How Much Does Coursera Cost? [Monthly Subscription Cost]

Coursera offers a wide range of online courses to those interested in learning university subjects in just a short time. Before signing up, it’s important to understand the price of Coursera. How much does Coursera cost?

At Coursera, courses are offered for individual purchases or on a subscription basis. Many Coursera specializations are available on a subscription basis that cost $39 to $79 a month. Most of these specializations come with a 7-day free trial. You will be billed right after the trial period if you don’t cancel your subscription. 

The cost of enrolling at Coursera became expensive when they changed their pricing model. Originally, their prices were course-based; now, they are subscription-based. Coursera courses are based on the subjects available at their university partners.

Read on to learn more about the cost of learning at Coursera, how their pricing works, and their accepted payment methods.

How Much Does Coursera Cost?

how much does coursera cost

Courses at Coursera are available on a subscription basis for $39 to $79 per month. You can start with a 7-day free trial. If you don’t cancel within the trial period, they will start to bill you.

Many people find the cost of Coursera a bit expensive. Originally, they were very affordable. But when they changed their pricing model from course-based to subscription-based, their prices went up. They started with a subscription cost of $49. In 2020, they increased it to $79.

If you want to see more of their pricing information, you need to log in to their official website. Coursera is legit, being one of the widespread and prestigious online educational platforms available today. They are offering more than 5,300 courses with multiple full-length degrees and specializations.

In general, their courses are free to audit. However, if you want a course certificate or want to access graded assignments, you have to pay. Upon signing for some of these courses, they will present you with an option of “Full Course, No Certificate.”

Coursera Cost Overview

There are hundreds of free courses at Coursera. But assignments and Certificates are only given to paying students. Their course prices range from $29 to $100 per course. Coursera also offers specializations that are actually bundles of courses. They are only available on a subscription basis.

Prices of specializations range from $39 to $79 per month. They also offer Coursera Plus, which will give you access to thousands of courses. You can get it for a Coursera fee of $399 per year. They also offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees with costs ranging from $15,000 to $40,000.

Many Coursera Courses Are for Free

You can sign up for most of the courses of Coursera for free. They call their free courses the ‘Audit’ option. There are about 1,600+ courses that are absolutely free at Coursera. However, these free courses come with certain limitations.

  • You won’t receive any feedback from the instructors. Effectively, you will be studying these courses on your own.
  • You will not be given any assignment.
  • You will not be given a certificate upon finishing a course. Official recognition that you have completed a course may be one of the requirements in applying for a job. 

With these free courses, you will get access to all course content. You can follow along until you complete a course that you have chosen. But in the end, you won’t get any certificate of completion.

Specializations Are Not for Free

Specializations or course bundles at Coursera are not for free. You can choose to get them by purchasing individual courses or on a subscription basis. These paid courses come with assignments, feedback from the instructors, and completion certificates.

But aside from these, paying students are also given access to additional course materials like supplementary readings and bonus videos. If you find any difficulty in paying, you can apply for financial aid.

The costs of paid courses vary. If you want to see the prices, you have to log into their website. The prices will appear when you click the blue Enroll button on the left side of the Coursera course information page.

Coursera Plus, one of the company’s paid courses, will give you access to about 3,000+ courses and Specializations. You will be given a choice between a monthly and an annual subscription. Coursera also offers bachelor’s and master’s degree courses. They generally cost less than on-campus degrees.

How Coursera Pricing Works

At the start of its operation in 2012, Coursera only offered a few MOOCs (massive open online courses) for free. Now, their site is profit-driven. Coursera is now hosting about 3,000+ courses. More than 40 million students are enrolled in these courses.

You can get many courses at less than $100. At Coursera, you can also learn for free. But to get a certificate, you have to pay. You can either subscribe to a course series every month or pay it annually. To earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree, you have to pay from $15,000 to $40,000.

So, the Coursera pricing model works in this manner:

  • Take the courses for free if you’re not after the certificates
  • If you want to do assignments and get a certificate, you have to enroll in the paid course track.
  • If you want to get more comprehensive training online, subscribe to courses that are longer in duration. This is also true with bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Advantages of Paid Courses Over Free Courses at Coursera

coursera fee

Although you can learn a certain course for free at Coursera, there are certain perks you can get if you will choose the paid option. Here are some things you need to consider between the free and the paid option:

1. Motivation

You are better motivated if you are paying for something instead of just getting it for free. Many students find it hard to sustain their interest and complete a free online course. But if they pay for the course, more than likely, they will make sure that they get the value of their money.

2. More Content

It is but natural that free courses have limited content. If you want the full content of a subject, you need to pay for it. In addition, you get bonuses like videos and supplemental readings.

