MIT announced a new program this week which will allow students to take one semester of online courses that will count towards a “MicroMaster’s” degree. The courses will be free, but if you want them to count towards a degree, there will be a “modest fee” (of about $50 per course).
Upon successful completion of the courses, students will be able to apply to MIT and finish their degree on campus. They will pay tuition for the second half of their degree.
According to L. Rafael Reif, MIT president, “The rising cost of education, combined with the transformative potential of online teaching and learning technologies, presents a long-term challenge that no university can afford to ignore. At MIT, we are choosing to meet this challenge directly by assessing the educational model that has served the Institute so well for so long.”
Many schools worry that introducing free classes will lead to the decrease or elimination of traditional, on-campus, paid education. MIT is trying to approach this concern by merging their online classes with a certified, university-stamped degree.
Other schools offering online MA courses include Arizona State University, the University of Illinois, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
(Source: “MIT Makes Big Change to Free Online Classes,” U.S. News)