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New at MIT: Learn First, Pay Later (or Never)

And then? Apply—ahead of the pack—if you feel like it. It’s the ‘MicroMasters,’ and here’s how it works.
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Photographer: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 13 other schools said they would offer online graduate-level courses for free, open to all. Students who finish the program, dubbed the "MicroMasters," and pass the final exams can get certificates of completion for about $1,000. If they want to go still further, they'll have a leg up in applying for regular admission to complete a full-fledged degree.

In short: Learn now, apply later.