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Ivy League and MOOC Perception

BlindwheelBlindwheel Posts: 4 College Search & Selection Champion
edited May 2013 in Harvard University
How do colleges view a student that has successfully taken a dozen or so classes on sites like Coursera, Edx, and Udacity?

I've been taking courses out of pure interest (most of them are computer science), and was curious as to how competitive universities would react to them on a CV.

I doubt I'd receive college credit for them given it is distance education and they don't assign a formal transcript with your grades (just a certificate of completion), but I was wondering if it would help my applications at all... Or should I assume the impact is essentially negligible?
Post edited by Blindwheel on

Replies to: Ivy League and MOOC Perception

  • JHSJHS Posts: 36
    edited May 2013
    I am just guessing, but I think a dozen completed on-line courses in one area would garner some attention. People won't be stunned with admiration or anything, but they will notice that commitment to personal education, and be interested in it.

    It's a huge time commitment. What have you given up to do that, was it a good tradeoff? Did you really learn new stuff with each course, or did you take courses just to notch your belt with another course taken? A dozen courses is pretty close to a college major -- do you have the sophistication of someone with a BA (at least) in CS? Have you translated that into doing things, things that you can point to as confirming both your dedication to CS and the efficacy of the courses you have taken? If you are effectively at the level of a college graduate in CS -- and the tech industry is probably the one where a bachelor's degree is least important -- what is it that you want to get out of college?

    If your application implicitly provides good answers to all those questions -- answers that are obvious to any reader of the application -- then the huge commitment to MOOCs could be a meaningful plus. Without good answers to those questions, no.
  • circuitridercircuitrider Posts: 14 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    I think this raises a good point, which is at what point will MOOCs be just as well received as a 4 on an AP test? My guess is that we're not far from that now.
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