A letter from Joe Jean – From the Rubble of Haiti, to UoPeople, to NYU Abu Dhabi

Joe Jean picture


Dear President Reshef,

I am writing you to thank you, although a simple thank you cannot convey the overwhelming gratitude I feel. You changed my entire life.

I am emotional as I write this because I don’t know if you, or anyone, can really comprehend the position I was in three years ago, and how hard life was for me. Only then, can you grasp the magnitude of the impact UoPeople has made on me, and on my family .

In 2009, I was living under very different conditions back in Haiti. My family was too poor to afford college and I was constantly worried about my future. When the earthquake came we lost even the little we had. In late February 2010, during the intensely difficult post-earthquake time, I discovered that I could study for free online at University of the People. It all felt like a dream, too good to be true. Not just someone, but a whole organization, cared about my future, and the futures of people like me. I applied to UoPeople because I knew that this education would be the only way out of the ruins surrounding me and the situation I was in. Yes, University of the People changed my life. Even more, thanks to the partnership UoPeople has with NYU, I became your first student, on a full scholarship, to be accepted to NYU Abu Dhabi, one of the most selective universities in the world. I know that anything is possible now! There aren’t enough words that can express my happiness and appreciation for what you have done for me.

I have been able to make a better life for myself because of UoPeople, and the chance this wonderful institution provided me – a poor guy from Haiti with nothing but the desire for a different life. But I’m not the only one; there are so many other young boys and girls like me whose life is being considerably changed – right now – or in the near future, through the education UoPeople is providing them. I only hope that the world listens to my story, and the stories of the other students, so that people are mobilized to support UoPeople for decades to come. What a changed world we will have.

Thank you so much.

From the bottom of my heart,






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UoPeople may have found the next Einstein!

Watch this inspiring talk by UoPeople Founder Shai Reshef to discover more…

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Google for Non-Profits gives $500,000 to UoPeople!

University of the People is pleased to announce the granting of approximately $500,000 from Google for Non-Profits. This half a million annual grant will be used to spread the word of tuition-free higher education, and assist in UoPeople’s mission of opening access to education around the world!

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University of the People is pleased to announce the introduction of the UoPeople Women Scholarship Fund, which was formally announced by UoPeople President Shai Reshef on July 11th at the DLDWomen12.

The UoPeople Women Scholarship Fund is dedicated to assisting in equalizing both the University’s and regional gender inequalities in higher education. Currently, only 20% of University of the People’s student body is female, and UoPeople strongly desires to change this ratio.

Hewlett-Packard is the first corporate sponsor, with a pledge to fund 100 female students towards the pursuit of their Associate Degrees.

Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP explains, “HP has a longstanding commitment to global citizenship, education, and gender equality. We are supporting UoPeople in their most critical mission to change the lives of many women through education and technology. This decision supports our goal to transform teaching and learning through innovation and technology and to help the women around the world to advance professionally.”

University of the People is exceptionally pleased the receive support from HP to fund 100 women, and hopes to be able to reach and empower 1,000 women with your help.

To donate to educating women around the globe via the UoPeople Women Scholarship fund, visit: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/WomenCampaign

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UoPeople is currently accepting new applications until JULY 8, 2012, at which point, the next period to start a new application will be in September of 2012.

As a non-profit academic institution dedicated to opening access to higher education, UoPeople has succeeded in cutting down almost the entire cost of higher education.

In order to remain sustainable, we charge small processing fees for application and examination processing. Applicants are charged a non-refundable onetime $10-$50 Application Processing Fee to cover the cost for us to review and process an application. The amount charged is based on the applicant’s place of residence – applicants from developing countries pay a lower amount.

In September, when new application acceptance will re-open, we will be introducing an Exam Processing Fee of $100 per end-of-course exam. Applicants who apply starting in September and become students, are expected to pay this fee. However, for those individuals who are unable to do so, UoPeople will have a Micro-Scholarship Portal that will enable donors to contribute directly to individual students in need of assistance. Additionally, students may apply for a UoPeople scholarship.

Our aim, as it has always been, is to see to it that no student will be denied the right to access higher education.  We will remain tuition-free, meaning students will not be charged for their educational instruction, course materials or annual enrollment. Additionally, we will seek to ensure that no qualified student be denied studying with UoPeople for financial reasons.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Awards $500,000 Grant to Support UoPeople in the Accreditation Process

University of the People is thrilled to announce its work toward accreditation has been recognized with a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Accreditation is important for UoPeople, our students and our graduates, as it will afford students significantly better employment prospects upon graduation – thus further improving their lives. For this reason, we are all extremely excited at the added boost by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition to providing direct financial assistance, the grant further demonstrates the ever-growing support by foundations, academia and individuals around the world for UoPeople’s work and attainment of accreditation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant follows recent awards by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Intel Foundation. UoPeople is certainly on it’s way to reaching the $6 million needed to remain sustainable. With your help, we’ll reach this point.

To donate: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/uopeople_donate

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UoPeople Reaches Over 1,000,000 Supporters on Facebook!


More than a million individuals support University of the People on Facebook, showcasing the exceptional support of UoPeople’s mission to open the gates to higher education for everyone. UoPeople is second in the number of supporters out of all universities on Facebook only to Harvard University.

UoPeople uses the internet culture of Facebook and social networking to bring higher education to the world, tuition-free. As the University is built on the concept of people sharing, learning, teaching, and helping each other online, Facebook is an integral part of the daily activity of UoPeople– from admissions, throughout student’s studies, and all the way through graduation. Applicants and students alike receive feedback on their questions via the University Page and student’s network amongst themselves on student-created UoPeople Facebook groups.

The global presence of UoPeople cannot be understated with support hailing from all corners of the world including Ghana, United States, Iraq, Haiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Algeria, Peru, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Egypt, France, Sri Lanka, Canada, Palestine, Jordan, Hungary, Tunisia, Philippines, Brazil, Morocco, Mauritius, Argentina, Cambodia and more.

UoPeople, as a non-profit, relies on the voices of our supporters to spread the word. Thank you for being a part of opening access to higher education worldwide!

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