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Coursera and edX are two popular online learning platformshere's how they compare in terms of price and programs offered

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 22 Nov 2020

<bi-shortcode id="disclaimer" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="insiderpicks">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5fad5a9c4044a00018f762dc-1667/edX vs Coursera 4x3.png" border="0" alt="edX vs. Coursera 4x3" data-mce-source="Coursera; edX; Gilbert Espinoza/Business Insider"></p><ul class="summary-list"><li>Popular e-learning platforms edX and Coursera both offer free courses through top universities, as well as certificates and online degree programs for a fraction of the cost of traditional school.</li><li>Below is a comparison of the two platforms, including course offerings, program types, and pricing.</li><li>Read more: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/online-learning-platform-comparison-udemy-skillshare-lynda-coursera" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Online learning is growing faster than everwe compared 4 of the top platforms leading the way</a>.</li><li><a href="https://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/4np/insider-picks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals</a>.</li></ul><p>As <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/online-learning-platform-comparison-udemy-skillshare-lynda-coursera" target="_blank" rel="noopener">online learning platforms continue to grow</a>, there are more and more options for more accessible education. Whether you're looking to switch careers, pick up a new skill for your current job, or take classes for fun, many e-learning platforms offer both free classes and paid certificate programs that can be budget-friendly alternatives to traditional college.</p><p>Among some of the biggest platforms are <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/free-online-classes-edx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">edX</a> and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-coursera" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Coursera</a>, which <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/free-online-courses-from-best-colleges" target="_blank" rel="noopener">collaborate with prestigious universities</a> such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and MIT to provide free or comparatively affordable online courses. Each lets users audit at least some classes for free, pay to earn certificates to put on LinkedIn or your resume, and complete longer certificate programs that can be used as cheaper college credits to work towards a full degree.&nbsp;</p><h3>Below is a comparison of both edX and Coursera's features, including the pricing for each.</h3><h3>edX vs. Coursera</h3><p><p>Founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2F" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>edX</strong></a> is a nonprofit, open-source learning platform designed to "increase high-quality education for everyone, everywhere." It has partnerships with over 120 institutions (from Ivy League schools to companies like IBM and Microsoft) and boasts over 20 million students.&nbsp;</p><p>Similarly, <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2F" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>Coursera</strong></a> aims to make online learning more accessible in terms of money and time commitment, and access. It also partners with schools like UPenn and companies like Google to provide professional certificates and degrees at a fraction of the cost of grad and undergrad programs.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Course offerings</h3><p><p>Both edX and Coursera offer a wide range of courses, from data science and machine learning to humanities and even personal development courses. Among <strong>edX's</strong> <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/most-popular-edx-courses" target="_blank" rel="noopener">most popular courses</a> are <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fcourse%2Fcs50s-introduction-to-computer-science%3Fsource%3Daw%26awc%3D6798_1605028759_92cf587fa0737b922564b76873f6c089%26utm_source%3Daw%26utm_medium%3Daffiliate_partner%26utm_content%3Dtext-link%26utm_term%3D78888_Skimlinks" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">HarvardX's "Introduction to Computer Science (CS50)</a>", an <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fcourse%2Fanalyzing-and-visualizing-data-with-excel-2%3Fsource%3Daw%26awc%3D6798_1605028783_31b892d17dde7895480d1904bc19288a%26utm_source%3Daw%26utm_medium%3Daffiliate_partner%26utm_content%3Dtext-link%26utm_term%3D78888_Skimlinks" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Excel visual data analysis course</a> taught by an expert on the Excel Product team at Microsoft, and a class on <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fcourse%2Fenglish-grammar-and-style%3Fsource%3Daw%26awc%3D6798_1605028922_babbb045fec198463c7bb2ca5c60b83b%26utm_source%3Daw%26utm_medium%3Daffiliate_partner%26utm_content%3Dtext-link%26utm_term%3D78888_Skimlinks" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">English grammar and style</a> from the University of Queensland in Australia.&nbsp;</p><p>Some of <strong>Coursera's </strong><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-popular-courses-with-high-completion-rates" target="_blank" rel="noopener">highest-enrolled courses</a> include a <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Flearn%2Fmachine-learning%3F%3D%26ranMID%3D40328%26ranEAID%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo%26ranSiteID%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo-6rktNgDLmmz.2V2YlWsMLA%26siteID%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo-6rktNgDLmmz.2V2YlWsMLA%26utm_content%3D10%26utm_medium%3Dpartners%26utm_source%3Dlinkshare%26utm_campaign%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">machine learning class from Stanford</a>, <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Flearn%2Flearning-how-to-learn%3FranMID%3D40328%26ranEAID%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo%26ranSiteID%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo-i15YRl8l.yOm7J_nFiasvA%26siteID%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo-i15YRl8l.yOm7J_nFiasvA%26utm_content%3D10%26utm_medium%3Dpartners%26utm_source%3Dlinkshare%26utm_campaign%3DEHFxW6yx8Uo" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">"Learning How to Learn,"</a> which equips students with mental tools to break down complicated learning tasks, and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-yale-science-of-wellbeing-free-course-review-overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"The Science of Well-Being,"</a> Yale's most popular online class.</p><p>Both platforms offer combinations of videos, quizzes, readings, forums, and longer assignments for their courses. They also both include transcriptions of the video lectures and can offer options in languages other than English.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Free courses</h3><p><p>All <strong>edX courses</strong> offer an option to either <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fsupport.edx.org%2Fhc%2Fen-us%2Farticles%2F360013426573-What-are-the-differences-between-audit-free-and-verified-paid-courses-" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">audit it for free or pay for a verified certificate</a>. The free track gives you access to all the learning materials (including discussion forums), but you won't receive a grade, and access to the material will disappear after the class is over.