Would you value an education from a university that does not charge students to take classes, does not charge for reading and other study materials, and does not charge for annual enrollment? More and more people are saying ‘Yes’ to University of the People, a tuition-free online institution as its enrollment quickly grows.
Since receiving accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission in February 2014, the University of the People saw enrollment grow five-fold to 2500. Most students at University of the People live outside of the US; however, the number of US-based enrollment has swelled from 72 to 950 this year, according to the school’s recent survey. That study also indicated about a quarter of them are immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Many had abandoned the idea of college because it was too expensive or they did not have the legal paperwork to enroll in a traditional college. With free tuition and flexible schedule, those students can now study for computer science or business administration degrees to suit their unique needs and interests without having to sacrifice time at work or with family.
“Everyone deserves higher education,” Shai Reshef said to the Associated Press. Reshef, the Israeli-born man who founded the university in 2009, currently resides in New York.
With support from New York University and the Clinton Global Initiative, University of the People relies heavily on free online books, free or reduced software applications and volunteer instructors. This plan for growth has proven scalable thus far. The university expects to double its enrollment next year.
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