university tuition fees
Would you consider this alternative currency to pay your university tuition fees? Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP

Would you use cryptocurrency as a preferred payment for your university tuition fees? Whether or not this digital form of payment catches fire among universities worldwide remains to be seen. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has recently made headlines for its plan to accept cryptocurrency as tuition for its online blockchain and digital assets programme. 

According to Bloomberg, the Ivy League’s new executive education programme will accept coins such as Bitcoin as one method of payment. The online course costs 3,800 US dollars and is expected to attract several thousand students per year.

“It’s a programme about blockchain and digital assets, we felt that we should talk the talk and walk the walk,” Guido Molinari, managing partner at Prysm Group, which is working with Wharton to develop the programme, was quoted saying in an interview. Wharton will use Coinbase Global Inc., the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, to accept digital-asset payments, said Bloomberg.

university tuition fees

Several institutions have explored using cryptocurrency as payment for its university tuition fees. Source: Ozan Kose/AFP

Will cryptocurrency become the norm for payment of university tuition fees?

Whether or not students will be using crypto as payment for their university tuition fees remains to be seen, but an increasing number of universities are exploring the topic of cryptocurrency, both in terms of its use for payment or as an academic offering

In March, it was reported that the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (ULBS) will become the first higher education institution in Romania that will allow students to use cryptocurrency to pay their university tuition fees.

The university’s vice-rector for administration and organisational development, Professor Adrian Pascu, told Euronews that ULBS was more interested in the benefits of blockchain than cryptocurrencies themselves.

“We believe that the universities are at the forefront of research in any field and that the latest technologies are developed and must be validated by scientists affiliated with such institutions,” he was quoted saying. “We do not support a specific virtual currency, yet we support the blockchain technology, which can be used not only for cryptocurrencies but in other areas, too, such as data encryption.

Back in 2014, The King’s College in New York became the first US university to accept cryptocurrency as payment of university tuition fees. The University of Nicosia in Cyprus and the University of Cumbria in the UK said they would accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for university tuition fees.