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11 Online Economics Courses for High School Students

If you're passionate about economics, exploring online economics courses is an amazing opportunity to consider. Enroll in these programs to deepen your understanding of economics, gain practical insights, and demonstrate your dedication to college applications and resumes.


Online economics courses can significantly boost your college applications by showcasing your commitment to both academic excellence and practical knowledge in the field. Admission committees highly value candidates who exhibit a genuine passion for their chosen discipline. The impact of an online economics course on your application can be influenced by its alignment with your academic goals and the reputation of the institution offering the course.


Courses from renowned institutions or those with a track record of producing successful students can carry substantial weight. However, regardless of the course's prestige, emphasizing your coursework, accomplishments, and the skills you've acquired through online economics courses is vital to effectively showcase your dedication to economics and your potential contributions to the college community.


Specific online economics courses for high school students can vary widely in terms of availability and popularity. The top eleven options can change from year to year, but here are eleven specific online economics courses that have been recognized for providing valuable learning experiences for high school students interested in the field.


What should I look for when choosing which course to take?

  1. Accreditation and Credibility: When considering an online economics course, ensure that the institution or platform offering the course is accredited and credible. Accreditation ensures that the course meets certain quality standards and that the credits you earn will be recognized by admission officers. Look for institutions that are regionally accredited or have reputable national or international accreditation in the field of economics.

  2. Instructor Qualifications: Investigate the qualifications of the instructor who will be teaching the course. They should have a strong academic background in economics, ideally with a relevant advanced degree (such as a Ph.D.) or extensive professional experience in the field. Check for their teaching credentials and past student reviews, as a knowledgeable and engaging instructor can greatly enhance your learning experience .

  3. Course Content and Structure: Review the course content and structure carefully. Ensure that the curriculum covers the topics and areas of economics that align with your learning objectives and goals. Look for a course that is well-organized, with clearly defined learning objectives, assignments, and assessments. Assess whether the course offers a comprehensive overview of economics principles, including microeconomics and macroeconomics, as well as any specific areas of interest, such as behavioral economics, international trade, or financial economics.

  4. Interactivity and Support: Online courses can vary in terms of interactivity and support. Choose a course that offers opportunities for active learning, such as discussion forums, live webinars, or group projects, as these can enhance your understanding of economic concepts and foster collaboration with peers. Additionally, consider the level of support available, including access to instructors or teaching assistants, as well as technical support for any issues you may encounter during the course.


In summary, when selecting the best online economics course, focus on factors such as accreditation, instructor qualifications, course content and structure, and the level of interactivity and support. By carefully considering these aspects, you can make a well-informed choice that aligns with your academic and career goals.


Cost: Free without certificate and $49 with certificate

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced (approx 33 hours)


Financial Markets by Yale University is designed to equip learners with essential knowledge about the structure and functioning of financial markets. Taught by accomplished instructors, often hailing from Yale's distinguished School of Management, this course covers a wide range of topics, including stocks, bonds, derivatives, and risk management. It provides a comprehensive overview of financial market dynamics, enabling students to comprehend the factors that impact these markets. Through video lectures, readings, quizzes, and assignments, students can acquire the expertise needed to navigate and excel in the complex world of financial markets.


2. Veritas AI - AI Fellowship

Location: Virtual

Cost

  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest.


Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 


The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here

Cost: Free without certificate and $50 with certificate

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced (approx 10 weeks at 5-10 hours a week)


Harvard’s Principles of Economics on edX provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental principles of economics. This course is an exceptional opportunity for learners to delve into the world of economics with the prestige and expertise associated with Harvard. Through a blend of video lectures, assignments, quizzes, and readings, students gain insights into various economic concepts, including supply and demand, market equilibrium, consumer behavior, and macroeconomic principles like inflation, unemployment, and fiscal policy. The course typically features engaging content and valuable insights from Harvard's renowned faculty members, allowing students to grasp economic concepts and their real-world applications.


Cost: Free without certificate and $199 with certificate (financial aid available)

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced


Entrepreneurship For All (Part I): The UC Berkeley Startup Guide for Students by Silicon Valley Insiders offered by BerkeleyX on edX is an invaluable resource for students and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to dive into the world of startups and entrepreneurship. Taught by experienced Silicon Valley insiders, this course typically provides a comprehensive guide to the entire startup process, from idea conception to launch and scaling. Students often gain insights into crucial aspects such as identifying market opportunities, developing business models, and crafting effective pitches. The course also typically covers real-world case studies and practical advice, drawing from the rich entrepreneurial ecosystem of Silicon Valley. It's designed to be highly engaging, including video lectures, readings, hands-on projects, and peer collaboration, allowing students to apply what they learn in a dynamic and interactive manner.


