courses require students to pay a minimal application fee but it's as close to free as you will find. Plus with scholarships and grants available it can truly be free.
For greater look into getting your Master's degree we have written a guide for you, "Free Master's Degree Online".
Additional Online Learning Platforms to Supercharge Your Career
You can now earn a verified certificate from prestigious universities such as Harvard University, Yale University and Stanford. These top universities offer free courses on most subjects. You can add these certificates to your resume as a way of showing your continued professional development.
Certificates can also be earned from companies like Google and Microsoft that show your mastery of their software. These certificates are highly regarded by many employers.
Online Learning Platforms
There are online platforms that offer many courses to choose from. From learning a new hobby to advanced classes in computer science, the choices are endless. Most of these courses allow you to work at your own pace and build the coursework into modules for you to complete. Some these classes may even be credit eligible courses you can apply towards earning your degree.
Some popular sites for online learning
Additional Ways to Get a Free Education - Scholarships & Grants
You may think that scholarships are only for people who have excelled in high school either through academics or sports.
However, there are millions of scholarships that cover just about every type of person in any situation. The are scholarships for every demographic; ie. single mothers, immigrants, and even StarTrek fans. You just need to find them.
Search Platforms for scholarships and grants include:
Fastweb is one of the biggest online portals for finding scholarships and they have over 1.5 million they can match you up with.
Scholarship America has been around for over 60 years and has handed out 5.9 Billion in scholarships, which are well worth checking out. They are dedicated to removing the financial barriers to college.
Sallie Mae’s Scholarship Search
Sallie Mae is in the business of student loans, but they really provide value to students with their easy to use scholarship database. Their Scholarship Search boasts over 6 million available scholarships.
Online Colleges Free with Financial Aid
The first port of call for any student, even if you are going to take a 100% online degree, is the FASFA or federal student aid application. Check their website for rules and conditions.
You should check with your course to ensure they accept federal financial aid.
Apply as early as you can because many states and schools run out of money, and it is first come first serve.
When you have chosen the online course you want to take, contact the school’s financial aid office and make a note of all their deadlines and requirements for financial aid.
Over 70% of scholarships come directly from the school itself. The financial aid office is paid to help you get all the financial help that is available. The financial aid office might know of scholarships you are unaware of.
Pell Grants are available for online courses and college classes. These grants can help you turn paid courses into free courses. The Pell Grant awards up to $6,895 per year for 2022-2023, and does not have to be paid back.
Learn more and apply for Pell Grants at the US government site: studentaid.gov.
Free or Reduced Price Textbooks
The high cost of college textbooks can be a real burden for students. A single textbook can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention the costs of other course materials like workbooks or lab manuals.
But there's a way to get around these high prices: by finding free textbooks online. With a little bit of effort, you can find websites that offer free downloads or rent books at a fraction of the retail price.
We go in-depth on where to find free and reduced-price textbooks so you can keep your school expense as low as possible in "Free College Textbooks – 12 Reliable Resources for 2023".
Tips for Succeeding in Your Free Online Class
Just because they are free don't mean they come easy. Free online courses require hard work and dedication to succeed. Here are some of the best tips for succeeding with free online classes:
Have a file folder or notebook where you keep all your class notes, assignments, and due dates so that you never miss out on an assignment or deadline.
Set a schedule
Online classes require a lot of time and focus to complete the modules. Set a schedule for yourself that allows you to dedicate enough time for your class.
Utilize Online Resources
Online courses often come with a variety of resources such as introductory course tutorials, videos, forums, chat boards and more. Take advantage of these resources to help you with your class.
Check the course website regularly to make sure assignment dates have not been changed.
Connect with Your Instructors
Online classes often have a ‘virtual office hour’ or discussion forum where you can ask questions or clarify any points from the course. Make use of this to connect with your instructors and get help when needed.
Online classes take hard work and dedication. Balance your time between work, class, and leisure activities to keep yourself from burning out.
By following these tips for succeeding in free online classes, you will be well on your way to achieving your educational goals.
It's Never too Late for Personal Development
Whether you are taken online courses for college credit, to learn a new language or for fun. You can always find the right course so that you can gain knowledge and skills, while improving to your personal and business development. Online courses provide an affordable way to learn new things and advance your professional career.
No matter or age, young or a senior citizen, looking to pass the GED or seeking an advanced degree there are many options available.
It's a Digital World - You Need a Great Connection
What do all of these free online courses have in common? They give you the ability to further your adult education journey anytime, anywhere.
But if your lessons won't load, or the site freezes constantly because of a bad internet connection, or worse you run out of data, it's time to upgrade your internet connection. You need a reliable and fast internet connection that won't break the bank, or even better a free one!
Did you know over 44% of US households are eligible for free phone service through the Affordable Connectivity Program?
You may be eligible for FREE Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data with EASY Wireless.
Stop worrying about running out of data and paying that big monthly cell phone bill and spend more time on learning a new skill.
It takes less than 5 minutes to see if you qualify for this free service, click EASY Wireless to learn more.
The Online Education Revolution Has Arrived
The development and rapid advancement of online learning is helping bridge the digital divide and allow adult learners to embrace new skills. No longer are people stuck in a job.
Free online classes in all fields and the ability to connect with teachers around the world and learn in a self-paced environment has changed the way we look at education. Online classes are making it easier than ever to further your education and career goals, and best of all, they are free!
Take advantage of the digital revolution and get your online education today.