The world’s first tuition-free online university

An old professor of mine recently shared this link:

It is the University of the People‘s website, “the world’s first tuition-free online university dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education.”

From their website:

The University embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring tuition-free undergraduate degree programs to qualified high school graduates around the world. UoPeople offers Associates and Bachelors degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science.

With the support of academic leadership from top universities and having accepted more than 1500 students from over 130 countries to date, UoPeople is well on its way to becoming a global higher education leader.

As you can see, there are currently only 4 programs up and running, hopefully more will be available in the future. And as of now, the University of the People is not an accredited university but they are in “the process of applying for accreditation from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.”

Initially, the course itself was completely free except for an application fee. Otherwise, there were no costs associated with materials and exams. However, starting next application cycle, the university is asking students to pay a $100 per end-of-course exam fee, if they can. Students who cannot afford the fee are referred to a “Micro-Scholarship Portal to enable donors to contribute directly to students in need of assistance. Additionally, students may apply for a UoPeople scholarship to cover up to the full cost of the Exam Processing Fees.”

This university is the first of its kind and I hope to see it flourish. Hopefully they will soon become accredited and be a stepping stone towards opportunities otherwise not available to many people around the world. 🙂