Who We Are
Since 2009, AcademicEarth.org has served as a comprehensive resource for free online courses from accredited colleges and universities. In recent years, we've expanded our site to include rankings and recommendations for online degrees in a range of academic subjects. We strive to provide free, informative content students can use when choosing schools to attend or free online courses to take.
We have always held editorial independence and transparency as our highest priorities. Our contributors produce unbiased, data-driven content to best assist future and current students. Thanks to our writers and expert fact-finders, AcademicEarth.org can help readers find the most suitable courses or programs based on factors such as personal finances, career goals, and geographic location.
How We Make Money
To sustain this site, AcademicEarth.org earns money from certain colleges and universities in exchange for student referrals. We may receive compensation whenever a site visitor uses our program-search tool or interacts with paid advertisements on our site.
We take extra measures to ensure readers don't confuse advertisements with unbiased editorial content. Every advertisement is labeled as an "ad" or "advertisement disclosure." Furthermore, our advertising agreements with schools never influence our guides. The colleges and universities listed in our rankings and recommendations are based on objective research and thorough evaluation. You never need to worry about us including schools because we have an advertising agreement with them.
How We Maintain Editorial Independence
AcademicEarth.org contributors evaluate online course providers and schools using a comprehensive evaluation system that takes dozens of factors into account. These factors include course accessibility and delivery, content, faculty reputation, and student outcomes. After completing our assessments, each school or course provider receives an aggregate score that determines how it ranks against others. This ensures bias-free content across the entire site.
Our writers and fact-finders also carefully vet sources and only use objective reference material. Some of our most common sources include the National Center for Education Statistics, the Common Data Set Initiative, and Peterson's. Some guides may also include original content from online surveys or expert interviews. In addition to strict standards for sources, our writers, editors, and fact-finders all abide by the following editorial guidelines:
- We never list a school or course provider in a ranking based on our advertising relationship with that institution.
- Additionally, schools never receive preferential treatment. Every college and university featured in our rankings has earned its place based on aggregate scores from our proprietary evaluation methodology.
- We recognize the importance of maintaining accurate, current content to foster transparency and editorial independence. For this reason, we continually assess our editorial content for bias, errors, and outdated information.
- For added transparency, we pledge that every college and university listed in our rankings is fully accredited at the national or regional level.
To learn more about AcademicEarth.org and the services we provide, please visit our FAQ page.