University of the People: An Online Tuition Free University

About: University of the People (UoPeople) is the first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university. Dedicated to opening access to higher education globally, UoPeople is designed to help qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from collegiate studies. The university currently offers two-year associate and four-year bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Health Science as well as an MBA program.

UNESCO estimates that by the year 2025, there will be nearly 100 million young people seeking seats in universities that don’t exist; UoPeople is an essential part of avoiding such a tragic missed opportunity for would-be students. The university believes that access to higher education can promote world peace and global economic development. As a basic right, higher education can transform the lives, not only of students, but also their families, communities, nations and, by extension, the world.

UoPeople opened its gates in 2009, was accredited in February 2014, and enrolls over 6,000 students from nearly 200 countries. The university is led by President Shai Reshef, an education entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience, and by distinguished international boards of trustees and advisors.

University leadership includes esteemed academics from Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Yale and more. UoPeople’s President’s Council is chaired by John Sexton, President Emeritus of New York University, and includes Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University; Michèle Gendreau-Massaloux, Rector Emerita of The Academy of Paris; Catharine B. Hill, President Emerita of Vassar College; Sir Colin Lucas, Vice Chancellor Emeritus of The University of Oxford; George Erik Rupp, President Emeritus of Columbia University; and Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and President Emeritus of Rockefeller University, among others.

UoPeople has academic partnerships with UC Berkeley, in which UoPeople associate degree holders are eligible to apply to continue their studies toward a bachelor degree on campus at Berkeley; NYU, to accept students on a generous scholarship; and with Yale Law School ISP, for research. UoPeople is also affiliated with the UN, UNESCO and Ashoka, among others. UoPeople’s corporate partners include Microsoft, which sponsors scholarships for African students; and HP which sponsors a women’s scholarship fund.

UoPeople is supported by several foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann and more. UoPeople has more than 1.2 million supporters on Facebook and has been covered by media worldwide, including the New York TimesBBCNPRTimes Higher Education, US News and World Report, and President Reshef’s TED Talk, which has been viewed over 4 million times.

UoPeople is able to offer tuition-free education because of its use of volunteers, Open Educational Resources, open-source Technology and peer-to-peer learning. More than 5,000 professionals have volunteered for the university, filling key UoPeople leadership positions including University President, Provost, Academic Deans, Course Developers, Academic Advisers and Course Instructors.

UoPeople is building a sustainable new model for higher education, in which students are asked to pay only a $100 exam processing fee at the end of each course; for students who might find even these modest fees prohibitive, the university offers a variety of scholarships.

Generous contributions have enabled the growth of the university to date. UoPeople continues to look for individual, corporate and foundation partners to assist in providing scholarship support for its students with the greatest need, to fulfill the part of its mission that no qualified student will be left behind for financial reasons.

Host Institution(s):

Provided your internet connection is intact, you can always connect with the University of the People (UoPeople). UoPeople academic leadership comes from top universities such as Harvard, Yale, NYU, Cambridge, Oxford and many more. UoPeople has partnered with Yale University for research and New York University.

Fields of study:

UoPeople offers associate and bachelor degree programs in business administration, health science and computer science, as well as an MBA program.

Target group:

Students from all over the world. Currently the university has students from over 200 countries.

Scholarship value/inclusions:

University of the People is an American online university offering distance-learning courses. University of the People is a tuition-free, non-profit institution. The University does not charge students to take classes, does not charge for any reading and other study materials, as well as does not charge for annual enrollment.

In order to remain sustainable, University of the People charges processing fees per end-of-course-exam. These processing fees are collected towards the end of each course, and not at the start of your studies.

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.



UoPeople accepts students who have graduated high school, have access to a computer and the Internet and have sufficient English skills to study at the University. Applicants need to complete the application requirements and undergo an application process in order to be accepted into the program.

Application instructions:

The admission process is administered in 5 terms annually.  The next deadline is 23 February 2017 for term starting 6 April 2017.  Interested applicants should apply today.

For detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship and the University in general, please visit the official website.

Website: Official Scholarship Website

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

UoPeople Full Scholarships

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.