How to get Coursera Financial Aid in 2021? Top 5 Points You Should Know.
Yes, Coursera Financial aid is available for those who can’t afford the fee. Before we dissect that, let’s discuss what Coursera is and how you can benefit from it.
Gone are the days where you’d most definitely need a certificate from institutions to get a job. Earlier, you cannot even apply for a job without the completion certificates.
As the world progress, knowledge became open source. Anyone can learn it and practice it. This development is not universal, but the coding industry is easing its rules to accept talents without valid certificates as long as they can code.
In fact, many better coders are self-learners. They never attended a proper coding education but learned them on their own, accessing the digital education platforms.
The platform operates in this zone and does an excellent service of democratizing knowledge. If you’re already aware of what the platform does, you can skip straight to the Coursera financial aid segment.
Coursera, founded in 2012 by 2 Stanford University professors as a massive open online course provider, has been educating for almost a decade.
As of 2021, Coursera is in tie-up with more than 200 universities and offers north of 4000 courses. The platform has clocked over 73 million users worldwide, making it one of the most successful platforms.
The platform bridges the geographical gap between students and the universities and offers a scope to learn the industry-standard courses at a relatively low fee. It is 100% online. The attendees can take lessons from the comfort of their homes at a time they wish. It makes it a viable option for those who’re looking to learn in their leisure.
Don’t get me wrong. Coursera is not going to replace traditional brick-and-mortar education. It is utilized by those who wish to up-skill and up-scale.
In reality, there is a massive gap between what we learn and what is practiced in the job market. If you’re a working professional, you’d understand this aspect clearly.
What we’re taught in the classrooms is different from what the day-to-day work at companies goes. Yes, we need the basics. In the long term, classroom education is not going to help us. We should be open and prepared to update ourselves. If we’re stubborn about adapting to the changes, we’d be left behind.
Let me state this clearly. You’re not going to get preference from a prospective employer because you have a Coursera certificate, but it’ll take you to the door. It’ll get you opportunities that otherwise you may not get.
When the pandemic hit, it moved the businesses online, and the employees were expected to adjusting to the new normal.
It opened up new avenues for many. Because of the lockdown restriction, people started signing up for the courses to upskill their field knowledge.
Coursera is in collaboration with many industry-leading companies which offer their courses too on the platform. The instructors are not just professors but actual people working in the company. When you’re learning from them, you learn the practical insights too.
Earning required certificates would put you in front of others for promotion. It’ll give you more options to explore and exercise your learnings.
Is Coursera Free?
Now we’re getting to the pinnacle question. Is Coursera free?
No. It is not. But Coursera does offer few allowances. If you’re a student, you can get one free course per year and unlimited guided projects under the campus student plan. You’ll need a University email address to sign up for that. Unfortunately, many Universities and colleges in India don’t give such mail IDs.
There are two options for others to enroll in Coursera courses.
1) You can buy the individual program you want to enroll in. The single learning program could cost you between Rs.3649-5884/month ($49.07-79.12).
You’ll be able to access all the courses within the learning program and earn a certificate upon completion.
2) Coursera offers a premium plan called Coursera plus, which costs Rs.4394/month ($59.09).
You can access the 3000+ courses available on its platform, join multiple courses, and earn unlimited certificates. You’ll also have access to more than 15 professional certificate programs from the silicon-valley leaders’ Google, Facebook, and more.
If you wish to obtain Coursera plus annually, it’ll cost you Rs.29,718/year ($399.62)
Coursera Financial Aid
To those who can’t afford to pay the fee, they do offer Coursera financial aid.
Let us dissect what the requirement is and how you can get the Coursera financial aid in this segment.
The option isn’t universally available. If you’d like to get into the Coursera financial aid page, you’d have to select the particular course for which you want the aid.
Under the enroll button, you can see whether aid is available for the course or not. Click that link to get into the application page.
1) First, you’ve to agree to the terms, and when you select continue, it’ll open the application.
2) The financial aid application will ask a few standard questions such as your educational background, annual income, employment status, and how much you can afford to pay.
3) After that, you’ve to answer two questions in descriptive form. It should be a minimum of 150 words.
- Why are you applying for Financial aid?
- How will taking this course help you achieve your career goals?
4) Spend some time framing how you’re going to answer these questions. Write the first draft and go over it again. Answer the questions honestly and be precise about your views.
5) The application will also ask if you’d be willing to get a low-interest loan to pay for your course. If no, write a descriptive answer explaining why you wouldn’t be able to do that.
Before proceeding to discuss how to approach the applications, let’s clarify some common frequently asked questions.
1) Is there a limit to financial aid on Coursera?
The aid aims to give a chance to those who can’t afford to learn. Even though Coursera offers aid for most of its courses, it does have a limit. You cannot have more than 11 pending applications at a time. So strategize how you’re going to approach the courses and apply for aid. Don’t blindly apply to all of them at once.
2) How many days does Coursera take for financial aid?
The Coursera financial aid application would take 15 days to process your request. Further progress would be notified through email. So do check your email.
3) Does everyone get financial aid in Coursera?
As we discussed earlier, the aim is to offer a chance to the underprivileged and those who can’t get a quality education from their locality. Everyone is welcome to apply for aid. But Coursera decides whether your cause qualifies for the aid or not.
Coursera Financial Aid Answers
Another question that pops into the mind of those who search for Coursera financial aid is, what should I write in the application?
First, understand that this is not a ‘one size fit all’ scenario. You cannot copy paste someone else’s answer in your application. Coursera does cross-reference the application to prevent plagiarism. But more than that, it is unethical to exploit the platform that gives this option to those who genuinely need it.
1) Why are you applying for Financial aid?
- If you’re a student, you can point out that you don’t have a job and cannot afford to learn a premium course elsewhere.
- If you’re a working professional, clarify your revenue/salary, and why you cannot afford the course.
2) How will taking this course help you achieve your career goals?
- If you’re a college student who wants to learn the industry knowledge of your major or an employee looking to update themself about the subject, be open about it.
- Explain what your plan is and how you intend to utilize the course for your college/work. Draw a picture of how the course is relevant to you, what you miss from your traditional learnings and how it could improve your visibility and knowledge.
- Put yourself in the shoes of those who read your application. View it from a third person’s point of view. Ask yourself, ‘Would I approve this application?’
As we discussed earlier, be honest about your intentions. Don’t be dramatic about why you can’t afford Coursera courses. If you can, pay and learn. Don’t exploit the platform.
There is a common mistake student makes while applying for Coursera financial aid. They copy and paste the answers off the internet. It is not going to work. The platform reviews every application to determine whether you deserve it or not. So don’t make that mistake. Also, if you can afford it, don’t exploit the system. The aid could help a deserving one.