The University of Illinois plans to offer seven free online classes this fall.
The university is teaming up with an online education company called Coursera. The Urbana-Champaign campus is joining schools such as Princeton, Stanford and the University of Michigan, who already have partnerships with Coursera.
Chancellor Phyllis Wise says the U of I is the only land-grant university on the list and that means Illinois has expertise in areas that other schools don't.
The courses beginning this fall will include organic chemistry and microeconomics. They won't count toward a degree.
Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng (eng) says the courses his company hosts are free, but universities may get some revenue from charging students $30 to $80 for a certificate showing they completed a course.