Free Ivy League Education Online

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College students walking between classes on the campus grounds.

Free Ivy League Education Online: Completely Accessible

Want a free Ivy League education? Well, now you can find a free Ivy League education online through different avenues such as Coursera or MIT OpenCourseware (okay, MIT isn’t considered part of the Ivy League, but close enough). With these platforms, you can now study everything from complex analysis to data structures and algorithms to philosophy and western civilization.

The top universities in the world have finally caught on with the digital age as a top notch education is no longer as exclusive as it used to be. Many of the Ivy Leagues are moving toward online education (in terms of certificate programs, not degree programs) as another avenue to provide educational services. With all of these incredible resources to gain a free Ivy League education, it does make us question whether it’s worth even pursuing an Ivy League degree, for that matter.


Many of the Ivy Leagues have online degree programs, which you can access in a multitude of ways:

  1. Harvard has famously launched HBSOnline, where you have can access courses such as HBX that offer online MBA courses, ranging from financial accounting to entrepreneurship. You can also earn a certificate from the programs.
  2. Stanford has online courses through Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), which offer courses in computer science, artificial intelligence, and linear systems to the public.
  3. Princeton has many courses including cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and advanced algorithms on Coursera.
  4. MIT OpenCourseWare offers an incredible number of resources in mathematics, computer science and engineering, both at an undergraduate and graduate degree level. Perhaps one of the most comprehensive resources out there, particularly in STEM fields.
  5. Yale has online courses for the public in comparative literature, economics and history within their internal website.
  6. University of Pennsylvania has several courses listed in Coursera from engineering to the humanities.
  7. Columbia has an online Video Network that records live lectures and you can even earn a financial engineering or applied mathematics graduate degree.

So a self-motivated and intellectually curious student will find the dispersion of knowledge through the Internet with online Ivy League programs. However, the caveat is that most of these programs only offer a certificate, not a full-fledged degree. Columbia Video Network is the only one that offers a graduate degree, while others offer certificates. So if you want that Ivy League degree, you still need to apply and fight for a spot with super low acceptance rates.

In the far future, we believe that most of the education provided will be online once the masses as well as these institutions of higher learning realize that the delivery of content is just as effective, if not more.

Students have the opportunity to replay videos and regurgitate content that they may otherwise have missed in a live lecture, for example. As these platforms become more advanced, certainly I think we’ll hit an inflection point (perhaps a hundred years from now) where online education may reach the prestige of these institutions.

More importantly, the level of exclusivity will slowly fade away, and it will be based more on merit (like your IQ or SAT score) than soft factors that determine whether you get in or not.

Children playing in the grass

After all, if education is the bedrock of our economy and future generations act as the guidepost that lead the productivity of our country, shouldn’t education be accessible by all? But when it comes to the institutions of higher learning, that most certainly isn’t the case.

In fact, the Ivy Leagues thrive on exclusivity and will continue for the next century to come as the demand for these degrees is at an all time high given the soaring number of applications and record-low acceptance rates.

At AdmissionSight, we help students from all around the world get a spot at one of these coveted institutions. We believe that the real value of an Ivy League education is not necessarily the education you gain (after all, you can gain an entire education online), but rather the signaling effect of these degrees that opens up doors of opportunities.

Let’s face it: the purpose of a watch is to tell the time. But people continue to buy Rolex every year that has spawned a billion dollar industry because it’s a luxury good.

An Ivy League degree, essentially, is in the luxury good market – and if you want to study with the best of the best, you’ll have to navigate the complex admissions process to get your foot in the door.

Until then, you can still get an Ivy League education online for free.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.