By Tom Willerer, Chief Product Officer of Coursera
At Coursera, we believe education is a lifelong pursuit, and we want to empower you to achieve your goals throughout your life and career. We’re continually working to improve our courses and platform to give you access to relevant content, and to help you learn more efficiently and effectively.
Today, we’re excited to announce Specialization subscriptions – a new payment model that allows you to purchase access to all content in a Specialization on a month-by-month or annual basis, so that you’re paying only for the amount of time you need to learn the material and earn your Certificate.
You can now subscribe to some Specializations on Coursera for a monthly fee rather than paying up front for an entire course or Specialization, and this payment model will be rolled out to many of our most popular Specializations over the coming months. Subscriptions are typically priced from $39 to $89 per month for access to one Specialization, with no long-term commitment required. Subscribing to a Specialization gives you access to all content in every course in the Specialization for as long as your subscription is active. Based on the completion times that we typically see for our most popular Specializations, the subscription model has the potential to reduce costs for many learners.
Our subscription model is designed to help you:
Pay for the time you actually spend learning. With all courses in subscription-based Specializations running at least monthly, you can complete a Specialization in as little as a month (if, for example, you’re already familiar with some of the material), or over several months (if the topic is completely new to you). Either way, rather than paying up front for the entire Specialization, you’ll pay a price based on the time you actually spend engaging with the Specialization content.
Consistently achieve your learning goals. In tests of the subscription model, we saw that learners who paid for a monthly subscription were about 2.5x more likely to complete a Specialization as compared to learners who paid the full price of each course or the entire Specialization up front. We believe that, by rewarding faster completion, the subscription model will give you a powerful incentive to achieve your goals.
Adjust your learning schedule to fit your lifestyle. Our subscription model allows you to start and stop your Specialization progress at any time – there are no startup or cancellation fees, and your work will be saved so you can always pick up where you left off.
Subscriptions will be available worldwide in select Specializations starting this week. We’ll be gradually increasing the number of subscription-based Specializations throughout the remainder of 2016.
To learn more about subscriptions, please review the detailed FAQs below. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to visit our Learner Help Center.
FAQs about Subscriptions
What if I’m currently enrolled in a Specialization? Will I be affected by this change?
No – if you pre-paid for an entire Specialization prior to the launch of subscriptions, or if you’ve been paying per course, you will not be affected by this change. If you’ve been paying per course, you will continue paying per course for the remainder of the Specialization. You’ll only see the subscription option if you’re enrolling in a Specialization for the first time.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
A subscription can be cancelled at any time, without penalty. If you cancel your subscription, you will lose access to the Specialization at the end of your billing period. Coursera will automatically discontinue your subscription at the end of the monthly billing period during which you earn a Specialization Certificate, unless you have subscribed through the Apple App Store, in which case you must manually cancel your subscription. You can request a refund of your first payment for a subscription to any Specialization up to 14 days after payment. You are not eligible for a refund after earning a Course Certificate, even if you complete a course within the 14-day period.
What do I have access to after my subscription ends?
If you’ve completed a course on a subscription, you will retain archive access (access to videos, readings, and practice assessments, but not graded assessments) until the end of your last billing period. You can re-enroll in the course’s audit option if you would like to continue to reference the video lectures and other course materials. You will always have access to Certificates that you’ve earned, even after your subscription ends.
Can I still get Financial Aid?
Yes, Coursera remains committed to providing access for our learners who are unable to afford course and Specialization fees.To apply for Financial Aid, open the course description page for the course and find the link to apply for Financial Aid under the blue Enroll button.
Can I subscribe to multiple Specializations at once?
Yes, you can subscribe to as many Specializations as you want at the same time. You will be charged separately for each Specialization.
Can I subscribe to just one course?
When you subscribe to a course, you will be automatically enrolled into the entire Specialization. If you are just interested in a single course, you should cancel your subscription after completing this course in order to stop the recurring monthly charge.6