Cost: $6,500 (financial aid available)

Eligibility: 16-18 years old high school sophomore or junior

Application Deadline: November (Early) and January (Regular)

Course Dates: 2 Week Sessions


Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) program is known for offering high-impact educational experiences to exceptional high school students from around the world. The "Economics, Politics, and Law" program at YYGS is an intellectually stimulating and prestigious offering. Students would delve into complex economic concepts, the dynamics of politics and governance, and the underpinnings of legal systems. The program typically featured engaging seminars, discussions, and workshops conducted by Yale's renowned faculty and experts in these fields, offering an unparalleled opportunity for young scholars to expand their horizons and deepen their understanding of the world's most pressing issues. Through interactive activities, group projects, and access to Yale's extensive resources, participants typically gained insights into how these domains intersect and shape the global landscape.


Cost: $329

Eligibility: High school students in grades 9-12

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced


The UPenn Wharton Global Youth Program's "Understanding Your Money" course is a valuable and comprehensive educational opportunity designed for young learners interested in financial literacy and personal finance. This program, often led by instructors from the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, typically provides a thorough introduction to key financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving, investing, and making informed financial decisions. Students participating in this program typically have the chance to explore various aspects of personal finance through engaging activities, workshops, and interactive discussions. They might gain insights into managing their own finances, setting financial goals, and making responsible decisions about spending and saving. Additionally, the course may cover fundamental economic principles and the broader financial landscape.


Cost: Free

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced (approx 4 hours)


"Economics for Everyone: Basics of Economics" on Udemy is a foundational course that provides an accessible and user-friendly introduction to the fundamental concepts of economics. This course is designed to make economics comprehensible to individuals of all backgrounds and levels of prior knowledge, without complex jargon or academic barriers. It typically covers key economic principles, including supply and demand, market structures, pricing, and basic economic theories. Taught by experienced instructors, this course aims to demystify economics and show how it relates to everyday life and decision-making, making it suitable for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of economic concepts.


Cost: Free

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced


MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) offers two outstanding courses, "Principles of Microeconomics" and "Principles of Macroeconomics," which provide a deep dive into the core principles of economics. These courses are part of MIT's commitment to open education and offer a wealth of valuable content to learners around the world. "Principles of Microeconomics" explores the behavior of individual consumers and firms in various market structures, delving into concepts like supply and demand, elasticity, and market efficiency. On the other hand, "Principles of Macroeconomics" focuses on the broader economic picture, examining topics such as economic growth, inflation, monetary policy, and fiscal policy. Both courses typically include lecture notes, assignments, exams, and other educational materials used in MIT's own classrooms, enabling self-paced study and a thorough understanding of economic principles.


Cost: Free without certificate

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced (approx 5 hours)


Duke’s "Behavioral Economics" course on Coursera provides a comprehensive overview of how psychological and emotional factors influence economic decision-making. It's often taught by experienced faculty members from Duke University, renowned for their expertise in this field. Throughout the course, students are likely to explore key concepts, including cognitive biases, prospect theory, and the implications of behavioral economics in various real-world contexts. By delving into the interplay between human behavior and economic choices, learners gain insights into why people often make decisions that appear irrational from a traditional economic perspective. The course is generally designed to be flexible, allowing students to study at their own pace through video lectures, readings, quizzes, and assignments.


Cost: Free without certificate and $199 with certificate (financial aid available)

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced


The "Foundations of Finance" course offered by the University of Cambridge on edX is a comprehensive and prestigious program that provides learners with a strong understanding of the fundamental principles of finance. This course is typically structured to cover a wide range of financial topics, including risk management, financial markets, valuation, and investment strategies. It often includes high-quality video lectures, readings, case studies, and assignments. The course is taught by esteemed faculty members from the University of Cambridge, renowned for their expertise in finance and economics. Participants can expect to gain insights into both theoretical concepts and practical applications, making it valuable for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of the financial world. The University of Cambridge's reputation as a world-class institution ensures that this course is academically rigorous and offers an excellent learning experience.



Cost: Free without certificate and $49 with certificate

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced


Financial Markets: A Beginner's Guide on Udemy is a valuable course aimed at individuals who are new to the world of finance and eager to understand the workings of financial markets. This course typically provides a user-friendly and accessible introduction to the fundamentals of financial markets. It covers a wide range of topics, including stocks, bonds, commodities, foreign exchange, and other financial instruments. Students can expect to gain insights into market dynamics, investment strategies, and the factors that impact financial markets. Instructors often present the content in an engaging and easy-to-follow manner, breaking down complex concepts into digestible pieces. Learners may benefit from video lectures, quizzes, practical examples, and case studies that help them apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. This course can be particularly useful for beginners seeking to make informed investment decisions, understand economic news, or simply broaden their financial literacy.


Also, check for free or low-cost options, as there are many available that can suit various budgets. For example, you can audit most of the courses on Coursera and Edx for free. You can also access MIT’s OpenCourseware platform for free courses and material. These courses can provide a strong foundation for students looking to deepen their understanding of economics and prepare for college-level coursework.




One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to further explore the field of economics and play a more direct role in market research, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.



Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business!


Image Source: BerkeleyX logo

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