University of the People
|Latin: Universitas Populi|
|Motto||The Education Revolution|
|Type||Private, DEAC accredited, approved by BPPE, non-profit|
|Endowment||US$1.3 million (2013)|
|Students||18,552 (2018) |
University of the People (UoPeople) is an American non-profit distance learning institution of higher education that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was founded by entrepreneur Shai Reshef in 2009.
University of the People was launched by educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef in January 2009. Although the university has no campus due to its online distance learning nature, it uses a shared office in California as an office of admission.
The first intake of UoPeople students began studying in September 2009, studying for associate and bachelor's degrees in business administration and computer science. At that time, the school had no accreditation and did not charge any fees or tuition.
In September 2009, Yale Law School's Information Society Project (ISP) entered into a research partnership with University of the People, for the study of education over digital networks and social software platforms. In 2011, the university formed a partnership with the New York University at Abu Dhabi.  In February 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the University of the People a grant of $613,282 for the purposes of helping the university earn national accreditation.
In 2013, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) Association and MasterCard Worldwide announced that the University of the People was the winner of the 2013 ISIC Award.  In August 2013, Microsoft launched its 4Afrika Scholarship program in collaboration with its 4Afrika Initiative and University of the People was the first participating higher-education institution.
In 2014 University of the People gained accreditation for degree granting programs through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and is approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
In March 2016, the university began offering an online MBA, with the course itself beginning in September 2016. The MBA is not accredited by any business school accreditation bodies (e.g. AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS). In April 2016, the university signed an articulation agreement with the University of California, Berkeley regarding top associate degree graduates.  Also, from 2016 the University offers an associate and a bachelor's degree in Health Science. 
In September 2017, the South African government, Council of Higher Education (CHE) and Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), warned the public of a fraudulent university, University of the People. The university started its next semester with the President of the University of the People visiting Johannesburg , instead the government thought the university has setup to operate within South Africa, which they have not applied for the necessary accreditation. Few days later the South African government withdrew its comments due to the misunderstanding.
In 2017 Olympian Simone Biles became a student and a spokeswoman for the school, and in 2018 she set up a scholarship fund to help financially struggling students. According to the International Baccalaureate the organization partnered with the University of the People to offer a Master's of Education in Advanced Teaching which started in January 2019. 
University of the People is a nationally accredited online university in the United States. As with all similar universities, this accreditation may affect student qualification for state licensure, and whether courses and credits will be recognized by regionally accredited institutions for transfer. It is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
University of the People is tuition-free, but students must pay some administrative costs to cover course assesssment fees. These include processing fees for applications and final exam assessments; however, students who cannot afford the administrative costs may be eligible for scholarships. Furthermore, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the University of the People offers scholarships for refugees and students residing in countries experiencing crisis affecting their economic situation like Syria, Palestine, Vietnam and other countries .
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- Accrediting Commission - Grant of Accreditation, DETC, February 13, 2014
Report from the Accrediting Commission - Renewal of Accreditation, DEAC, February 27, 2017
- University of the People, Council for Higher Education Accreditation/CHEA
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- "Simone Biles extends helping hand to other U.S. foster kids". Retrieved 2018-08-13.
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- Coughlan, Sean (2016-07-19). "Refugees study at online 'university of anywhere'". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- Malo, Sebastien. "Between shelling and displacement, Syrian students seek degrees online". U.S. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- "Cities #WithRefugees*". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
- "Our Scholarships". University of the People. Retrieved 2019-01-16.