The new year is shaping up to be an exciting one here at Coursera – today we’re opening enrollment for hundreds of new courses and Specializations, and looking forward to enhancing the Coursera experience with a range of new features, options, and programs. As you begin selecting your first courses of the year, we want to give you an update on some changes that you’ll begin to see in 2016.
Starting today, when you enroll in certain courses, you’ll be asked to pay a fee (or apply for Coursera’s financial aid program) if you’d like to submit required graded assignments and earn a Course Certificate. You can also choose to explore the course for free, in which case you’ll have full access to videos, discussions, and practice assignments, and view-only access to graded assignments. You’ll see the options for each individual course when you click “enroll” on the course information page; courses that aren’t part of this change will continue to show the options to enroll in the course either with or without a Certificate. Most courses that are part of Specializations will begin offering this new experience this week, and certain other courses will follow later this year.
To learn more about this change, please refer to our blog post from October. As we emphasized at that time, we are committed to maintaining robust financial aid options so that every learner on our platform can receive a grade and Course Certificate for any Coursera course. We are extremely proud of the impact that Coursera Financial Aid had on our learners’ lives in 2015, and we will continue to invest in the program in the new year.
We are on a mission to change the world by providing universal access to the best learning experience. To do this, we also need to have a business model that supports our platform, our partners, our content, and everything we do for learners.The changes that we are making this year will move us toward sustainability and enable continued investment in our learning experience, without compromising our commitment to transforming lives for people around the world.
We welcome your questions and thoughts in the comments section of this post, and we wish you a successful start to 2016!