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FYI University of the People


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By AMY TAXIN Associated Press:
Since receiving accreditation last year, the University of the People has seen enrollment grow nearly five-fold to 2,500. While the majority of the students hail from overseas, the number of U.S.-based ones has surged from 72 in 2013 to 950 this year, according to the school, which says a recent survey indicated about a quarter of them are immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

"Everyone deserves higher education," said Shai Reshef, the university's Israeli-born founder, who lives in New York.

Reshef, who previously ran an online university in Europe, started University of the People in 2009 with a global vision, and students hail from all over the world. While the school wasn't focused on immigrants living in the U.S., the low cost and flexible schedule — with weekly course assignments — have proved a draw for many, he said.

Aiming to extend the reach of higher education, the university charges a $50 application fee and a $100 fee for each final exam, making the cost of a bachelor's degree around $4,000. But fees can be waived if students can't pay, and scholarships have been offered to Haitians after the 2010 earthquake and Syrians fleeing to Europe, Reshef said.

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