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Coursera Plus: Cousera’s Second Attempt at a Catalog Subscription

Coursera is testing an annual subscription that gives access to most of its catalog.

Coursera Plus offer

UPDATE: Coursera Plus has now officially launched. Read all about it here.

Two years ago, Class Central wrote about a  Coursera test where you could get access to the majority of their catalog for $49/month. Usually, individual Coursera Specializations cost between $39 and $79 a month.

Effectively, Coursera was drastically slashing its prices with this new model. For reasons unclear, the test was abandoned. But now, Coursera is back with another attempt at a single subscription price for the entire catalog: they call it Coursera Plus.

You can read Class Central‘s complete analysis of Coursera’s 2019 here.

What is Coursera Plus?

Coursera Plus in US and China

Instead of a monthly subscription like in previous tests, Coursera Plus is an annual subscription. It costs around $399-$499 (price might vary based on your geographic region). And it gives access to most of Coursera’s catalog. This pricing is very similar to Coursera for Business which costs $400/employee/year.

Coursera is still testing this feature and it’s not available to all learners, but they seem to be rapidly expanding the test. We discovered the feature last week when a couple of people from Class Central noticed it. It wasn’t available to all of us; but within a few days, more people had access to it. As Class Central’s team is spread around the world, we get to observe these tests from different regions.

Learners can still choose to subscribe to a single specialization and pay the monthly price. In my article about Coursera’s previous full-catalog subscription test, you can read my thoughts on how the new model could benefit students as well as present challenges for Coursera.

Coursera has a page that lists which organizations are part of Coursera Plus and which aren’t. At the time of writing, there were 24 organizations whose courses are not part of Coursera Plus. Most are companies, like AWS and IBM. But there are also some universities, like Stanford and Vanderbilt. Surprisingly, courses from Coursera co-founder and Stanford Professor Andrew Ng are excluded from the catalog — including those offered via his company deeplearning.ai and his popular Machine Learning course, which basically started Coursera.

If a course is part of Coursera Plus, it is marked with a badge. You can learn more about Coursera Plus here.

Coursera Plus vs FutureLearn Unlimited

FutureLearn pricing tiers: Free, Upgrade, and Unlimited.

Early this year, FutureLearn launched a similar subscription called FutureLearn Unlimited. Like Coursera Plus, you may still upgrade a single course, but you can also access the majority of FutureLearn’s catalog for $249/year. FutureLearn’s catalog is smaller than Coursera’s catalog. A unique feature of FutureLearn Unlimited is that once you finish a course, you get to keep access to the course materials even after your subscription ends.

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

Comments 5

  1. Peter Schrumm

    It seems the different prices for Coursera Plus ($400 vs. $500) depend on whether you ever bought a course or not: If you have bought a course, you seem to get punished (pay $500).

  2. Les

    A scam. Try to get a refund within 14 days. Good luck with that. No contact number or email and no chat tab.

    • Ashish Sehgal

      Les I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I had a different & enriching experience with Coursera; I got my refund in a matter of days. The experience was seamless and the customer care agent was very helpful! I had enrolled somewhere around probably Dec 19 or Jan 20 (I do not remember now). Maybe the delay in replying could be due to the Covid-19 situation (maybe insufficient staffing).

      • Graham

        If your experience was so enriching, why did you cancel it?

      • Sunita

        Hi Ashish ,

        Can yiu tell me about the subscription of course. Once I get enroll in any specialization do I need to pay at once or I have pay on monthly basis.


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