MOOCs  +Community  +Hands-on learning

= An MBA equivalent for under $1000

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Friends don’t let friends study alone.

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Hi! I’m Laurie.

I used massive open online courses to get a business education equivalent to an MBA - for less than $1000.

Get my free ebook to learn how I did it and find out if a No-Pay MBA is right for you.

 What I Know About Business Education

In the process of completing an entire MBA education via MOOC I learned three important things:

1 - There is SO MUCH CONTENT available, you can easily get a complete business education without spending much money to do it. 

2 - The PEOPLE YOU MEET in your business education are as important, if not more important, than anything you learn in the classroom. 

3 - It doesn’t matter how much free content is out there if you don’t actually take the time to study it and to PUT IT INTO PRACTICE right away. 


MOOCs are amazing, but…

MOOCs are an incredible source of knowledge, but only a very few will require you to put your skills into practice, and almost none will provide good opportunities to meet people. As the first person to blog about getting  a MOOC MBA, I had a special advantage, and most of the connections I made came from having this website, not from my courses.






The No-Pay MBA Network


I created the NO-PAY MBA NETWORK to make it possible for you to get an even better business education than I did, an education equivalent to an MBA, including networking and experiential learning opportunities. The purpose of the network is to:

  • Connect you with a community  people studying business online, not just the dabblers, but smart, motivated people who are serious about reaching their goals using non-traditional tools.
  • Give you opportunities to put your skills into practice, to solidify your learning and provide you with backup when you go to make the case that you have a business education worth taking seriously.
  • Keep you motivated to actually finish your education, which surprisingly few people manage to do on their own. 


I work with every member to develop a personal learning plan.  Network members take courses and work on projects together. We meet monthly by videoconference. In between we stay in touch through a private messaging app.

Membership in the network costs $20 per month and is by application only.

You won’t find anything else like it at a comparable price.





For promotion in my current role at work, an MBA is required / recommended. In addition to demonstrating my knowledge at my company, I have presented my No Pay MBA curriculum to my manager as evidence that I am ready for that next step. Nick Switzer

No-Pay MBA unwraps education and ties learners’ outcomes to their grit, persistence, hard work, tenacity, and resourcefulness — not their wallets or the amount of time they spend in a classroom. This, I believe, reflects the true spirit of seeking knowledge and putting it to use to improve one’s quality of life. Nabeel Gillani

Co-founder, Coursolve

No-Pay MBA is becoming a catalyst for people who now recognize that skills are actually more important than a piece of paper. Just as Google and Facebook are happy to hire developers who may not have a formal degree, but stand out on sites such as Stackoverflow and Github, the No-Pay MBA is in a position to make this career path open to business professionals. Gordon Rogers

Co-founder and President, Edevate

As someone who suffered through a traditional classroom-based MBA program offline, I assure you, No-Pay MBA’s class choices mirror a traditional MBA program. Even the sequence year to year doesn’t look that different from my own. I actually feel a little silly that I shelled out almost $40,000 for my degree, when you can get a MOOC MBA for much less at higher ranked schools! Bridget Casey

Money After Graduation

Being able to pick and choose which subjects in which order was really exciting. When I knew there was a topic I needed to learn more about, I could start with a few articles, and then add a MOOC whenever the next appropriate course became available. Greg Widders

Meet the No-Pay MBA Network


Other tools and resources


Build your free educational portfolio

  • Free and open to anyone
  • A great way to share your non-traditional education with potential employers
  • Chance to be featured in No-Pay MBA’s portfolio gallery 

Get your FREE portfolio

Get it here

Get the No-Pay MBA Handbook and Course List

No Pay MBA HandbookCurrent Course List


  • Totally flexible and always available
  • Current Course List with courses available for immediate sign-up
  • Includes opportunities to meet other people who are studying business by MOOC

Get the handbook and course list

Click here to get your copies

No-Pay MBA Investment Calculator

  • Free investment calculator
  • Learn whether an MBA is a good investment - and whether a No-Pay MBA might be better

Download the FREE investment calculator

Get it here

The Latest from the Blog



Fill in the blank: What words do you use to talk about your education?

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I must say, I am downright frustrated with the limitations of the English language when it comes to talking about education. I’m talking about the fact that the three most common verbs used in conjunction with education are the three least descriptive, most boring verbs in English. Go. Do. Get.

A student goes to a university. She does an MBA. She gets a degree.

These words completely hide the richness of the educational process. Not only that, these verbs are awkward when it comes to talking about an education that doesn’t result in a degree, or that isn’t administered by an institution.

Do, go, and get are bound up with the idea that education is a thing. You go to a place, do some tasks that are assigned to you, and you get a piece of paper that is commonly recognized to be a valuable signal of your preparation. That’s education in a nutshell, right?

Well, I’m here to challenge these verbs and the idea of education that is encapsulated within them. I would like to propose three new verbs (and some related synonyms) to talk about education not as a thing, but as a process in which the learner is an active participant, not a passive recipient.

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altMBA: Business education by Seth Godin

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Question: What would business school look like if it were designed by marketing guru Seth Godin?

Answer: It would be immersive and intimate, accessible from anywhere in the world, and focused on shipping a ridiculous number of projects in a short time frame. Seth’s latest venture, altMBA, is precisely that program.

altMBA is a 4-week intensive business education that blurs the line between online and in-person. The curriculum centers around hands-on projects, created by Seth Godin, which participants complete in small groups. While the program is designed for maximum person-to-person engagement, participants are not physically together; the entire experience takes place in an online environment.

I recently spoke with Winnie Kao, who facilitates altMBA. Here is what we talked about and why I’m so excited about altMBA.

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Should No-Pay MBA have a different name?

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This question has been on my mind for some time. Here’s the thing: No-Pay MBA is not and has never been truly “no-pay.” That was okay when this was just a blog site. However, when I launched a business in July of this year, the name “No-Pay MBA” started to seem like a potential source of confusion. Indeed, I’ve fielded more than one inquiry to the effect of, “If this is the No-Pay MBA, why do you charge?”

If you need a business education to advance in your career, I want to help you make the best decision on how to get that education. I want you to understand all the options that are out there, many of which have only come into existence in the past few years. None of the good options are totally free, though many of them are quite affordable. That kind of nuance isn’t captured in the name “No-Pay MBA.”

So I’m putting it out to my readers. Should No-Pay MBA’s name be changed?

I would be sad to change our name. I have built a reputation and some brand equity with this name. Also, I just really like No-Pay MBA. It’s catchy, and it rhymes. Low-Pay MBA rhymes too, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring. Real Life MBA is already taken. $1000 MBA is too literal. High-Return, Low Cost MBA Equivalent is as well.

But I want to hear from YOU.

Do you think No-Pay MBA would be better served with a different name?

A name that makes it clear not to expect the education I’m promoting to be truly and totally free?

If so, what should that name be?

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