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Coursera </strong>offers the free-or-paid-certificate option <a href="https://learner.coursera.help/hc/en-us/articles/209818603-Enroll-in-a-course" target="_blank" rel="noopener">for some courses</a>. For others, they're only free with a seven-day trial &mdash; afterward, you will have to pay a monthly fee to keep learning (but you can cancel anytime before the trial ends and not be charged). The free classes don't have a time limit and you can access the learning materials at any time.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Individual course certificates</h3><p><p><strong>edX's paid certificates</strong> vary in price and can <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fsupport.edx.org%2Fhc%2Fen-us%2Farticles%2F206211958-What-does-it-cost-to-take-a-course-" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">range anywhere from <strong>$50 to $300</strong></a> depending on the course or program. You can find this information in the right-hand column of every course's page. Even if a course is part of a longer certificate program, you can still take that course on its own and only pay for that certificate. For example, you could either pay $396 to finish <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fxseries%2Fharvardx-us-government" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">a full program in US government</a>, or opt <strong>to pay $99 for a certificate</strong> in just <a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fcourse%2Famerican-government-constitutional-foundations" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">the foundations of the US government</a> (the first course in the program).&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Coursera's</strong> certificates work a little differently. Typically, if the course is a stand-alone class, like "<a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Flearn%2Fthe-science-of-well-being%3F" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">The Science of Well-Being,</a>" you have the option to audit for free or pay for a certificate, which can range from <strong>$29-$100</strong>. If the course is part of a Specialization or longer program, you can take it for free with the seven-day <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-plus" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Coursera Plus</a> trial, which is <strong>$399 annually but lets you get free certificates for over 90% of its classes. </strong>If you just want to complete one Specialization,<strong> you'll have to pay $49-$79 a month to continue learning, </strong>so the faster you finish, the more money you save.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Longer certificate and degree programs</h3><p><p>Both platforms offer longer, multi-course certificate programs, which can also double as college credits to help you work towards a full degree. Such programs can cost <strong>a few thousand dollars</strong>, depending on the course and platform.&nbsp;</p><p>Coursera and edX both also have full degree programs, which are more affordable than regular degrees due to being fully online.</p><p><strong>edX's</strong> offerings include:</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/edx-microbachelors-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MicroBachelors</a> and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/edx-affordable-online-micro-masters-programs-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MicroMasters</a> for current career advancement or earning affordable credits towards a degree. Both are made through collaborations with Fortune 1000 companies and top universities so that the courses are applicable to today's job market.</li></ul><ul><li><a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fprofessional-certificate" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Professional certificates</a> for specific skills, such as risk management or inclusive leadership.</li></ul><ul><li><a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fxseries" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">XSeries</a> programs for a deeper understanding of a subject, such as astrophysics or the Civil War.</li><li><a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edx.org%2Fmasters" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Online master's degrees</a> from schools, with tuition ranging from $9,900 to $25,300.</li></ul><p><strong>Coursera's</strong> options include:</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-mastertrack-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MasterTrack certificates</a>, which provide both certification and master's credits that can be applied to certain schools.</li><li><a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Fprofessional-certificates" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Professional certificates</a> in skills such as IT support and data analysis.</li><li><a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Fsearch%3Fquery%3Dspecialization%26" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Specializations</a> to provide a broader understanding of a subject or skillset.</li><li><a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Fdegrees" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Online bachelor and master's degrees</a>, some of which are charged per credit vs. tuition.</li></ul></p><br/><br/><h3>Financial aid</h3><p><p>Both <strong>edX</strong> and <strong>Coursera</strong> offer financial aid and scholarships but have slightly different application procedures.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com'id=35871X943606&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fsupport.edx.org%2Fhc%2Fen-us%2Farticles%2F215167857-How-do-I-apply-for-financial-assistance-" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored"><strong>edX</strong></a> requires that you enroll in your program of interest as an audit learner before filing an application, while <strong><a href="https://learner.coursera.help/hc/en-us/articles/209819033-Apply-for-Financial-Aid-or-a-Scholarship" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Coursera</a></strong> has you click on the "Financial Aid" link at the top of your desired course's page to fill out the application before you enroll.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Benefits of each</h3><p><p>With <strong>edX</strong>, you can audit classes for free even if they're part of bigger certificate programs. This can be useful if you're not sure about committing to the full program and want to see if you like how the classes are taught and laid out.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Coursera</strong>, meanwhile, offers reviews and ratings of each class, as well as a detailed syllabus of what each week will look like, which is also handy information before paying for a MasterTrack or Specialization program.</p><p><strong>Bottom line:</strong> Both platforms offer great options for browsing classes for free. They also have a selection of certificate programs and online degrees that can cost less than half of tuition at an in-person university.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/>
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