It’s free to sign up for these 17 courses from top Illinois universities

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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Students study with their laptop computers in the Pedagogical Library at the Freie Universitaet university on September 20, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Whether you’re still in school or already well into your career, it’s never too late to learn. And learning at a college level doesn’t require you to incur debt that will take decades to pay off either. Plenty of courses are available for free online, including many from top Illinois schools like the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern.

Some of these courses are completely free, even including the course material and tests to check your progress, while others are only available for auditing, with all the reading but no coursework involved. Finally, a few offer free trials that let you try out the course before paying.

Whether you’re looking to expand your horizons or increase your earning potential, here are 17 courses that are accepting signups right now:

Learn the facts behind hot-button topics

Critical Issues in Urban Education (Free course, University of Chicago)

Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change (Free course, University of Chicago)


Meet the world and the people in it

Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History (Free course, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Global Impact: Cultural Psychology (Free trial, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Become a master of finance

Federal Taxation I: Individuals, Employees, and Sole Proprietors (Free course audit, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Asset pricing (Free course, University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

Formal Financial Accounting (Free course audit, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Get schooled in the arts of the hustle & sales

Entrepreneurship I: Principles and Concepts (Free trial, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Global Impact: Business Ethics (Free trial, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Marketing in an Analog World (Free trial, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Sales Strategies: Mastering the Selling Process ( Free course audit, University of Chicago)

Leadership Through Marketing (Free trial, Northwestern University)

What is Social? (Free trial, Northwestern University)


Let science blow your mind

Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life (Free course, University of Chicago)

Introduction to Reproduction (Free course, Northwestern University)


Pick up a new skill

Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing (Free course, Northwestern University)


Encounter history beyond “Throwback Thursday”

Luther and the West (Free course, Northwestern University)


Many more newly-posted courses are listed on Quartz

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