University of The People

The University of The People (UoPeople) is a private distance education with its headquarters in Pasadena, California. It was founded by an educational entrepreneur, Shai Reshef in 2009. Due to its online distance learning nature, the university has no campus. The University is often tagged as the “Education Revolution” due to its being the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited online university. It holds the mission statement of helping qualified students all over the world access higher education, overcoming the barriers of finance, geography, politics, and personal constraints.

Studying at the University of The People entails studying in a virtual university or virtual classroom, as there are no physical structures like traditional universities. It involves an online course accessed via the web. UoPeople adopts a learning system based on formalized teaching but with the aid of electronic resources. The Internet forms the major component of its learning method.

The University of The People offers a groundbreaking online learning model and instructors from the world’s foremost academic volunteers. It has been granted accreditation by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), giving its degrees worldwide recognition and acceptability.

It offers two-year Associate degrees and a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science, and a Master of Education. Requirements for entry into the undergraduate program include: Students must be 16 years or older; Be able to demonstrate high school completion and have English proficiency (the primary language of instruction is English). UoPeople does not require a standardized entrance exam for admittance.

Postgraduate Study

In collaboration with the International Baccalaureate (IB), The University of the People offers a Master of Education in Advanced Teaching. The Master of Education requires the completion of at least 39-Semester hours credits of graduate-level study, including all courses listed for the degree. To graduate, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 39 approved credits.
  • Complete the nine (9) core courses with a grade of C (2.00) or better in each course.
  • Complete a minimum of three (3) approved graduate elective courses with a grade of C (2.00) or better in each course.
  • Earn a grade of B (3.00) or better in the capstone project/course.
  • Earn an overall CGPA of 2.50 or higher for all graduate-level coursework completed.
  • Complete all requirements for the M.Ed. in no more than 25 terms of active enrollment including any periods of separation from the University.

Student Life at the University of the People

The University of The People since its inception has received positive reviews from its students who are mostly professionals. The university boasts a student population of 24,683 (18,646 undergraduates and 6,037 postgraduate students) from more than 200 countries and territories, including 1,000 of its students who are refugees, with one-third of them of Syrian origin.

According to the University’s factsheet, the majority of its students are enrolled in its computer science program. About 62.18% of its student population are males while 37.61% are females; 0.20% identify as ‘others’. The majority of intakes for the various programmes are part-time students who are working in a position that’s related to their major. 97% of its students have been known to recommend the university to others after their first-hand experience.

A typical course for a student consists of reading assignments, a discussion forum with classmates, written assignments like essays and papers for non-technical courses and programming assignments for computer science courses, self-quiz, or graded quizzes to check for Knowledge, and a learning journal to reflect on new materials learned. Students generally approve of the revolutionary concept of the university which has enabled them to take ownership of their learning.

Scholarships Available

The University Of The People Online Tuition-Free Degrees: The University Of The People remains tuition-free because of its use of volunteers, open educational resources, open-source technology, and peer-to-peer learning. Students are only asked to pay a $100 assessment fee at the end of each course. And if students still find this fee prohibitive, there are a number of scholarships on offer at the University. These include:

  • Simone Biles Legacy Scholarship Fund: Open to all students with priority for those who have been in foster care.
  • Emergency Refugee Assistance Scholarship Fund: For refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Foundation Hoffman Scholarship: Open to all students.
  • UoPeople General Scholarship: Open to all students.

General Tuition Fee

Students are not charged for their educational materials or annual enrollment. But they’re required to pay some administrative fees, which includes processing fees for application ($60) and final exam assessment ($100, $200 for MBA). Based on this, an associate degree can be completed in 2 years for $2060, a bachelor’s degree can be completed in 4 years for $4060, and an MBA can be completed in 15 months for $2,460.

Finally, the University of The People has been dubbed the Education Revolution, and truly, it has changed the face of higher education for many students who no longer have to go through all the financial stress and pressures caused by the businesslike institutions of today who are mostly out for the pecuniary gains it seeks to make off the students and not the total transformation of the human mind, body, and spirit it may have set out to achieve.


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