#31 Bonus:  edX and Coursera Graduate Credit & Master’s Degrees

Special transfer

I promised you 30 sources of college credit for your high school
student, but I can’t leave this chapter without giving you a little
“extra” bonus source that I just love- edX MicroMasters Certificates!
If you can imagine the ultimate meritocracy, which is to
say that anyone who can learn something is allowed to do so with
gusto. . . . this is it! Graduate level, by definition, is learning that
starts at level 500. You’ll remember that a bachelor’s degree encompasses
levels 100–400, so the 500+ level learning typically is only
available to those who hold a bachelor’s degree, have met college
admissions requirements, and have signed up to earn a full degree.
In short, it’s very hard for the Average Joe to find a graduate course
for personal interest. MOOCs, however, have no admissions

I’m sure you think I’ve lost my mind suggesting that a high school
student might want to take a graduate level course. If your teen is
exceptionally driven and has a strong mastery of a subject (Cybersecurity,
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, etc.), you
can use these courses in your high school to enrich and challenge
your student. The graduate courses are free, so there’s no cost to try!
Graduate level MOOCs by themselves didn’t generate college credit
until last year. Enter: MicroMasters Certificate.
The MicroMasters Certificate is a selected set of courses (about
5) that you can “upgrade” by paying a fee to convert your MOOC
into a “verified” certificate. The verification includes the use of
proctored exams, but it’s otherwise identical to the free MOOC.

We’ll use the MIT MicroMaster’s Certificate in Supply Chain Management
as an example. To participate, you upgrade all 5 of your
MIT courses to the “verified” option for $1000 (2018 price). Upon
successful completion of all 5 courses, you’ll receive a “MicroMasters
Certificate” from MIT in Supply Chain Management. At that
phase, you can either exit the program with your certificate (which
is what you would do if you’re still in high school or haven’t finished
a bachelor’s degree) or apply for admissions at MIT and use your
MicroMaster’s Certificate toward their Supply Chain Management
degree. The MIT degree is a 2-semester on-campus program. By
using this blended learning program students with the certificate
receive advanced standing and only have to complete one semester
on campus (at regular tuition).
To really appreciate the cost savings, a regular MIT Supply Chain
Management student will pay $103,000 for the full degree (2018–
2019 tuition) whereas a student who uses the edX program ($1000)
will pay exactly 50% of that cost. At the time of this writing, MIT
announced that they were scouting additional colleges to recognize
the MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management, so by the time
you’re reading this, there may be a handful of other colleges that
would accept this certificate for graduate credit.

In closing, I want to draw your attention to “extreme resourcefulness”
in an opportunity like this. Your teen can earn half a master’s
degree while they meet the requirements of their undergraduate
degree. Currently, edX has partnered with universities to offer 48
MicroMaster’s Certificate programs. Since Coursera is also aggressively
launching their own catalog of Master’s degrees this year
(2018–2019), it won’t be long before a student can go from Kindergarten
to Master’s degree in homeschool.  Stay tuned!