How to Get Free Certificates on Coursera (Financial Aid)

One of the best Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers in the world—Coursera—no longer offers free Certificates of Accomplishment. Students who wish to earn Course Certificates after they complete and pass a course have to pay for it.

But:

There’s an option to apply for financial aid on Coursera.

Financial aid allows learners who face significant economic hardship to accoursera financial aidhieve Course Certificates without spending a dime.

 

Financial aid eligibility

To qualify for Coursera’s financial aid, you must show that:

  • Paying the cost of the Course Certificate would lead to economic hardship
  • The Course Certificate would be of great value to your education or career
  • You’re committed to contributing positively to the course community
  • You’d uphold a high standard of academic integrity

Applying for financial aid on coursera.org

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to do so:

1). Login to your account on coursera.org

coursera homepage image

2). On your account dashboard, click on the “catalog” button.

coursera dashboard image

3). Select your course field and course or specialization respectively. Courses or specializations on Coursera are grouped into the following fields:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Math and Logic
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Social Sciences

coursera course catalog image

4). For courses: follow the links in the course site to purchase a Course Certificate [Otherwise, move to step 5].

5). For new platform Specializations, choose the “Pay-By-Course” option.

Note: You’ll need to do this for each course you want to enrol to.

coursera financial aid application step image

6). Click on the financial aid button on the final payment screen

Note: The financial aid link is at the bottom of the page, and it’s not bright. So you can use the “find” feature in your browser to look for it.

7). Complete the financial aid form with the necessary information and submit.

You’d receive a confirmation email respectively.

Illustration

Course chosen: “Inspirational Leadership: Leading with sense”—a specialization course under Leadership and Management (Business).

I clicked on the enrol button.

Leadership with a sense Coursera specialization course image

A pop-up page came up with an option asking if I wanted to pay for the whole specialization or just for a course. I selected the “pay-by-course” option.

coursera financial aid application step 1 image

I was directed to a page requesting my mode of payment (credit card or Paypal).

Below that page—at the right side was the “Apply for Financial Aid” link. I clicked on it.

coursera financial aid application step 2 image

I was directed to the financial aid page where I was asked the following questions:

  • What is your annual income in USD?
  • Which country are you currently located in?
  • Please tell us why you are taking this course. What is your interest in this field? How would a Verified Certificate be valuable to you? (50-300 words)
  • When participating in this course, how do you intend to demonstrate academic integrity and contribute to the course’s community? (50-300 words)

coursera financial aid application step 3 image

coursera financial aid application step 4 image

coursera financial aid application step 5b image

I completed the form and clicked the submit button.

coursera financial aid application step 6 image

I received a confirmation email confirming I had signed-up for the course via Signature Track.

coursera financial aid confirmation email image

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Giovanni Olakunori

Giovanni Olakunori goal when he started Larnedu over 4 years ago was to make education accessible to everyone irrespective of their qualification, location or resources. His content and tools on Larnedu served over 200,000 unique visitors from over 100 countries in 2016 alone.

His goal is to inspire people to think for themselves and to evolve to a better version of themselves. He’s very passionate about lifting weights (natural bodybuilding), ecommerce, cryptocurrencies, agriculture, exploring new ideas, meditation, reading and experiencing different cultures.

Giovanni is currently pursuing an MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering and Management at the University of Edinburgh which is his second university.

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12 Responses

  1. Siddharth says:

    Hii Giovanni! I am Siddharth from India. Can u plz tell me that am I eligible for this aid or not? I got 66% and 71% in class 10th and 12th respectively. I am doing Bachelor in Business Administration (first year). Me and my father is newspaper hawker and unable to pay the fee of coursera. As per you, did u think that I will get financial aid. If not, what do I do? Plz help me!

    • Giovanni O.C Olakunori says:

      Hi Siddharth,

      Sorry for the late reply. Yes you are. It’s not that hard to get once you give sufficient information : )

      Wishing you all the best!

      Regards,
      Giovanni.

  2. Amit says:

    Thanks, Giovanni. I’d heard that Coursera provides financial aid but didn’t know the process. This helped 🙂

  3. Vivian V. says:

    Is there a way to apply for financial aid after enrolled in a course or after completed the course?

    • Giovanni says:

      Hi Vivian. I don’t think there’s an available option to apply for financial aid after you’ve already enrolled and paid for the course. I’d advise you contact Coursera’s support. Regards.

  4. obi says:

    thanks a lot giovanni, i really apriciate, it really helpful. all the best from Indonesia

  5. Aditya says:

    What should I write in the Third write-up required for Financial Aid “When participating in this course, how do you intend to demonstrate academic integrity and contribute to the course’s community? (50-300 words)”.

    • Giovanni says:

      Well, you can say something like–I’d always participate in forum discussions. I’d obey the rules of the community and course. I’d make sure I finish my assignments and meet deadlines. I’d try my best to achieve high grades.Etc.

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