Are Coursera courses free?

If you are looking to take a course on the MOOC platform, you want to know what your financing options are. One of the most important questions you would need answers to is, Are Coursera courses free?

You’ve landed on the right page to answer your questions, including, is Coursera free for students?

Here, we review the cost implications of studying on Coursera so you can decide if this is the right platform to take that online course you have in mind. We will discuss Coursera credit courses, and Coursera paid courses.

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Are Coursera Courses Free?

There are tons of free courses on the platform. But if you want to earn a certificate or access graded assessments, you’ll need the upgrade to a paid subscription or pay for the course. 

There are various enrollment options for Coursera courses and three categories of free courses:

  1. Courses that offer “Full Course”: You access all course materials, complete assessments, and achieve a final grade, but you won’t get a course certificate)
  2. Courses with the “audit” mode: Users who select the audit option will be able to see most of the course materials for free. However, they won’t be able to submit some of the assignments for feedback, get grades on these tasks, or get a course certificate.
  3. Free courses, no certificate offered: These courses are totally free and just purely for learning. Coursera offers no certificates for this category, even if you want to pay.

To audit a course for free:

  • Go to the home page of the course that you want to take
  • Click on “Enrollment Options”
  • Click “Enroll for Free
Coursera free courses enrollment

Coursera lets you upgrade to a paid plan if you decide to gain full access to the course and earn a certificate. Since some coursework are not available in the audit version, you may have to complete the required assessments when you pay to get your certificate.

You can purchase any Coursera courses at 50% discount by clicking here.

Is it Free for Students?

 As highlighted earlier, you can access courses for free using the audit mode or taking the free courses—but you won’t get a certificate unless you pay.

You can also apply for Coursera financial aid if you can’t pay for a certificate. To apply for a scholarship, go to the course’s home page and click on “financial aid”. You’ll have to fill an application and wait for a review and response.

Scholarship from Coursera

If granted a scholarship, you get access to all course content and complete all required assessments to earn a certificate. However, if the course is part of a Specialization, you need to apply for financial aid for each course in that Specialization. The scholarship only covers one course.

Give 50% Off, Get 50% Off! Invite a friend to get started on Coursera. You’ll both get 50% off a course or the first month of a Specialization subscription when your friend makes their first purchase.

Coursera Paid Courses Free Download

Most Specialization courses are available on subscription and cost between $40-$80 per month. Many of the courses offer a 7-day free trial. During this trial of Coursera paid courses, free download of course materials like videos is possible. With the free trial, you can start a course, view all course content, and complete assignments. However, you won’t be able to complete the Capstone Project for the Specialization (if it is included). If you finish a course during the 7-day trial, you will get your certificate.

How to download coursera paid course
  • Go the Specialization page for the course you want to take
  • Click on “Enroll” and “Start Free Trial”
  • Provide the details of your Credit card or PayPal
  • Click on the trial button at the bottom of the screen

How do you pay after the free trial? Your card will be billed automatically at the end of the free trial. You can’t get a refund once you’re charged after the trial. It is advisable to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to continue.

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For Coursera credit courses—those approved for college credit and certified by ACE—learners must pay for the Signature track to verify participation. They must also pay to take a proctored exam through ProctorU and request a transcript through ACE.


Coursera offers many free courses. Are you looking to learn without the need for certificates? If yes, then there are tons of Coursera courses that offer full access, no certificate. Some offer partial access to course materials, and you can also enjoy a 7-day trial on paid courses. Are Coursera courses free? The answer depends on your learning goals.

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