The school’s students learn from an established group of professors, both active and retired, as well as graduate students and experts in a variety of fields. It charges between $10 and $100 to process student exams taken at the end of each semester, but beyond that, there is no tuition.

Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is another similar venture that launched this past year. Neither school is currently accredited, but officials and advisers said they are researching ways to secure accreditation. And if the free online schools take off, they could revolutionize how students worldwide earn advanced degrees.

Earlier this month, University of the People announced the addition of two widely respected scholars to its faculty lineup–a move that could help boost its credibility in the eyes of critics. And nine out of 10 students who took classes in its first term said they would recommend the university to their family and friends.

Related links:

AASA hears what’s about to disrupt schools

Interview with Michael Horn

Report: Online learning a ‘lifeline’ in rural areas

Study: Students want more online learning

ED: Blended learning helps boost achievement

Scholars try tuition-free online colleges

Funding advice for online learning

Strong communication key to online learning

eSN Special Report: Beyond Virtual Schools

States boost access to online education

Free online university gets high first marks