Sunday, February 26, 2012

How to Educate Yourself on the Cheap

This is my magazine article for "The Stew" magazine, found at

Is there such a thing as a free education?

I’ve done some

digging on this very

subject and the answer

is surprising, and it

depends on exactly what

you want from your

education, whether you

are taking the course

to learn something just

for you, or if you want

the course to prove you

learned something.

If you want to learn

something just for your

own knowledge, then

the answer is most


“Yes.” And there

are many places online

that you can go to learn

practically anything for

free. However, if you want

to take the course to

gain credits, degrees,

or certificates, then the

answer is, “No.” The

only way to actually

gain credits is to pay for

those courses, although

I did find out that there

is an online school

called ‘University of the

People’ that charges you

a $50 application fee and

only charges you $100

per exam.

There is a small problem

with this, however

— it is not an accredited

University in the State

of California, where it

is headquartered. In

other words, you can

do all the work with

this University and get

Associate (A.S.-B.A.)

and Bachelor (B.S.-B.A.)

degrees in Business

Administration and

Associate (A.S.-C.S.)

and Bachelor (B.S.-C.S.)

degrees in Computer

Science, but no other

school will allow you to

transfer any credits from

there. To top it off, here

in Canada you may have

trouble getting anyone

to acknowledge those


If you want to keep

education costs down,

you can go to a college

or university to challenge

their courses, if

you feel comfortable in

your knowledge of the

material, but that again

will cost you money to

challenge each exam.

And depending on

which school you challenge

at, you may be

covering information

that is not applicable to

our province, let alone

Canada. And always

make sure you check the

laws and regulations in

your area that are applicable

to the material you

wish to challenge.

If you are interested

in a certain program at

college or university but

are unsure how well you

may do, then I highly

recommend finding a

free online school that

covers that interest. This

way you can discover if

you can do the courses

without spending any

money, plus there won’t

be a grade put on your

record if you don’t succeed.

I spend a great deal of

time reading books on a

variety of subjects, simply

because they interest

me. However, I have no

intention of going to

college or actually doing

these things for a living.

I am fairly sure that I’m

not a great acupuncturist,

masonist, house

builder, or gardener (I

have a black thumb), but

I still try to read or learn

about them anyways.

I highly recommend

learning new things.

Scientists say that it is

the best way to keep

your brain sharp, aside

from a healthy lifestyle.

With all the information

that you can find online,

in the library

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