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University of the People: A Revolution in Online Education

    Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

University of the People:  Administrative Fees, but Tuition-Free

The University of the People (UoPeople) testifies to the transformative power of online education.  Established as a non-profit distance education university.  UoPeople has been at the forefront of democratizing higher education for students worldwide.

Historical Overview

Founded by Shai Reshef in January 2009, the University of the People embarked on a mission to provide quality education without the constraints of physical campuses.  Despite its online nature, the university maintains a shared office in California, serving as its office of admission.

The inaugural batch of UoPeople students began their academic journey in September 2009, focusing on associate and bachelor's degrees in business administration and computer science.  Notably, during its early years, the institution neither had accreditation nor charged any fees or tuition.  This changed in February 2012 when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded UoPeople a grant of $613,282, propelling it towards accreditation by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in 2014.

Expanding Horizons

Over the years, UoPeople has continually expanded its academic offerings.  In 2016, it introduced an online MBA program.  A significant partnership was forged in 2017 when the University of Edinburgh collaborated with UoPeople, enabling Health Science graduates from UoPeople to complete a bachelor's degree at the University of Edinburgh.

2018 saw the launch of the online Master of Education in Advanced Teaching, developed in collaboration with the International Baccalaureate.  This program began accepting students in 2019, with the International Baccalaureate offering scholarships for eligible M.ED. students the following year.

In a move to cater to the Arabic-speaking population, UoPeopHele in Arabic was announced at the World Economic Forum in April 2019 and launched in September 2020.  This initiative offers American degrees without requiring proof of English proficiency.

Facilities and Operations

While UoPeople primarily operates online, it has a subsidiary, University of the People Education Ltd, which provides support services.  This subsidiary is registered with the Israeli Corporation Authority and has an office in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Programs and Fees

UoPeople offers a diverse range of programs, including:

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Master of Science in Informationtion Technology (MSIT)

Bachelor's and Associate's degrees
  • Business Administration
  • Health Science
  • Computer Science
Certificate Programs
  • Business Administration
  • Health Science
  • Computer Science
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
While UoPeople does not charge tuition fees, students are required to pay administrative fees for course assessments,  These fees range from $2,460 for an associate's degree to $4,860 for a bachelor's degree.  The university also offers scholarships to eligible students, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder access to education.


The University of the People exemplifies the potential of online education to break down barriers and provide quality education to all.  Through its innovative programs, partnerships, and commitment to affordability, UoPeople is shaping the future of higher education in the digital age.  I have provided a link to their website:  University of the People

Total Cost

The total approximate cost to earn a degree at UoPeople is the following:
  • Associate Degree:  $2,460
  • Bachelor's Degree:  $4,860
  • MBA: $3,660
  • M.Ed.:  $3,960
  • MSIT:  $3,660

About Jacqueline P. Warlick

"Jacqueline P. Warlick, the mastermind behind "A Senior Citizen Guide for College,"
has been leading the charge for higher education for senior citizens for the past 12 years.  With a wealth of knowledge on college tuition waivers and discounts at campuses nationwide, she is the go-to guru for baby boomers looking to continue their education journey."