LOGAN — Efforts to provide free college courses on the Internet have received a financial boost from the Utah Legislature.

The Legislature has allocated $200,000 to seven colleges in the Utah OpenCourseWare Alliance, a Utah State University official announced Thursday. USU, College of Eastern Utah, Dixie State College, University of Utah, Utah Valley State College, Weber State University and Western Governors University will use the money to put college courses online, said David Wiley, director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning.

The Utah group is part of a loosely knit organization of international colleges and universities that strives to provide college classes to anyone anywhere for almost nothing. Because of copyright laws, textbooks cannot be put on the Internet, but lectures, syllabuses and other materials are available.

Students needn't enroll to take the classes, Wiley said, but they don't receive college credit. He said more than 100 courses are already available, including "everything from Chinese 1 and 2 to growing better tomatoes in your garden.

The links to the colleges and universities offering the classes are at uocwa.org.