7 votes

Open-Source Free College?

I think this country is in the state it is in because of education. If people are educated liberal, guess what, they become liberal. If education was libertarian, more people would be libertarian. We need schools that don't falsely preach the benevolence of socialism, etc.

Here are the issues I see that we could address:

Educational costs are high because of staffing needs. If we had an entirely online college that had automated courses, we could reduce staffing overhead. Open-source software could reduce the cost of software and could be refined by students in programming classes. In fact, entire courses could be developed by these same students, expanding the reaches of our knowledge.

College Textbooks. Wikipedia is developing wikibooks. Along those lines we can develop books as a result of student understanding. The books are refined every year so education stays current. The books themselves are only available as e-books so as to avoid publishing costs, etc.

Cost of physical location. Since we wouldn't need a large campus hosting thousands of students, physical presence demands are much lower, creating an opportunity to be competitive.

Accreditation. This is perhaps the biggest issue. People don't want to go to your school unless your accredited and you can't get accredited unless you have students. This can be addressed by expanding the reach to nations that are in greater need of educated citizens but are less worried about accreditation, formal degrees, etc. I even think that this college should reach down into primary education to make school available to nations where education is nearly non-existent.

Since these costs can be addressed, tuition rates can be controlled to a greater degree. In fact, if it can be supported entirely by donation, fundraising, contributions from former students to their alma mater. If we can't make it entirely free, we should at least try to help those who wish to attend but can't afford it. That would be in keeping with the spirit of Ron Paul since he didn't take money from those who couldn't afford it. We should strive to keep the same level of charity. Also, we should refuse to take any government money. No pell grants or any other grants of any kind coming from a state or federal entity. Perhaps we can offer private student loans if needed that are competitive and dependent on grades. However, in a perfect world, tuition would be free.

I think if we could reach the level of free, we can bring higher education on our terms to a greater percentage of the population. The overpriced state universities would lose students to us as their costs go up and our prestige goes up.

There is open source software out there, we just need to automate as much of the process as possible.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

some of that 'free' education is worth exactly what you pay...

or less! I watched a promo for one set of 'free' courses and believe me, it is not the answer. Take a good long hard look at who is funding them and you will 'get it'.

If it doesn't come with a

If it doesn't come with a degree or at least a certificate, then it isn't going to help much. I didn't start this thread to discuss simply expanding one's knowledgebase, I watch youtube videos on how to do things for stuff like that. I'm talking about an actual degree program that may some day be accredited and where students themselves become sought after candidates for real jobs and careers.

Can I get an Associate's or a Bachelor's from any of the links that people here posted? If the answer is no, then it isn't really a solution.


Coursera, Udacity, EdX, Khan Academy

Free Ivy League courses where you test on the material and everything.




And as someone else stated, Khan Academy is amazing.

I am taking an free MIT course through EdX.

It's great. There are only a half a dozen offered but they just started.



Jack Wagner


thanks for posting.

I totally agree.

I fully endorse this philosophy and abide by it. Perhaps it takes a certain type of person to operate outside of the box but I find that many are showing up all around us. I am almost fully self-taught by my own various methods and experiences. There are so many useful tools available today that I feel the majority of college goers are wasting their resources. In the near future I may propose a streamlined system for a small group of interested individuals to experience my philosophy of knowledge acquisition and strategy for full life enjoyment.

It sickens me to see people following conventional customs and sinking themselves with the debt of college before achieving the capacity to organize what they are up against in life.

This is an aspect of education and living in general that will soon rapidly change.

DJP333's picture

Learn almost anything for free


There is hope for high quality and free education.

"It’s not pessimistic, brother, because this is the blues. We are blues people. The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark. That’s different." ~CW




we are getting there

The curriculum isnt exactly open source, but it is high quality and free. Check out coursera.com

I'm currently enrolled in three classes. This idea should be expanded upon for sure.

- Grow Mushrooms at Home

reedr3v's picture

This is being done; check out the work of

Tragedy and Hope, PeaceRevolution.org, The Ultimate History Lesson, Mises Institute, Liberty Classroom, Laissez Faire book club, School Sucks podcast, Khan Academy, and many others you'll find links to.

I believe that MIT and at

I believe that MIT and at least a few other schools are already allowing people to view some of their classes for free online.


There's no reason

There's no reason people should have to take on a lifetime's worth of debt just to get an education, except that this serves the interests of the elites. Their kid's and grandkid's will be able to afford it no problem. We are creating a permanent ruling class and what they are doing is called "kicking away the ladder" so that no one else can climb it.


Norman Dodd and John Taylor Gatto.

Luke 3:38
Isaiah 43:3-5