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Study Finds Elite Universities' Verified Certificate MOOCs a Smart Ed Buy at $49

New study released by MOOCs University (, publisher of the leading MOOCs provider directory (, finds the cost of getting a "Verified Certificate" credential from Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) by the world's lea

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Massively Open Online Courses ("MOOCs") are open free courses by some of the world's leading universities, organizations, and industry experts.  Majority of the University MOOCs are the same or very similar to courses being taught on the ground at their campuses and for much higher tuition prices. Most MOOCs offer a free Certificate of Completion for those who successfully complete the MOOC.


For students wanting to showcase their MOOC courses and achievements to employers, schools and others, a new optional type of paid "Verified Certificate" credential verifying the identity of the person who took and completed the MOOC is now available. 

The new Verified Certificate MOOCs will verify your identity through a variety of means that can include webcam, keystroke analysis, valid photo identification, and/or test centers.  Each MOOC provider can require different methods of identification in order to grant the Verified Certificate. Make sure to read the MOOC's requirements closely prior to enrolling in the course because most Verified Certificate fees must be paid at the beginning of the course and are not refundable. While most of these Verified Certificate MOOCs do not yet offer credit, some institutions may provide cost-savings incentives if you enroll in one of their related existing online degree programs.

The new Verified Certificate MOOCs are a critical step forward for the MOOC movement in continuing to attract larger global audiences as they create viable "affordable" credential value for the serious MOOC students.  They also represent a volume revenue opportunity and potential key piece of the sustainable business models of most MOOC providers. 

Some quick findings from the study include:

- Over 80% of the current Verified Certificate MOOCs are priced under $49.00

- The lowest priced Verified Certificate MOOC found was the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) MOOC: "Introduction to Statistics: Descriptive Statistics" at $25.

- Only three Verified Certificates were priced at $100 or greater, and these were MIT's $100 (Minimum) MIT: "The Analytics Edge"; MIT's $100 (Minimum) "Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics", and Futurelearn/University of Warwick £119 (Approx. $195) "The mind is flat: the shocking shallowness of human psychology."

- How are these Verified Certificate MOOCs priced? No "standard" Verified Certificate pricing equation was found to account for the different price points discovered, but the majority are priced at $49 with the $39 and $50 price-points ranking in second and third place.  Some of the factors that may have played a part in the pricing of these include: profile of MOOCs target audience (ie, educators, engineers, etc); MOOCs faculty team; MOOCs production costs; currency; University's social mission; University brand; level of MOOC content interest/availability, and MOOCthink (ie, charging what other similar universities are charging).

Verified Certificate MOOCs are available in many subjects, and the full list of the 100+ included in this study is available at, but below are some examples that showcase the diversity of the courses available: 

- $25 - University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley):  "Introduction to Statistics: Descriptive Statistics"

- $29 - Nanyang Technological University: "Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry"

- $39 - Berklee College of Music:  "Songwriting" Or "Introduction to Guitar" Or "Jazz Improvisation"

- $39 - John Hopkins School of Nursing:  "Care of Elders with Alzheimer's Disease and other Major Neurocognitive Disorders"

- $39 - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:  "What's Your Big Idea?"

- $39 - Northwestern University:  "Content Strategy for Professionals: Engaging Audiences for Your Organization"

- $49 - The Chinese University of Hong Kong:  "Information Theory"

- $49 - Duke University: "Introductory Human Physiology"

- $49 - University of Edinburgh: "Equine Nutrition"

- $49 - HEC Paris:  "Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You"

- $49 - Universiteit Leiden: "Terrorism and Counterterrorism - Comparing Theory and Practice"

- $49 - University of Maryland: "Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems"

- $49 - Wharton - University of Pennsylvania:  "An Introduction to Operations Management"

- $49 - Yale University: "Roman Architecture" Or "Constitutional Law"

- $50 - Australian National University (ANU):  "Engaging India"

- $50 -University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin):  "Effective Thinking Through Mathematics"

- $50 - MIT:  "Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?"

- $69 - University of California San Francisco:  "Poisonings in the Home and Community: Assessment and Emergency Response"

- $100 (Minimum) - MIT:  "The Analytics Edge"

Media Contact: Ana Boeckh, MOOCs University (, 443-850-8033, [email protected]

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SOURCE MOOCs University

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