Photo: Tim Mossholder
Pennsylvania tuition costs 30.27% more than the national average cost of attendance at a public 4-year institution. Photo: Tim Mossholder

Learn how you can get a more affordable education

Can’t afford college credits? No worries Coursera, Sophia Learning, and Portage Learning are here to help.


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College tuition continues to rise, making it difficult for many to afford an education. According to Education Data, college tuition in “Pennsylvania costs 30.27% more than the national average cost of attendance at a public 4-year institution. The private university costs 23.57% more, and local community colleges are 65.89% more expensive than they are nationwide.”

Students are under the impression that in order to finance a higher education degree they must be in-debt by taking out loans. However, many forget that awards, scholarships, and even online learning platforms like Coursera, Sophia Learning, and Portage Learning exist.

So, how can a course provider like Coursera, Sophia Learning, and Portage Learning help you? Simple, by providing quality education at a more affordable, tangible, and self-paced.

Let’s go in more depth to what each of these platforms can mean to your collegiate and professional endeavors.


Coursera is a U.S. based online course provider, that works with universities and other organizations to offer online courses, certifications, and degrees in varies subjects.

If you are seeking promotion or career change or need a particular course, Coursera is the place for you.

Coursera’s website is easy to navigate and find  professional certificates like Meta Front-End Developer, Meta Back-End Developer, Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce, Intuit Bookkeeping, and many more. You can be paying as little as $39 a month (membership fee) instead of paying for a particular course.

Also, Coursera offers free courses like Intro to Psychology from Yale University, Writing in the Sciences from Stanford University, Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills from the University of Michigan; and even language courses are available like First Step Korean from Yonsei University or Chinese for Beginners from Peking University, and so many more. The amount of free courses are endless.

Coursera offers a comprehensive catalog of free courses to meet every learners’ needs. You will be able to find a professional certificate if you are trying to attain a promotion, change careers, or want to learn a new set of skills.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, Coursera offers online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and postgraduate studies are also available.

Coursera is partnered with many colleges, universities, and organizations from around the world.

Degrees by category offered by Coursera

  1. Online MBA and Business Degrees: 19 degree programs available
  2. Data Science Degrees: 8 degree programs available
  3. Top European Universities: 9 degree programs available
  4. Data Analytics Degrees: 5 degree programs available.
  5. Computer Science and Engineering Degrees: 7 degree programs available
  6. Public Health Degrees: 4 degree programs available
  7. Management Degrees: 9 degree programs available
  8. Social Sciences Degrees: 2 degree programs Available

The degree programs offered by Coursera have clear tuition and financing stipulations. However, Coursera offers affordable online degrees and ways for financing your higher education; including scholarships.

Sophia Learning

Sophia Learning offers affordable online courses that accredited colleges and universities may accept as transfer credits towards your degree.

Before signing-up for courses, check with your college or university to see if the credit will transfer.

The way Sophia Learning works is by offering college-level courses for a monthly fee of $99. The fee varies depending promotional period for less, but usually the amount is $99.  You may take as many courses as you want for only $99/ month, up to two courses at a time. Which means you need to complete two courses first, and then continue to register for other courses.

The average college class costs $1,677 at a traditional college or university and you will only be paying $99 with Sophia Learning.

For list of courses go here.

Sophia Learning has a Transfer credits section that lists all the colleges and universities that accept the credits offered by them, as well as the equivalency. For example, Sophia Learning has Conflict Resolution course and SNHU course equivalent is COM-ELE (Communication Elective). It is important to understand the equivalency of each credit you will be taking.

Portage Learning

Portage Learning provides students with college credit for their courses through Geneva College. Portage Learning provides a list of courses that you can take from $669-$892 each. If you are considering a career in healthcare and need to get some of those prerequisites done, Portage Learning might offer some of these courses at a cheaper price. Whether you want to pursue your first degree or need to complete co-requisites or prerequisites Portage Learning has you cover.

For more information on Geneva Portage courses click here.

Affording a higher education should not be burdensome but a great experience to thrive within your chosen field.

The resources do exist to help you achieve your higher education degree.



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