These U.S. Colleges Accept Cryptocurrency as Payment Including UPenn

The average tuition for universities and colleges continues to rise. Which U.S. schools accept crypto as payment?

Alyssa Exposito - Author

Oct. 28 2021, Published 3:38 p.m. ET

College campus
Source: Getty

There is no denying that college tuition in the U.S. is expensive, and it isn't getting any cheaper. According to U.S News & World Report, from the economic recession in 2008 to now, in-state tuition prices among public national universities grew by almost 79 percent.

With the growth of cryptocurrency, many institutions are looking to sensitize students to the emerging asset class. Here are three U.S. colleges that accept cryptocurrency for donations, tuition, and fees.

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In just this last year, reports show that the average tuition for private and public national universities went up by 2 percent due to economic turmoil amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

King's College in New York

Source: Twitter: (@TheKingsCollege)

While the U.S. didn't necessarily turn its cheek to cryptocurrency, there aren't many higher education institutions that accept it as a payment for tuition and fees. Kings College in New York became the first U.S.-based accredited university to accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments back in 2014.

In partnering with Bitcoin trading company, King's College can accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, receive donations, and mitigate expenses.

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King's College followed in the same footsteps as overseas institutions like the University of Nicosia in Cyprus and the University of Cumbria in the U.K.

UC Berkeley in California

Source: Twitter: (@UCBerkeley)

The University of California, Berkeley was one of the first U.S. academic institutions to accept Bitcoin as a donation back in 2017. EchoLink, a blockchain-based education and skill verifier, gifted more than $50,000 worth of Bitcoin to Berkeley's Blockchain Lab.

Although UC Berkeley doesn't accept Bitcoin or crypto as payment for tuition yet, its promise to develop its Blockchain Lab and consulting services suggests that Berkeley wouldn't be opposed to exploring this offering in the near future.

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Ranked among one of the top blockchain and cryptocurrency programs, according to researchers from CoinDesk, along with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), UC Berkeley ranked third among the 230 schools analyzed.

Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania

Recently, The University of Pennsylvania announced that it will accept cryptocurrency as payment for tuition fees—on one course. UPenn will partner with Coinbase Commerce to process the crypto payments via any blockchain wallet.

The executive course offerings will be centered around blockchain, which makes it fitting that the institution would make an example of the use-cases for crypto by accepting it.

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This isn't the first time that UPenn has accepted crypto. Earlier this year, the institution locked in $5 million worth of Bitcoin as a donation from an anonymous donor. UPenn's decision to accept Bitcoin for tuition fees makes it the second college in the U.S. to do so after King's College.

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Donors are now turning to crypto and institutions are accepting.

Universities' fundraising revenues substantially come in the forms of donations or gifts from respective community donors, organizations, and entities. It wasn't until recently that colleges were able to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for a donation.

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Disinclined to turn anything of value away, institutions are now seeking the service of crypto merchant companies to process the payment.

Although there are some ethical concerns circulating around this, many institutions would happily jump through hoops to provide the infrastructure to process the payment.

With more investors interested in altcoins, NFTs, and DeFi (decentralized finance), the blockchain technology job market is starting to surge. A survey conducted by CNBC suggests the growth in the job market and millennial millionaires hold a quarter of their wealth in crypto.


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