Online Tuition Free Degrees At University of the People (all you need to know)
University of the People is the first in the world to be an online, tuition-free university! The non-profit’s purpose is to provide an accredited choice for higher education for those otherwise not able to attend a brick and mortar school. UoPeople offers three Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration, Health Science and Computer Science, as well as a one-year MBA program. Their accreditation is provided by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) since the first quarter of 2014. The university, located in Pasadena, California, provides a free tuition to thousands around the world. Students are responsible for paying a registration fee of 60$ and an 100$ processing fee for each exam taken per student. An Associates degree requires around 20 exams, and 40 exams to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. If you can’t pay, scholarships are available to apply to pay for these costs.
University of the People offers seven associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees:
- Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) in Business Administration
- Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) in Business Administration
- Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) in Computer Science
- Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) in Computer Science
- Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) in Health Studies
- Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) in Health Studies
- Master of Business Administration Degree (M.B.A.)
UoPeople students must meet three criteria to gain admission: a high school diploma, proficiency in English, and be aged 18 years or older. Each course consists of individual homework assignments and online discussions, both of which are peer-reviewed. Class sizes usually comprise 20-30 students from around the world.
The University of the People bills itself as “tuition-free”. Nevertheless, there are costs that a student must pay:
- Registration fee of $60 so to register a student at the University of the People
- Exam administration fee of $100-$200 for each exam a student takes
To complete an associate degree (A.S.), a student must take 20 exams and 40 exams for a bachelor’s degree, which cost a total of $2,060 and $4,060 respectively. For the MBA, a student has to pay a $200 exam fee per course for a total of 12 courses, which brings the total cost for the MBA to $2460.
what about Students who cannot afford to pay these little token ?
However, for those individuals who are unable to afford even these minimal fees, UoPeople offers a variety of scholarship funds to cover all, or part, of the processing fees. These funds are designed to meet the unique and diverse needs of its students.
Some of the scholarships can be found below:
- Emergency Refugee Assistance Scholarship Fund – open to all students
- Fondation Hoffmann Scholarship – open to all students
- UoPeople General Scholarship – open to all students
- Vietnamese Scholarship Fund – students from Vietnam
- To see all available scholarships >>
With a convenient virtual web address, the University of the People is accessible anytime, anywhere with any internet connection. UoPeople academic leadership comes from top universities such as Harvard, Yale, NYU, Cambridge, Oxford and many more. UoPeople has partnered with the following universities.
In April 2016, UoPeople entered into a partnership with University of California, Berkeley. Under the terms of the partnership, UoPeople students who complete an associate degree have the opportunity to apply to Berkeley to complete their bachelor’s degree, although there is no guarantee that UC Berkeley will accept them. UoPeople President Shai Reshef praised the agreement as “the ultimate endorsement of the value of our degrees.” Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks (a member of the UoPeople President’s Council) said that “UoPeople’s mission is closely aligned with the mission of Berkeley, to open the gates to a quality higher education to every deserving student.
Yale Law School Information Society Project
University of the People and Yale Law School ISP (Information Society Project) announced a digital education research partnership in 2009.Jack Balkin, Yale ISP Director and Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, serves on the Arts and Science Advisory Board of University of the People.
New York University
In June 2011, New York University (NYU) announced a collaborative agreement with University of the People to identify those UoPeople students eligible for admission to New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus. Recognizing that many of UoPeople’s students are economically disadvantaged youth, eligible students who qualify for admittance to NYU Abu Dhabi, as well as qualify for financial aid, may receive generous financial aid to enable them to afford attendance at NYU Abu Dhabi. John Sexton is the chairman of the University’s council of Presidents, and all three UoPeople deans hail from NYU.
Through the Microsoft4Afrika scholarship program, Microsoft has pledged to sponsor African students to study at UoPeople. Scholarship recipients will further enhance their skills and experience through participation in additional support programs, including professional training from Microsoft, mentorship by Microsoft employees, internships, and job opportunities with Microsoft and their affiliates in Africa. The university plans to replicate this partnership with further corporations in the future.
Hewlett Packard (HP)
University of the People and Hewlett Packard (HP) announced a partnership in June 2011 to open up virtual research internships for UoPeople students as part of HP’s Catalyst Initiative—a global network of consortia that brings together educational institutions and nongovernmental organizations.
Additionally, Hewlett-Packard was the first corporate sponsor of the University of the People Women Scholarship Fund, with a donation of $200,000 to sponsor 100 women towards the attainment of their associate degrees. HP also gave the University a 200,000 general donation, and donated computers to the University’s learning center in Haiti.
Working under the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, GAID was approved by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006 in recognition that ICT must be effectively integrated into development activities if internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, are to be achieved within the agreed time frame. On May 19, 2009, UN-GAID announced the launch of University of the People at a press conference in New York to reporters, and its President, Shai Reshef, was named as a high-profile advisor to UN GAID.
In November 2014, the university announced a partnership with UNHCR to offer higher education to refugees and asylum seekers.
Clinton Global Initiative
Clinton Global Initiative Advances University of the People Pledge to Democratize Higher Education in Haiti. In August 2010, UoPeople was invited to become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), and announced its commitment to Haiti, in which UoPeople committed to accepting 250 qualified Haitian youth to study at the University for free, helping them access education and develop the skills needed to rebuild their country. The commitment was fulfilled in May 2014.
In 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $500,000 to University of the People, as well as helping its work toward receiving for accreditation.
OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC) is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. As a member of OCWC, UoPeople strengthens its commitment to advancing the current education system via the Internet.
University of the People moved its IT development to Ramallah via a technology partnership with Asal Technologies, as announced on March 7, 2012. One of the primary drivers behind this move is that the University states it is determined to not only provide educational opportunity, but also job opportunities to regions in need of them. Palestine is one such region. Since opening the center, part of the university’s student services and financial support services have relocated to Ramallah as well.University of the People also announced it is currently considering moving a large part of its back office operations to Ramallah, in order to provide additional jobs.
Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale. In recognition of his revolutionary venture, UoPeople President Shai Reshef was elected an Ashoka Fellow in December 2009. The program lends Reshef professional support, including access to a global network of two thousand peers throughout the world.