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Udacity Continues with Nanodegree Pricing Tweaks

Udacity’s new pricing model is a combination of upfront payment and monthly subscriptions.

Udacity Cloud Devops Nanodegree pricing page screenshot

When Udacity originally announced Nanodegrees, they had a monthly subscription price of $200/month. Over time Udacity announced programs such as a 50% tuition refund if students finished the course within a year and a job guarantee program. Eventually, these programs were shut down.

Then under CEO Vishal Makhijani, who took over from Sebastian Thrun in 2016, the pricing changed to an upfront payment model. Under this model, students paid Udacity a fixed price and got access to the Nanodegree for a fixed amount of time.

In May, Class Central wrote about how Udacity went back to subscription-based pricing, effectively doubling the price of its Nanodegrees. Nanodegrees would now cost $400/month, but also include one-on-one mentorships and career coaching.

Now Udacity’s latest model is a mix of both. Students pay an upfront fee for a limited time access and after that it switches to a subscription of $400/month if needed.

Each of Udacity’s currently available 41 Nanodegrees show an estimated amount of time it will take to finish, which determines the upfront cost. Here is how much it costs:

  • $2154 – 6 month access
  • $1795 – 5 month access
  • $1436 – 4 month access
  • $1077 – 3 month access
  • $718 – 2 month access

33 out of the 41 Nanodegrees are either 3 or 4 months long. You can see the list of all Udacity Nanodegrees and their pricing in Class Central’s Nanodegree Pricing Chart.

Here is a brief history of Nanodegree pricing, as documented through Class Central articles:

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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 1

  1. Alex K

    “Each of Udacity’s currently available 41 Nanodegrees show an estimated amount of time it will take to finish, which determines the upfront cost.”

    In my experience as a past Nanodegree graduate these time-to-completion “estimates” that Udacity promotes are highly questionable. They have a clear incentive to minimize the time-to-completion with this pricing model so that potential customers anchor the baseline in the brains before deciding whether to proceed with a purchase. The price quotes based on time are highly subjective and depend on the daily /weekly amount of hours one can dedicate to the coursework along with the skillset one brings with them. Udacity used to quote 10-15 hours per week as the stated time expectation but this can be grossly underestimated. They also don’t reveal their method for calculating these time bounds and how it affects the baseline pricing.
    Expect to pay the $400 monthly fee(s) on most degrees after you’ve made the initial upfront investment. It’s very near baiting the customer with phantom pricing as a tactic here.


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