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Tuition-free university launches MBA program

Donna Tam Mar 15, 2016
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

University of the People, an accredited, tuition-free online college, started accepting applications Tuesday for its newly-accredited MBA program.

The total amount students can expect to pay for this degree? $2,400.

Similar to its undergraduate degree programs, the university is appealing to students seeking more affordable higher education. The Masters of Business Administration program is accepting 100 applicants for the first term, with plans to expand. There will be no tuition or textbook fees, but students will pay a $200 end-of-course assessment fee.

University of the People President Shai Reshef said he hopes other universities will also consider more affordable MBA programs.

“We realized that for many, a Bachelor’s degree is not enough and there is great demand in the job market for candidates with an MBA,” he said in a news release. “The cost of an MBA today is so expensive, that many people who are qualified to achieve it, cannot afford it.”

Last year, some of the top MBA programs raised tuition as much as 10 percent, making any schools offering free tuition an almost unheard of reprieve for debt-ridden students. Top-ranking business schools cost students up to $99,000 in tuition, fees and books, according to Bloomberg Business. And, that doesn’t account for any debt you might rack up in the process.

University of the People made headlines in recent years for its draw of undocumented students with little options for college. The school’s other offerings are associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and computer science. The school touts partnerships with other universities, like New York University (NYU) and the University of California, Berkeley, and support from companies, like Microsoft and Intel.

While it’s not immediately clear how well degrees from University of the People’s stack up in the business world, employers are generally having a more positive attitude about degrees from accredited online colleges.

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