Is Coursera FREE for Students? Is Coursera FREE with Certificate?

Is Coursera FREE for Students?

Are you planning to enroll in Coursera? and want to know “Is Coursera FREE for Students?” or “Is Coursera FREE with a Certificate?”… If yes, this blog is for you.

Now, without further ado, let’s get started-

Is Coursera FREE for Students?

Before we delve into Coursera’s pricing, let’s establish what Coursera is all about.

What is Coursera?

Coursera is an online platform that teams up with universities and organizations to provide a wide range of courses on various subjects. These courses are designed to help learners acquire new skills, advance their careers, or explore personal interests. Coursera courses typically include video lectures, quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums, offering a comprehensive learning experience.

What Can You Get for Free on Coursera?

Coursera offers several free options for learners, and here’s a breakdown:

1. Free Courses (Audit Mode)

  • Audit Mode: Many Coursera courses can be audited for free. When you audit a course, you gain access to the course materials, including video lectures and reading materials, but you won’t receive a certificate upon completion. This is an excellent way to explore a subject without any financial commitment.
  • Access to Lectures: Auditing a course allows you to watch all the video lectures, which often contain the core content of the course.
  • No Assignments or Quizzes: In audit mode, you won’t have the option to submit assignments or take quizzes, which are typically required for certification.
  • Limited Interaction: Interaction with instructors and fellow students may be limited in audit mode. Features like discussion forums and peer grading are often reserved for paying students.

2. Free Trials

Coursera also offers free trials for select paid courses and specializations. These trials usually last for about seven days, during which you have full access to all course content, including assignments and quizzes. If you successfully complete the course within the trial period, you’ll receive a certificate for free. Keep in mind that not all courses offer free trials, and eligibility can vary.

3. Financial Aid

If you’re interested in a paid course or specialization but cannot afford it, Coursera provides a financial aid application process. If your application is approved, you can access the course content for free. It’s important to note that financial aid typically covers the cost of the course itself but may not cover additional expenses, such as textbooks or materials.

Paid Stuff on Coursera

Coursera also has things you have to pay for:

1. Buying Courses

  • One-Time Payment: You can buy individual courses on Coursera. The cost can vary from $29 to $99 or more, depending on the course.
  • Get a Certificate: When you pay, you can do the homework and quizzes. If you finish everything, you’ll get a certificate that says you did it. You can show that off on your resume or online profiles.

2. Coursera Plus

  • Subscription: Coursera Plus is like a subscription. It costs $59 every month. With Coursera Plus, you can take many courses without extra charges.
  • No Extra Costs: You can take lots of courses without paying more money. You also get certificates for free if you finish the courses.

3. Special Courses and Fancy Certificates

  • Special Courses: Some courses are special. They have a bunch of lessons on one topic. You might pay for these one by one or get them with Coursera Plus.
  • Fancy Certificates: There are also special certificates that show you’re really good at something. They might cost extra or come with Coursera Plus.

4. University Degrees and Extra Special Certificates

  • Degrees: Coursera offers some college degrees online. These are not free; they have big tuition fees. But it’s a way to earn a real degree without going to college in person.
  • Extra Special Certificates: There are super special certificates too, called MasterTrack certificates. They’re like mini-degrees and can help you get better jobs. But they usually cost money.

How Long is Coursera Free?

The duration of free access on Coursera varies based on the specific offering:

  • Audit Mode: Coursera’s free courses in audit mode often grant you indefinite access to the course materials. This allows you to learn at your own pace and revisit the content as needed.
  • Free Trials: Free trials for paid courses typically last for about seven days. This should provide ample time to complete the course and earn a certificate if you work diligently.
  • Financial Aid: If you qualify for financial aid for a paid course, your access to the course materials generally lasts for the duration of the course. However, it’s advisable to complete the course within the specified timeframe to maximize the benefits of free access.

Please be aware that the availability of specific courses and their free offerings may change over time. It’s a good practice to check Coursera’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Is Coursera Free for Students?

Whether Coursera is free for students depends on your educational institution and specific circumstances:

  • University Students: Some universities have partnerships with Coursera that allow their students to access certain courses for free or at a discounted rate. It’s advisable to check with your university’s administration or refer to Coursera’s partnerships page to determine if your institution is eligible.
  • IIT Students: Students at Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) may have access to Coursera courses through government initiatives or institutional partnerships. To ascertain your eligibility, it’s best to inquire through official channels.
  • Manipal Students: Students at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) might have access to Coursera courses as part of their academic programs. For specific details, reach out to your institution for clarification.
  • IBM Employees: Some companies, like IBM, provide Coursera access to their employees as part of their professional development programs. To determine your eligibility, consult your HR department or review your company’s policies.

