Just in time for its first graduates, the University of the People, a tuition-free four-year-old online institution built to reach underserved students around the world, announced Thursday that it had received accreditation.
“This is every exciting, especially for the students who will graduate in April, with a degree from an accredited institution,” said Shai Reshef, the Israeli entrepreneur who invested millions of dollars to create the nonprofit university. “This has been the big question for anyone who thought about enrolling. We have 1.2 million supporters on Facebook, I think second only to Harvard, and every day, there is discussion about when we will be accredited.”
Now, with accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, a national accrediting group, Mr. Reshef said, the university will expand significantly. He expects to have 5,000 students by 2016.