UoPeople – Money and Payments

J. Francois Barnard – 22 October 2019

The University of the People gives its tuition away for free. The full-time staff contingent for a university with more than 20,000 students is tiny. (Editor's note in 2021: 75,000 students by now!) All the academic staff members (instructors) are volunteers.

The only money payable is a non-refundable registration fee of $60 and, after that, a $100 (Editor' note in 2021: $120) assessment fee per course. So,

  • if you do an associate degree, you pay $60 +($100 x 20) = $2060. (Editor's note in 2021: The deposit is still $60 today)
  • if you do a full bachelor's degree, you pay $60 +($100 x 40) = $4060. (Editor's note in 2021: $60 + ($120 x 40) = $4860 today)
  • if you want to make use of the ProctorU service, you can add $14 per proctored exam of 15 to 60 minutes and $17.50 per exam of 60 minutes or more.

The MBA and M.Ed. programs cost a $200 assessment fee per course. (Editor's note in 2021: $240 today)

study005Payments can be made through Western Union (Western Union Agent Location (Quick Pay) and Western Union Wire Transfer (Global Pay), PayPal, Cashier’s Checks, and Payment via MoneyGram. PayPal payments can be made with your personal PayPal account or by using a major credit card or debit card—VISA, MasterCard, or American Express.

ProctorU also accepts all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express) but not PayPal.

You obviously pay the registration fee first. After that, about two or three weeks into the term, you are prompted for the payment of your exam fees. I usually pay UoPeople with PayPal, just because it is so convenient. When you schedule your proctored exam with ProctorU, you pay them immediately the required $14 or $17.50.

Financial Aid is available to those who need it. There were times when I did not know how I would pay the fees, but then the just-in-time miracles happened, and I got the money. So, my apologies; I cannot say more about grants and scholarships because I have no experience with them. You can, however, get information on the UoPeople website.

My son was about halfway through his bachelor's degree in Strategic Brand Communication when I started my studies at UoPeople. He was studying at the Vega School of Brand Leadership, a private AdvTech university in South Africa. We financed his studies with a study loan at a commercial bank. Where UoPeople costs me $100/exam, his studies work out to about $395/exam, excluding the interest on the loan. You cannot get a more cost-effective university degree than at UoPeople.

Every time you pay your fees, there is an option called “Pay it Forward.” This is where you can make a donation, say $100, towards an assessment fee for another student less fortunate than you. Do not miss an opportunity to be a blessing!

There are still people who are sceptical about making online payments. They do not trust internet payments and do not want to enter their credit card details on websites. I understand that. But if this tuition is essential to you, you will have to put your fears away and take a leap of faith towards a better future.