MOOCs (massive open online courses) exploded onto the scene in 2011 with the admirable goal to provide access and affordability to higher education to all. In 2015, 550 universities offered over 4200 courses online. Figuring out how to choose what MOOC is right for you can feel overwhelming, deciding on value and cost and who provides what financial assistance.

Along with the massive growth in the developing industry, we also see changes within individual MOOCs. EdX continues to grow within the industry providing high quality options in a sea of changing variables including offering a strong financial assistance.

What is edX?

Founded in 2012 by a joint effort of Harvard University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), edX provides world-class online courses in partnership with the world’s best universities, nonprofits and institutions.

They are the only MOOC in operation functioning both as a nonprofit and open source, and remain true to their three-fold mission:

1. Increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere
2. Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online
3. Advance teaching and learning through research

What are the benefits of edX?

EdX provides high quality courses you can audit or pay for certification allowing a student to use the credit for both college/university credits or to use it toward professional development. All the classes are available to anyone with an Internet connection for free with the ability to audit. For a fee, you can sign up to receive a verification certificate, proving you took and passed the course.

Additionally, courses through edX alternately beef up your resume/CV or your college application. It shows a thirst for learning and a focus on personal and professional development.

If you want to take your online training a step further, edX launched the XSeries program. Through a series of online courses you learn and train for a certification in a specific field and receive a certification from the institution who created it through the edX partnership.

What gives edX credibility?

There is power in a name, and it often lends credibility. Just as in the case of edX, it is hard to argue with two of the world’s most elite and renowned schools partnering to birth an organization like edX. Not only do you have the powerhouse of Harvard and MIT as the founders, you see scores of additional elite partnerships with universities and institutions, lending their name for credibility. However, like in any developing industry, the learning curve feels big and the response a company takes to industry changes matter.

EdX navigates the changes like a pro with reputable institutions backing it. When cheating became a scandal among MOOCs, edX responded by providing students the option to take their final exam in a proctored setting.

No matter what, it is important to remember the MOOC experience and value differs than taking a course at Harvard. Still a wonderful value, but different.

Financial aid with edX

While all courses through edX are offered for free by audit, but for verification and certification of courses, you need to pay. EdX offers a 90% discount to eligible students. EdX, with their generous financial assistance, shows they remain committed to their mission of providing quality education to all.

How do you apply for financial aid with edX?

Applying for financial aid with edX is a fairly simple process.

– Enroll in your selected course as an audit learner.
– Fill out the financial assistance application.
– Review of application (two to four business days).
– After accepted, your course is upgraded to the verified certification option.

EdX offers a variety of courses and certification programs that can transform your college application or resume/CV. If you are looking to learn and grow, but if you have a limited budget, you can easily and quickly apply for the financial assistance you need to move your dream forward.

If edX isn’t your preferred MOOC, learn how to apply for financial assistance with Coursera.

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