11 top-rated online college courses you can take for free

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Top Free Things on the Internet Everyone Should Be Taking

What's better than a top-rated, liberal arts college education?

Getting one for free, of course.

SEE ALSO: How much college students need to work to 'get by

Though it's impossible to go online and simply sign up for a full degree-eligible number of courses at one of these schools, some schools have made it possible to take one or two courses online completely free of charge.

Whether you're still in school, recently graduated or haven't opened a textbook in decades, the desire to learn more about the subjects that interest you doesn't always have to come at a steep price.

Maybe you've always been interested in social psychology, or had a desire to learn coding one day in the future.

With these (highly credible) and easy options available remotely and for free, it's time to stop putting off expanding your academic portfolio to some day in the future and start hitting the books today.

What have you got to lose?

Here are 11 online courses you can take for free, as gathered by The Muse:

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11 top liberal arts courses you can take for free
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11 top liberal arts courses you can take for free

Course: Property and Liability: An Introduction to Law and Economics
School: Wesleyan University
Length: 6 weeks
Description: "Think about the oldest and most familiar principles of American law, property and proportional liability, in a new and surprising way, and learn to apply economic reasoning to an especially important and interesting aspect of life."

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Course: Personal Finance, Part 1: Investing in Yourself
School: Wellesley College
Length: 7 weeks, 4-5 hours a week
Description: "This course, part 1 of 2, will teach you to think financially about investing in yourself and your future. We will discuss investments in education and jobs, from evaluating the costs and benefits of selecting a training program to analyzing salary and benefit packages."

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Course: Data Management and Visualization
School: Wesleyan University
Length: 4 weeks, 4-5 hours a week
Description: "In this course, you will discover what data is and think about what questions you have that can be answered by the data – even if you’ve never thought about data before. Based on existing data, you will learn to develop a research question, describe the variables and their relationships, calculate basic statistics, and present your results clearly."  

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Course: Electronic Literature
School: Davidson College
Length: 6 weeks, 2-4 hours a week
Description: "This course will trace the rise of electronic literature and explore both historic and contemporary works of e-lit." 

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Course: Programming in Scratch
School: Harvey Mudd College
Length: 6 weeks, 6 hours a week
Description: "Want to learn computer programming, but unsure where to begin? This is the course for you! Scratch is the computer programming language that makes it easy and fun to create interactive stories, games and animations and share them online."  

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Course: CS For All: Introduction to Computer Science and Python Programming
School: Harvey Mudd College
Length: 14 weeks, 5-7 hours a week
Description: "This computer science course provides an introduction to computer science that’s both challenging and fun. It takes a broad look at the field of computer science through a variety of demonstrations and projects."  

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Course: Creative Writing: The Craft of Character
School: Wesleyan University
Length: 4 weeks, 2-4 hours a week
Description: "We will study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to life on the page, and we will perform written exercises in order to develop a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques, in order to create a variety of characters."  

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Course: Social Psychology 
School: Wesleyan University
Length: 7 weeks, 4-8 hours a week
Description: "This course offers an overview of classic and contemporary social psychology, covering topics such as interpersonal attraction, stereotyping, conformity, obedience, and conflict resolution."  

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Course: Global Inequality
School: Wellesley College
Length: 4 weeks, 2-3 hours a week
Description: "Explore how class, gender, and racial inequalities shape our personal and social worlds."  

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Course: Global Social Change
School: Wellesley College
Length: 4 weeks, 2-3 hours a week
Description: "Learn how everyday people in China, Bangladesh, Mexico, and the U.S. transform the world around them and advocate for social change."  

Photo credit: Facebook

Course: Psychology of Political Activism: Women Changing the World
School: Smith College
Length: 7 weeks, 3-5 hours a week
Description: "Learn what motivates prominent women such as Gloria Steinem, Loretta Ross, and others to become involved in activism in this political psychology course."  

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Now, check out the 15 public colleges in the U.S. with the biggest ROI:

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Public colleges with the biggest ROI
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Public colleges with the biggest ROI

#15: University of California-Davis

20-year ROI: $514K

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#14: The College of New Jersey

20-year ROI: $516K

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#13: University of Washington

20-year ROI: $540K

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#12: James Madison University

20-year ROI: $544K

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#11: University of California-Los Angeles

20-year ROI: $555K

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#10: Rutgers University

20-year ROI: $558K

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#9: University of Maryland-College Park

20-year ROI: $560K

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#8: University of Texas

20-year ROI: $571K

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#7: SUNY-Binghamton University

20-year ROI: $604K

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#6: University of Virginia

20-year ROI: $612K

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#5: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

20-year ROI: $619K

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#4: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

20-year ROI: $633K

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#3: University of California-San Diego

20-year ROI: $643K

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#2: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

20-year ROI: $667K

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#1: University of California-Berkeley

20-year ROI: $806K

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