How to Know if a Coursera Course is Free

Identifying whether a Coursera course is free or paid is straightforward:

  1. Course Description: When you browse courses on Coursera, the course description will clearly indicate whether the course is available for free or requires payment.
  2. Enrollment Options: Upon clicking on a course, you’ll see the enrollment options. If “Audit” is listed as an option, it signifies that you can audit the course for free. If a price is displayed, it indicates a paid course.
  3. Free Trials: Courses that offer free trials will explicitly mention the trial period and the fact that you can access the course content for free during that time.

Is Coursera Free with a Certificate?

Obtaining a certificate from Coursera typically involves a fee. Here’s how it generally works:

  • Paid Courses: When you enroll in a paid course and successfully complete its requirements, including assignments, quizzes, and assessments, you receive a certificate upon completion. This certificate is not free and is included in the course fee.
  • Coursera Plus: Subscribing to Coursera Plus, which costs $59 per month, grants you access to many courses, and you can earn certificates at no additional cost while your subscription is active.

Is Coursera Free Without a Certificate?

Yes, Coursera offers free courses in audit mode, allowing you to access course content, such as lectures and reading materials, without receiving a certificate upon completion. These courses are entirely free, but you won’t obtain a formal certificate to showcase your accomplishments.

How to Get a Coursera Certificate for Free

Although most Coursera certificates come with a fee, there are a few ways to potentially obtain them for free:

1. Financial Aid

If you’re unable to afford a course but are eager to earn a certificate, you can apply for financial aid through Coursera. If your application is approved, you’ll gain access to the course materials and receive a certificate upon successful completion, all without any cost.

2. Free Trials

Certain Coursera courses offer free trials that allow you to access all course content, complete assignments, and earn certificates during the trial period. If you complete the course within this timeframe, you won’t be charged for the certificate.

3. Scholarships

Occasionally, Coursera and its partners may offer scholarships for specific courses or programs. These scholarships can cover the cost of enrollment, including certificates.

Maximizing Your Coursera Experience

Whether you opt for free or paid options on Coursera, consider these tips to make the most of your learning:

  • Set Clear Goals: Define your objectives for using Coursera, whether it’s acquiring new skills, obtaining a certificate, or advancing your career. Having clear goals keeps you motivated.
  • Manage Your Time: Plan your study schedule and assignments to meet course deadlines effectively. Many Coursera courses have weekly assignments or quizzes, so time management is crucial.
  • Engage with the Community: If available, participate in discussion forums and interact with other learners. Engaging with fellow students can enhance your learning experience and provide valuable insights.
  • Explore Free Resources: Even if you’re paying for courses, take advantage of Coursera’s free resources, such as audit mode courses and free trials, to expand your knowledge.
  • Apply What You Learn: The most effective learning often occurs when you apply your newfound skills or knowledge in real-life situations. Seek opportunities to use what you’ve learned.

Is Coursera the Right Choice for You?

Now that we’ve discussed Coursera’s free and paid options, you might wonder if Coursera is suitable for you. Here are some factors to consider:

Coursera Might Be Suitable If:

  • You prefer learning online at your own pace.
  • You appreciate the flexibility of online learning.
  • You aim to acquire new skills or knowledge.
  • You require a certificate for professional or personal reasons.
  • You can afford the course fees or qualify for financial aid.

Coursera Might Not Be Suitable If:

  • You prefer hands-on, in-person training.
  • You’re seeking a full, accredited degree program (Note: Coursera offers degrees, but they are not free).
  • You’re not comfortable with online learning.
  • You have no interest in earning certificates.

Is Coursera FREE or Paid

Let’s see the differences between free Coursera courses (in Audit Mode) and paid courses. This table helps you understand what you get with each type of course, so you can choose the one that fits your needs best.

FeatureFree Courses (Audit Mode)Paid Courses
Access to Video LecturesYesYes
Access to Reading MaterialsYesYes
Access to Assignments & QuizzesNoYes
Interaction with InstructorsLimitedYes
Discussion ForumsLimitedYes
Peer GradingLimitedYes
Access to CertificatesNoYes (Upon Completion)
Eligibility for Free TrialsNoYes
Financial Aid AvailableYesPossible


In summary, Coursera offers both free and paid learning options, making it accessible to a wide range of learners. The choice between free and paid options on Coursera hinges on your goals, financial situation, and eligibility for free access through institutions or trials. With the right approach, Coursera can be a valuable resource for expanding your knowledge and advancing your career.

Happy Learning!

Thank YOU!

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Though of the Day…

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.’

John Wooden

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