College credit recommended for free online courses

Students may soon be able to receive college credit for the free online classes that are reshaping higher education.

The American Council on Education says it's recommending degree credit for five courses offered by Coursera, a company based in Palo Alto, Calif., that offers so-called massive open online courses.

The five courses include , calculus, bioelectricity, pre-calculus and introduction to genetics and evolution.

The courses themselves are free, but students will need to pay between $100 and $190 to receive credit for each class.

Colleges and universities use the American Council on Education's recommendations to determine whether to offer credit for nontraditional courses.

Over the past year, dozens of leading universities have begun offering free, online versions of their most popular courses. But so far, few institutions have offered degree for them.


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