Skip to content

February 7, 2018

Simone Biles Joins the Education Revolution


Begins her College Journey & Launches Simone Biles Legacy Scholarship as Global Ambassador for University of the People

NEW YORK (February 7, 2018) — The University of the People (UoPeople) has announced Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast and Olympic champion, as Global Ambassador, launching The Education Revolution and the Simone Biles Legacy Scholarship Fund for foster kids and others. In addition, this week the star athlete begins her own college journey as a student at University of the People.

UoPeople – the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited American online university –opens its gates to provide higher education to any qualified student worldwide, despite personal as well as financial, geographic or social constraints.
“I always dreamed of going to college but decided to follow my gymnastics dreams full time, which didn’t make it possible for me,” says Biles.

“I had planned to attend UCLA, but had to defer because of my training schedule. I still want to pursue a college degree and the University of the People offers me the flexibility I need to fit in my studies around my career. I enrolled at the University of the People because I believe in higher education, and want to help share that opportunity for others around the world.”

This week marks the first week of the school term when Biles, who begins her bachelor’s degree in business administration, will be joining over 12,000 students who have enrolled in the university from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Joining her daughter, Simone’s mother, Nellie Biles, has also commenced her studies at UoPeople, beginning the MBA program.

As a Global Ambassador, Biles would like to help provide an opportunity for foster children to pursue their college dreams too. In partnership with UoPeople Biles launches the Simone Biles Legacy Scholarship Fund, to help foster children and others achieve their college dreams: “Being a foster child myself, and knowing what it means to have the odds stacked against you, I decided to give a hand in opening this scholarship fund for foster kids and others and hope others will join me. At the end of the day, life circumstances shouldn’t define you or keep you from your goals. I believe in the power of hard work. I know that dedication and desire can make the impossible possible and I want to help remove barriers that keep a college degree out of reach for those that truly want it.”

University of the People President Shai Reshef said, “Many students at University of the People face difficulties accessing traditional higher education, for various reasons. For many of them, opening the gates to higher education has been the turning point in their life. We are delighted that Simone has chosen University of the People as her college and has graciously endorsed the university with her scholarship fund to afford others with this opportunity to earn a degree. Like thousands of University of the People students, Simone has overcome many struggles and obstacles to reach her goals. We are extremely proud of her.”

Founded in 2009 and achieving accreditation in 2014, UoPeople has rapidly gained a foothold in the international arena of online higher education. The university has partnered with New York University, University of California Berkeley and the University of Edinburgh to accept students. The institution has also gained the widespread support of leading academics from renowned universities around the world. Its President’s Council, includes presidents, chancellors, and vice chancellors from universities such as NYU, Oxford, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, The Rockefeller University, Vassar University, the George Washington University, and others.

“Higher education should be a basic right for all and not a privilege for the few,” says Reshef, whose mission has clearly appealed to a network of over 6,000 volunteers who support the university. “It’s amazing what can happen when you remove the boundaries from higher education. No more textbooks. No more brick and mortar. No more tuition fees. All you need to succeed is a brain, the willpower, and internet connection. It’s time for a new model. A model where everyone has an opportunity to get an accessible, affordable higher education, with the right quality. It’s time for an Education Revolution.”

For further information, please contact: The PR Team, University of the People, Tel 626-219-8402, Email

About University of the People:

University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited American online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. The university relies on open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of academic volunteers worldwide. Founded in 2009, UoPeople has partnered with New York University (NYU), University of California (UC) Berkeley, and The University of Edinburgh to accept students; Microsoft and HP for scholarships, and Hewlett-Packard for general support, scholarships for women and internships. UoPeople is supported by The Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more.

About UoPeople President Shai Reshef:

President and founder of University of the People, Shai Reshef is an educational entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in the international education market. President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople. He was named by the Huffington Post as the ‘Ultimate Game Changer in Education,’ and WIRED included him in its list of the 50 people who will change the world. He was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business as well as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT e-learning, the first online university in Europe. Shai Reshef’s TED Talk has reached over 5 million viewers.

For more, see