University of the People: Tuition Free Online University


College is certainly expensive. Even with low cost community and technical colleges in the mix, some students have trouble coming up with several thousand dollars each academic year to pay for tuition, books and related expenses. That can mean the dream of a college education remains an unmet goal for many here in America as well as around the world.

Distance Learning

University of the PeopleA new online school is attempting to change the way people view education by offering the world’s first tuition-free, online academic institution dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. The University of the People (UoPeople) has been launched an educational concept like none other.

Founder and President Shai Reshef, an Israeli citizen, started the school in hopes of bringing a university level education to millions of people around the world. All you need to participate is a computer and internet hook up with an easy admissions process in place to help enroll students with limited paperwork involved.

Low Fees

Though tuition free, there are some fees involved. An online application processing fee costs between $10-50 while an assessment processing fee at the end of each semester is also charged. These fees range from $10-100. Still, when all is said and done the costs of attending this school are limited to whatever you pay for your computer, your internet hookup and processing fees.

The UoPeople relies on peer to peer teaching with the support of volunteer instructors. The idea here is to have students—who must have a solid understanding of English—to exchange ideas, share resources, review and discuss weekly topics, submit assignments and take exams. The school believes that the peer to peer method encourages students to learn and retain more compared to listening to an online lecture or studying on their own.

Courses Offered

UoPeople, which got started in September 2009, currently offers three areas of study: Business Administration, Computer Science and General Studies. A review of their courses show many similar offerings found elsewhere including English Composition I and II, Macroeconomics, Financial Accounting, College Algebra, Introduction to Philosophy and other courses.

The school makes a point to let students know that it is not accredited nor has the school sought accreditation. UoPeople says that they expect to apply for academic recognition in the near future but they also warn students that they may finish their studies without an accredited degree. Notably, the school is not yet conferring degrees which is understandable as they just got started.

Measuring Success

Will UoPeople succeed? That’s hard to say although it is easy to believe that it won’t without paid faculty, a strong background and widespread academic support available. Currently, the university’s website lists a number of advisers, but they also rely on donations to keep the enterprise going.

Still, with no other choice available to them, students who want to gain knowledge to advance themselves can do so at no great cost to themselves. That could be just the type of leveling field supporters want to help transform higher education in the coming decades.

Adv. — Are you looking to explore your post high school opti0ns? Let guide you as you consider your options. Don’t let the cost of attending community college or vocational school keep you from your dreams — you still have financing options which can help you realize your goals.


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