Education continues to progress with and be the cause of society’s evolution. Here are five facts about UoPeople that will blow your mind and have you rethinking higher education.
Did you know that even as enrollment in higher education is remaining flat, the number of students taking classes online continues to grow? The flexibility, lowered cost, and overall quality of online education offers plenty of reason why students are opting for this method of learning. At University of the People, we know a thing or two about this form of education because we were the first non-profit, accredited, online American university.
University of the People continues to play an integral and inspirational model by which this form of education can advance. Created by Shai Reshef in 2009 with the goal to create an education revolution, here are five facts about UoPeople that are sure to blow your mind!
1. Pioneering “Tuition-Free” Model
You may be thinking, “How does tuition-free education even work!?”
Well, we’ll be clear: tuition-free is different than entirely free, but it is still dramatically cheaper than traditional and other online universities.
For example, the average cost for tuition from an American institution can range from roughly $10,000-$30,000, and that does not include transportation and living expenses.
At UoPeople, you only have to pay two types of fees, which include:
- A non-refundable application fee ($60)
- Assessment fees: Undergraduates – $100/course | Graduates – $200/course
Here’s how that breaks down for typical degree programs, with estimated costs of:
- Associate Degrees – $2,060
- Bachelor’s Degrees – $4,060
- Master’s Business Administration – $2,460
- Master’s Education (M.Ed) – $2,660
As for tuition? No cost there.
If these fees do still present a financial burden of any kind, you have options. For one, you can pay the fees at the completion of each course, rather than upfront.
Furthermore, there are a wide range of scholarships available, including:
- Simone Biles Legacy Scholarship Fund
- Emergency Refugee Assistance Scholarship Fund
- UoPeople General Scholarship Fund
In Founder and President Shai Reshef’s words, UoPeople is changing education “from being a privilege for the few to a basic right, affordable and accessible for all.” Here’s more information on how this is being accomplished from his TED Talk, which has amassed more than 6 million views and counting.
2. 100% Online
With no physical campus, UoPeople caters to students who want to learn entirely online. You need nothing more than an internet connection to get started. Also, with the exception of assessments, every aspect of the course can be completed on a mobile device.
You know what this means?
This means no barriers. It creates a community of global students and leaders that can connect from anywhere and allows for over 18,500 students from more than 200 countries and territories to partake in the education revolution created by UoPeople.
It also means that you don’t have to pay extra fees for physical books or cover the unnecessary costs of university maintenance that often gets passed on to the students.
And, perhaps most importantly, this contributes to the extremely flexible nature of studying. Rather than wasting time commuting or having to be in a specific place to learn, you can study from anywhere, anytime.
The global presence can be felt with our 22 team locations all over the world, including our headquarters in Pasadena, California, and ancillary offices in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, U.K, Nigeria, South Africa, Israel, Jordan, and Japan, to name a few.
3. The Quality is in the Quantity
With small classes and individualized attention, students really are receiving the best education from UoPeople. We have academic leaders from around the globe who sit on advisory boards to create curriculums that are designed for employability. Professors join our ranks from universities like New York University, Yale, University of California, Berkeley, and more.
Over 7,000 volunteers also contribute to the university’s success. They offer mentorship, organize and review course material, and host discussion groups. Plus, like the volunteers, our students offer diverse perspectives and potential networking opportunities.
The university is designed with a pedagogical model and collaborative learning, which involves groups of students who work together to solve a problem and complete tasks. In each course, a forum exists where students can ask questions and begin conversations, while the course instructor oversees it all.
For discussion assignments, all students take part in peer-to-peer reviews of each other’s work and provide grades. Don’t worry — there are guidelines in place that teach how to best give constructive feedback and help one another grow and learn in this collaborative space!
4. Thousands of Students, Hundreds of Countries
The University’s unique online set-up contributes to its diverse and global student body. At the time of writing, there are over 18,500 students that represent more than 200 countries and territories from around the world.
Supporting the goal of equal and accessible education for everyone, no one is denied entry based on legal status. Did you know that UoPeople pioneered refugee initiatives with the assistance of global non-profit organizations like the Clinton Global Initiative and the Ford Foundation?
Here’s how it happened:
In 2010, the Clinton Global Initiative funded the costs associated for 250 students from Haiti to learn freely after the destructive earthquake.
In 2015, UoPeople launched the Syrian Refugee Initiative, granting 500 students from Syria access to earn their education. Today, we have the most Syrian refugees enrolled than any other higher education institution with 600 refugees, half of whom are still in their country of origin and another 300 who are learning from about 40 different countries.
We are changing the world of education for the better because we take the idea of democratized and equal access to learning, and use our partners and technology to make it a reality.
5. Courses Designed for Employability
It goes without saying that one of the biggest motivators in earning your degree is to land a job and/or advance in your career.
On average, college graduates earn more than non-graduates, and considerably so. For example, those with a bachelor’s degree earn up to 56% more per year than those with just a high school diploma. This is part of the reason why UoPeople places such a high emphasis on designing coursework to apply to the real-world.
For starters, the four degree programs offered were chosen because of their high and growing demand. The four degrees currently offered are in: Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science, and Education.
Both within America and globally, here’s a look at how these fields are growing rapidly:
- Business Administration: Management jobs are projected to grow by 8% between 2016-2026, which will result in 807,300 new jobs.
- Computer Science: 61% of graduates within the field placed in relevant jobs.
- Health Science: Growing faster than the average, jobs in healthcare within the U.S. are expected to grow by 18% between 2016-2026, which will account for over 2 million jobs.
- Education: According to a UNESCO statistical report, “in the next 14 years, countries must recruit 68.8 million teachers to provide every student with primary and secondary education.”
It’s clear to see how these degree programs can well-prepare students to land jobs simply because of the knowledge learned, but there’s more to it. UoPeople works with academic professionals and experts within each field to create the curriculums from the get go that focus teaching towards employability. UoPeople also partners with corporations to advance employment options.
For example, one of our most successful corporate partners was Microsoft. With the Microsoft4Afrika program, 1,000 students from African countries were selected to study Business Administration or Computer Science at UoPeople. Microsoft covered all costs associated with the programs (like the application and assessment fees), and also provided students with extracurricular programs like mentorship from the company’s employees, professional training, and internship and job opportunities upon graduation. UoPeople is always working to create programs like this with corporate partners to expand the opportunities for students around the world.
Need to be guided through the process of getting hired?
That’s definitely doable as each student is paired with an advisor who stays by their side throughout the program and can offer career services like resume evaluation and interview training.
Revolutionizing Education as a Human Right
Knowledge is power, and education is a right for everyone.
University of the People’s mission and values continue to be recognized and rewarded from places like the White House to meetings with the Pope. Global ambassadors like Olympian Simone Biles and social entrepreneurs like Nas Daily have taken notice and helped to spread the word.
UoPeople places utmost value on remaining tuition-free and accredited to provide students the knowledge and power to land their dream jobs, regardless of burdens that may have once or otherwise held them back from earning a degree from a top quality American university.