Beyond buying and selling from profits, crypto has tremendous real-life applications. Likewise, blockchain technology can find applications in almost all sectors of life including the educational system.
Therefore, the question before us is not ‘if’ but ‘when’ will cryptocurrency and blockchain technology gain global and all-around mass adoption. But the mass adoption of these developing technologies will not happen overnight but gradually.
Recall that cryptocurrency never got a warm reception from many individuals, institutions, universities, and governments in its infant days. However, many of these entities have opened their arms wide for crypto and technology in recent years. It’s therefore safe to say that the adoption rate will only continue to skyrocket as adequate awareness increases.
Many top colleges and universities in the United States and some other parts of the globe have embraced cryptocurrency and blockchain greatly. Particularly, many universities now accept Bitcoin and stablecoins as a payment method for tuition fees. Beyond that, several institutions have introduced crypto and blockchain courses into their syllabus.
In this article, we highlight some of the popular universities that have shown crypto-friendliness.
Popular Universities Accepting Crypto Payments For Tuition
1. The University of Nicosia in Cyprus (UNIC)
Did you know that this was the first university in the world to open the door for cryptocurrency in diverse breadths? It is also the world’s first university to introduce a Master of Science (MSc) programme in digital currency.
The University of Nicosia in Cyprus has been and is still a pacesetter when it comes to cryptocurrency and academics. In late 2013, the University of Nicosia, a private school in Cyprus revealed its intention to roll out a Master’s Degree programme in blockchain and cryptocurrency.
The program which debuted in 2014 is designed to be appealing to everyone including cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts, government administrators, and entrepreneurs. The MSc programme covers the technical aspects of cryptocurrency and how the growing technology can help impact society positively.
To promote the planned academic innovation, the University of Nicosia also introduced the option of paying tuition and other fees in bitcoin in 2013 to its over 5000-student-sized school. Aside from being a profitable venture for UNIC, the university stated that its goals go beyond just collecting fees but to turn the Republic of Cyprus into a crypto hub.
To achieve this vision, UNIC has partnered with several crypto projects including Coinbase, Stellar, Energy Web and IOST Foundation amongst others. All of these partnerships are aimed at offering adequate crypto education in UNIC’s bid to foster mass adoption.
UNIC Partners With Crypto Projects
In December 2021, the Internet of Services (IOST) Foundation collaborated with UNIC’s Institute For the Future (IFF) to empower women in the blockchain and crypto industry. The partnership is focused on offering annual endowed studentships to the University of Nicosia Blockchain and Digital Currency MSc program.
The UNIC Institute for the Future (IFF) became an educational partner for the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) in 2021 to bridge the gap in technical education in the blockchain industry.
Accordingly, the Institute For the Future (IFF) – University of Nicosia (UNIC) and Coinbase announced the continuation of their joint Scholarship Programme for Minority Professionals, offering fifteen full scholarships for the next intake of the UNIC MSc in Blockchain and Digital Currency in Fall 2022.
Further, the University launched the UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative in 2022, with a focus on the academic, research, and policy issues relating to the metaverse.
2. University of Cumbria, United Kingdom
The University of Cumbria is said to be the first public university in the world to accept bitcoin for tuition. However, the payment option is only available for students studying courses that examine the role of complementary currencies in the university.
The two courses in this category are the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership and the Certificate of Achievement in Sustainable Exchange. Students studying these courses were allowed to pay their tuition fees using BTC since 2014.
Notably, the current University of Cumbria was formed in 2007 whereas the school’s history dates back to 1882. The UK-based university offers students exciting research-informed academic studies, professionally focused courses as well as technical skills needed for career exploits.
3. The King’s College
Founded in 1938 by Dr. Percy Crawford, The King’s College is a Christian liberal arts college in New York City’s Financial District. The college’s mission is to prepare students for societal transformation through its different career opportunities.
The King’s College prides itself as the first accredited school in the United States to accept Bitcoin for tuition, other expenses, and donations. This development came in June 2014 following a partnership with New York-based Coin.co project.
The company is a merchant processor that enables merchants to leverage the cryptocurrency market without having to deal with the actual accounting or processing of cryptocurrency. According to Coin.co, it is thrilled to be the pioneering company facilitating the use of Bitcoin for education.
“Allowing Bitcoin to be used to pay for a King’s education decreases our costs while simultaneously allowing our students to be a part of this exciting new technology,” said Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury, President of The King’s College.
The prestigious college also noted that it will urge other institutions to follow in its footsteps reiterating that Bitcoin acceptance is not simply for technology companies alone.
4. Paraguay’s Universidad Americana (American University of Paraguay)
The American University of Paraguay revealed that it will begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for tuition way back in August 2021. According to the University’s general director Camilo Jiménez Agüero, the institution supports bitcoin, ETH and other assets as forms of payment. Paraguay’s Universidad Americana has about 17,000 students with 60% of the students studying virtually.
5. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
In October 2021, the University of Pennsylvania became the first Ivy League institution to accept cryptocurrency payments for tuition fees. Accordingly, Wharton School became the first U.S. business school to do the same. Notably, Wharton School is an arm of the University of Pennsylvania.
The tuition-in-crypto option is only supported for one online program at the Wharton Business School. The online program titled “Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets course” is a six-week certificate course developed in partnership with Prysm Group.
Prysm Group is an economic consulting and executive education firm, led by Harvard-trained Ph.D. economists whose specializations are in the blockchain and crypto industry.
Other entities partnering with Wharton School to achieve this major stride include Coinbase, Algorand, Synthetix, and many more. According to the school, the goal of the blockchain-based online program is to educate business leaders on how cryptocurrency and blockchain technology can be applied to their businesses, thereby unlocking value for the global economy.
Students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School can pay their tuition fees for this online course using cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH and/or USDC. For the records, the Wharton School’s Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets program began its first batch of training on January 3, 2022.
6. Bentley University
History has it that this University began in 1917 as Bentley School of Accounting and Finance when Harry C. Bentley first convened a class of 30 students in Boston. In 2008, it expanded to become Bentley University, a private and not-for-profit university.
Over the years, the university has continuously evolved with technology to become one of the top business universities in the United States. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts the institution has a population of about 5000 students.
After over a century and five years of existence, Bentley University is now one of the first universities in the United States to adopt the technologies changing the business and finance world. This justifies the claims that diversity is critical to Bentley University’s mission of educating creative, ethical, and socially responsible organizational leaders.
On May 3, 2022, the Massachusetts-based university announced its acceptance of cryptocurrency for tuition payments. To make this work, a partnership between Bentley University and Coinbase, a crypto exchange has been sealed. Per the announcement, BTC, ETH), and the USDC are the only supported cryptocurrencies.
In the words of the University’s ninth and sitting President E. LaBrent Chrite,
“Bentley University is at the forefront in preparing business leaders with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the changing world economy. We are proud to embrace this technology that our students are learning about, which will soon transform the global business landscape they are about to enter.”
The adoption of cryptocurrencies can only continue to expand as they have proven to be a better alternative to traditional currencies. As the technology continues to evolve, it is believed that more schools in different nations will embrace crypto payments and education. However, it’s crucial to understand how this asset class works before adopting it either for investment or payment purposes.