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Coursera Announces New Fee Structure to Support Growth of Online Degrees

New structure supports universities pursuing greater scale and impact with online degrees

Today, Coursera (NYSE: COUR), one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, announced a new fee structure to support universities planning to scale online degree offerings. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Colorado Boulder are among the first to embrace the new structure.

Coursera has served universities with one of the lowest service fees for online degree programs. With the new tiered structure, the service fee will progressively reduce from 40% to 25% of total tuition as universities grow their programs on Coursera. Universities will continue to benefit from Coursera’s global audience of 87 million learners, support for reusable content and stackable credentials, scaled teaching and grading, and hands-on learning with Coursera Labs.

“The pandemic has fundamentally changed how universities are thinking about online degrees. Students want the flexibility to learn online, and universities are scaling online degree programs to meet that demand,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “Our new fee structure better supports universities that want to offer more degrees online.”

Coursera has already seen an increased demand for affordable, online degrees. The number of degrees universities offer on Coursera has grown by 55% and now reach 81% more students than they did a year ago, as of June 30, 2021.

“Many of our university partners have asked us how they can rapidly expand their online degree programs and serve more students around the world,” said Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer at Coursera. “We are pleased to offer a structure that responds to our partners’ needs as they grow their programs and impact with Coursera.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which offers four degrees on the platform that have reached 12,000 students across 90 countries, welcomed the move.

“This move to a tiered structure will provide us with additional flexibility and enable us to better serve our students. This is especially important now because, as more universities unveil online offerings, their needs and goals are more unique than ever. We and Coursera are both innovative in how we scale education while maintaining high quality, and Coursera has been an excellent partner in our effort to serve a larger population of learners who seek a quality, affordable business education,” said Jeffrey Brown, dean of Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The University of Colorado Boulder currently offers two performance-based degrees on the Coursera platform.

“We at CU Boulder are excited about Coursera's new structure, which we believe will help us reach more students by making flexible degree and certificate programs even more affordable. This latest move from Coursera will enable CU Boulder to deliver the high-quality online programs we're known for to students who are eager to learn online through self-paced degree programs. We hope this news will encourage CU Boulder's schools and colleges to continue to invest in these high-quality, flexible programs for many years to come,” said Robert H. McDonald, senior vice provost for Online and Extended Education and dean of the University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The new structure will first roll out in North America and Europe, followed by a similar model for emerging markets.

To learn more about how universities can partner with Coursera to create degrees, visit, or see the full catalog of degrees on Coursera at

About Coursera

Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 87 million registered learners as of June 30, 2021. Coursera partners with over 200 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including Guided Projects, courses, Specializations, certificates, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in many high-demand fields, including data science, technology, and business.

For more information, visit


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