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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
Can You Get Financial Aid For EdX Courses

Can You Get edX Financial Aid For Courses?

Online learning has become incredibly popular in recent years, and there are a number of different platforms that are responsible for this growth in popularity. edX is one of them.

Ever since it was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX has become an incredibly popular e-learning platform, and that is mainly because of how accessible the courses on the platform are.

Harvard and MIT designed edX to be a platform for their research on e-learning. In return for volunteering to participate in this research, users of edX would get free access to the majority of the courses available on edX. So for both parties involved, the platform really was a win-win situation. 

However, there are some catches with edX, and one of the biggest catches is the fact that you have to pay for the certificates if you want to officially pass one course. These certificates are not cheap, so it is understandable that you might be wondering if you can get financial aid for edX courses. 

In this guide, we’re taking a look at exactly that as we explore whether, or not, you can get edX financial aid courses. Read on to find out more. 

  • Diverse courses
  • Flexible access
  • Certificates/degrees
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Do You Have To Pay For edX Courses?

First things first, let’s take a look at whether, or not, you have to pay for edX courses and what is the eligibility criteria. This is a bit of a blurred area when it comes to edX as this platform is well-known for the free courses it offers. However, in reality, the courses aren’t actually free. 

The majority of courses on edX can be accessed by users free of charge. However, as we said earlier, the courses aren’t totally free. While you do not have to spend any cash in order to access the verified course material, you do need to give the platform permission to access your data.

This is because edX was actually set up as a research project by Harvard and MIT. So, free courses were provided to users in return for participating in the research study. 

Generally, the data accessed by edX will not cost you anything. The study that this platform was created for was not designed to look into personal details, instead, it was designed to explore how users interacted with the free materials on the website.

So, simply giving the site permission to access this data isn’t really going to inconvenience you. 

The other area where edX stops being free is that you can only access the new course materials for free. So, if you want to become certified in the course and have official proof of the qualification, you must pay edX a fee.

It is this fee that a lot of people require financial aid for as the fees associated with these certifications can be quite pricey. With that in mind, let’s take a look at if you can get financial aid for edX courses. 

Can You Get Financial Aid For edX Courses?

Can You Get Financial Aid For edX Courses

Now that we’ve established that you do have to pay for some edX courses, let’s take a look at whether, or not, you can get financial aid for edX courses. 

Well, if you need financial aid to pay for your edX course certificates, then you will be pleased to know that this is something you can access.

As we said earlier, edX as a platform was set up for those who cannot afford traditional courses and aimed to make education accessible, so it makes sense that they do offer financial aid. 

Financial aid offered by edX comes in the form of a discount. You can get unlimited access to the courses free of charge by using a coupon code, but if you want to become certified in the courses, you will need to pay a fee.

However, in some circumstances, edX will offer up to a 90% discount for those who cannot afford to pay full price for the certification

There are a handful of courses that you will not be able to get edX financial aid on, likewise, there are some courses that you will not be able to access without paying a fee. But, the majority of edX courses will be accessible to the majority due to the financial aid discount that edX offers. 

The edX financial aid package is accessible up to 5 times in a 12-month period. So, if you are struggling due to financial burden, the financial aid discount could benefit you across multiple different professional education courses. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how to apply for edX financial aid

  • Diverse courses
  • Flexible access
  • Certificates/degrees
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How Do I Apply For edX Financial Assistance?

If you need to apply for financial assistance with edX there is no need to feel daunted by the experience. Applying for financial aid with edX is really simple, and you will easily be able to do it all online. 

To begin with, you need to sign up for edX and enroll in your desired course. If you are applying for financial assistance on a single course, you only need to enroll in that course.

Remember to enroll as an “audit learner” when signing up, and then proceed to complete the financial assistance application. You will be given the prompt to do this immediately after enrolling for the course. 

As we said, you can receive financial aid on up to 5 courses within 12 months, so if you want to apply for financial aid across multiple courses then the process is slightly different.

Instead of being able to enroll and apply for them all at once, you will need to apply for aid on each course individually. It can be a little time-consuming, but it is totally worth it. 

Once you request financial aid, you will be sent a payment form that you need to complete and send back. In this form, you will need to state the course dropdown you are applying for, and the annual household income range, and provide 3 essay responses to the questions listed in the application form.

Don’t let yourself be too daunted by the essay responses, remember to be truthful and write in your own words at all times. 

After your application has been sent off, all that is left to do is wait to see what edX says. Waiting for the response to your application can be a tense time, but generally, you will hear back within 2–4 days with an answer about whether, or not, they will partially fund your course. 


In short, yes, you can get financial aid for edX courses. As well as being able to access the majority, of course, materials for free on edX, you will also be able to get financial aid when it comes to paying for the certificates. 

The entire program of the edX platform was designed to make education accessible to people, and the owners would not want people to miss out on being able to achieve their potential due to financial hardship.

That is why edX offers financial aid in the form of a discount to learners who cannot afford to pay the full fees. 

In this guide, we have explored what exactly the financial aid offered by edX is, and how to apply for this financial aid.

Thanks for reading!