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University of the People – this uni is tuition free but it’s not free

College in the US is expensive. This is a fact that no one is disputing. Although free tuition has been batted around in many states, it’s been very, very slow to take off. Rather than wait for mass adoption of the free tuition system, University of the People is taking it all online as the first accredited tuition free institution.

This university offers associate and bachelor degrees to students who enroll in the programs they have. Which brings us to our first downside, there are only three programs. Computer Science, Business Administration, and Health Science. These offerings really put me in mind of for profit (scam) universities. I’m not saying this one is.

The second thing about it is that “free tuition” does not mean free. You must pay an $60 application fee and then a $100 fee for every final you take. Although at the end of a degree you’ve only paid a little over 4K which is a fraction of traditional school prices, this isn’t totally free for students. Although they offer some scholarships, there’s no financial aid so the costs of books or any other supplies you might need are all on you. An interesting concept for sure but like anything, be mindful as you explore it. Check out the website for more info.

Donyae’s love for technology is based on a need to survive our future robotic overlords. Know thy enemy as you know yourself. But since even odds are on the zombie future, she has also learned how to prepare squirrel. You can find her on Facebook until the robots – or zombies – rise up.

Donyae Coles – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • SV1508

    University of the People does not charge for textbooks. Its online library of resources is provided free of charge through Open Educational Resources (OER). So $0 on textbooks. The three programs: Computer Science, Business Administration and Health Science were chosen specifically as these are the three programs most likeliest to help graduates find employment. There is also an MBA.

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