3. Graded Assignments

With free lessons, you are practically on your own. There’s no one gauging your progress. You are the only one doing the whole work. With paid lessons, you are given assignments that the instructor grades. That is valuable feedback that all students need to gauge their progress about a certain subject.

4. Certificates

Upon completion of the course, you don’t get any certificate if you get it for free. You won’t be able to show any proof that you know the course. That won’t help you in getting a job. With a paid course, Coursera will give you a certificate of completion.

It will be a certificate from the university partner of Coursera, where the course is based, such as Johns Hopkins University, Penn University, or Duke University. You can then present this certificate to a future employer showing that you are adequately qualified for the job you are applying for.

If you want to try Coursera first, then get the free course at the start. Once you are convinced of their value, you can upgrade to a paid course.

Costs of Individual Courses at Coursera

Coursera offers interested students more than 3,000+ courses. Many of these courses are for free, while some series bundles called Specializations are only accessible to paying students.

Coursera offers many individual courses that are stand-alone. They are not a part of a Specialization series of courses. These stand-alone courses are offered for a one-time fee. Most of these courses cost around $30 to $100.

One of the most popular stand-alone courses is the Machine Learning course from Stanford University. The cost of this course is $80. A less technical course, a Sociology class from Amsterdam University, is priced less, at $40.

As you can see, course prices at Coursera depend on the course content and not the course quality. This Coursera pricing strategy was agreed upon by Coursera with its university partners. If you want to get more pricing information about their courses, you have to visit their official website.

Cost of Coursera Specializations or Subscription Plans

The Coursera Specializations are a collection of around 3 to 10 courses focused on the same topic. For instance, the “Applied Data Science with Python” series of courses organized by the University of Michigan is broken down into the following 4 courses:

  1. Introduction to Python Data Science
  2. Python Applied Plotting, Charting, and Data Representation
  3. Python Applied Machine Learning
  4. Phyton Applied Text Mining

Specialization courses at Coursera are available through subscriptions. That means you need to pay for these courses monthly. Monthly payments can range from $39 to $79 a month. Most of these courses are offered with a 7-day trial period. You can cancel anytime during this period. If you don’t, you will get a monthly bill from Coursera.

You can also try an online class that is part of a Specialization course. But you need to subscribe to the whole Specialization. Then cancel your subscription as soon as you have completed that individual course.

You can first try the Specializations for free. Within a Specialization course, you can get an individual course for free if you choose the ‘Audit’ option. Then you can test the Specialization before committing yourself to the paid subscription.

Other Courses Offered by Coursera

coursera pricing

Aside from the individual and Specialization courses, Coursera also offers college and master’s degree courses and special courses for business organizations:

University Degrees and Professional Certificates

With Coursera, you can also get a University Degree and a Professional Certificate for a certain course of study. These courses are similar to Specializations. With this option, you will be able to get an accredited university degree.

These courses start from $15,000 and may get to $40,000 depending on the nature of the course. On average, the costs of these online degree courses are considerably less than the amount of getting a standard college or master’s degree.

Rates for Business Organizations

Coursera also offers special rates to companies that want to give further education and training to their employees. They are giving it at team rates. These rates start at approximately $400 per user per year for small businesses. Bigger companies can negotiate their rates with Coursera according to their business plans.

Coursera Cost Variations

In the past, Coursera was guilty of experimenting with its course pricing a lot of times. Students in different countries may see different prices for the same courses, notwithstanding the differences in currency values.

With Coursera, pricing can be dynamic, even for individual users and countries. Prices can change according to the algorithm being used by Coursera. Coursera fee changes are not as frequent as the price changes of other online educational platforms like Udemy.

There are third-party websites that say they are offering coupons and discounts for Coursera courses. You are advised to check these sites if they are legitimate before giving them your money. Coursera does not authorize the majority of them to offer these coupons or discounts.

Coursera Financial Aid

If you don’t have the money but need the education, you can apply for financial aid from Coursera. You need to fill up an application form and describe your specific situation and why you cannot afford the course fee at this time.

Some people are saying that Coursera can be quite generous in extending scholarships to deserving students. For instance, if you are a college student from a third-world country who needs to study a subject related to your future career, Coursera may likely consider your request.

Refunds from Coursera

Coursera also entertains user refunds with certain conditions. It is possible to get a refund of your payment within two weeks of your payment. When two weeks have passed after your payment, they will deny your refund request. This arrangement is true with individual and Specialization courses. You can also cancel your subscription at any time.

Conclusion: Coursera Cost

Coursera offers its courses on a subscription basis or for individual purchases. The prices for many of their specialization courses range from $39 to $79 per month. Most of their specializations are offered with a 7-day free trial. If you do not cancel your subscription within the trial period, the company will bill you.

Choosing the paid option will give you the perks below:

  1. Motivation
  2. More Content
  3. Graded Assignments
  4. Certificates