The University of the People is a private, nonprofit university that does not charge any money for tuition.
It is an online, distance education university that was established in 2009 by its founder, Shai Reshef. It began with 177 students from 49 different countries.
It currently has over 2000 students studying in the United States and around the world.
The headquarters of the University of the People is in Pasadena, California.
The “school color” of the University of the People is eggplant — a color that is similar to purple.
The University of the People offers degrees in only two areas of study — computer science and business administration. Students can earn an Associate Degree or a Bachelor Degree in either major.
It is an accredited university in the United States, by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission.
The University of the People has a research partnership with Yale Law School.
New York University collaborates with University of the People to identify eligible students for admission to NYU Abu Dhabi, which is one of the most selective institutions in the world.
1,000 students from Africa received scholarships from Microsoft 4Africa to study at University of the People in 2013.
Other partnerships exist between the University of the People and large corporations and their branches around the world, where students have opportunities for internships and job offerings. Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are two of those companies, for example.
The University of the People also has a partnership with The Bayelsa State Government of Nigeria, to support its students earning Bachelor Degrees.
The “President’s Council” of the University of the People is comprised of people in leadership positions from other prestigious universities such as New York University, UC Berkeley, the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT), Oxford, RISD, Barnard College, and The George Washington University.
The University of the People has only a small paid staff. Most of the positions, such as scholars, professors, librarians, and other professionals, donate their time and services as volunteers.
Students at University of the People do not have to pay for textbooks. Instead of using textbooks, all of the courses are taught using open educational resources.
Although tuition is free, students do have to pay a small fee for registration, and testing fees. The registration fee is between $50 to $100 (USD), depending on the student’s income and what country they live in. The testing fee (which is an administration fee for exams) is merely $100. However, scholarships are available for students who can not afford the fees.
For an Associate Degree, the student has to take 20 exams. For a Bachelor Degree, the student has to take 40 exams. Therefore, the entire cost to earn a degree from the University of the People is roughly only between $2,000 to $4,000.
The University of the People is often abbreviated as “UoPeople.”