If you missed out on attending an Ivy League university due to your less than stellar grade point average, then I've got great news for you! The Internet age has made it possible to enroll in online classes at not just one, but all eight Ivy League schools! And the best part? These classes are free and available to anyone with a thirst for knowledge.
They're called MOOCs, which stands for "Massive Open Online Courses," and there are literally thousands available to anyone with an Internet connection. You can find these classes directly through the universities, although websites such as edX and Class Central provide easy and centralized access. A few come with a certification upon completion, while others can be paid for and even converted to college credit.
Brown University's online learning offers the intriguing Archeology's Dirty Little Secrets, as well as Exploring Neural Data. Eleven courses are available through Class Central, and boast some great student reviews.
Part of Columbia University's initiative is to "contribute knowledge to the world," so you can study everything from MicroMasters in Artificial Intelligence to Freedom of Expression in The Age of Globalization. Just imagine the talking points you'll be able to bring up at next year's Thanksgiving dinner!
Cornell University describes itself as "A community of scholars known for intellectual rigor," so you know you'll fit right in. Offering The Science and Politics of the GMO, as well as American Capitalism: A History, you won't have to travel all the way to Ithaca, New York to study these interesting subjects.
Looking to take a course titled Question Reality! Science, Philosophy and the Search for Meaning? Dartmouth won't let you down. Of course, you could always enroll ing Introduction to German Opera or Introduction to Environmental Science instead. Weighty subjects indeed!
Whether you're looking for a class in Contract Law or Hamlet's Ghost, Harvard University's Online Learning department has got you covered. There are classes ranging from art to economics, public health to religion. But it's not just the stuffy subjects either, as their Basics of Digital Photography class already has over 650,000 students. Not bad for America's oldest university!
Princeton University may be known for their elite fencing department, but you can also choose an online class in The Art of Structural Engineering in Bridges or even the timely Making Government Work in Hard Places. Plus, from the comfort of your own home you'll have a 0% chance of suffering a fencing injury.
University of Pennsylvania
If you're looking to study up on the Top 10 Social Issues for the President's First 100 Days, you're in luck! Perhaps you're needing a break from politics and would find Greek and Roman Mythology more appealing. Either way, The University of Pennsylvania offers a multitude of interesting classes.
You don't have to live in New Haven, Connecticut to enjoy the challenge of classes such as Moralities of Everyday Life or Music and Social Action, as they're both available online. These classes might not result in a Yale college degree, but at least you won't have to shell out the estimated $68,230 for a single year of education!
These "Massive Open Online Courses" are an amazing resource for one and all. Perfect for a homeschooling family, the lifelong learner or simply those who describe themselves as students from the "school of hard knocks." Although some are self paced, others start and end on specific dates, so make sure to keep an eye on your calendars. The best part is that you can finally brag about your Ivy League education, without an essay to write or decades of crushing student loan debt.