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University of the People: Tuition-free Higher Education

By Daniel de Vise

At a time when top national universities charge $50,000 a year in tuition and living expenses, University of the People represents quite an anomaly.

The Pasadena, Calif., nonprofit university offers college coursework to about 1,000 students worldwide essentially for free. The only charge is a one-time application fee of $10 to $50, which varies according to the comparative wealth of the student’s home nation.

Professors and deans donate their labors. Founder Shai Reshef has just two paid academic employees. Students access and download assignments online. Class discussions take place in old-fashioned text-based chat rooms, which enable students to participate on the most marginal of computers.

“The idea is to open the gate for anyone who wants to study,” Reshef said during a visit to The Washington Post.

Continued at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/university-of-the-people-tuition-free-higher-education/2011/06/14/AGRBFqUH_blog.html

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