Resources › For Students and Parents Earn College Credit by Taking Free Online Classes Share Flipboard Email Print David Ellis/Aurora/Getty Images For Students and Parents Distance Learning Free Courses Online College Online High School Online Public Schools Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Business School Law School View More By Jamie Littlefield Education Expert M.A., Education, Claremont Graduate University B.A., English, Brigham Young University Jamie Littlefield is a writer, instructional designer, and teacher of high school and college distance education courses. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and more. our editorial process Jamie Littlefield Updated February 23, 2019 It is possible to earn legitimate college credit by taking a free online class. The process isn’t always easy. But, if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops, you could complete a degree requirement by studying free online class materials. Here's how: Choose a College That Permits Credit for Experience In order for this to work, you need to be enrolled in a college that gives credit for some form of life experience. Ask your current college if they allow portfolio credit, independent study, or credit by exam. Alternatively, you could enroll in one of the big three flexible credit colleges. You may earn a regionally accredited degree from one of these programs, or you may transfer the credits you earn to a traditional college. Note that most colleges will still charge you a tuition fee for credit earned non-traditionally. Select a Free Online Class With a Counselor Talk to an academic adviser at your college to get help choosing a free online class. The counselor will help you select a class that fulfills your credit needs and help you understand what will be required to earn formal credit. Follow Program Guidelines to Create a Portfolio or Complete Exams Earning credit by taking a free online class will require you to submit portfolio work to your college, study alongside an instructor, or take a standardized exam to prove your learning. As you complete the free online class, stay on top of the requirements set by your college. Transfer the Credits to Your Regular College Once the free online class and additional college requirements are complete, you should be awarded a grade. If you are temporarily enrolled in one of the big three life experience colleges, you will need to transfer the earned credits to your traditional college.