37. Shai Reshef

Founder of University of the People

College tuition in the U.S. has risen more since 1990 than the price of any other good or service. That's why Shai Reshef decided to commit his fortune—made when he sold a for-profit educational-services firm to Kaplan in 2005—to opening a tuition-free, online-only, open-source university. University of the People will charge tiny registration and exam fees ($15 to $100) and rely on volunteer professors and open-source content. Hundreds of students on five continents have enrolled, and Reshef hopes his university will serve as a global model for how to educate a new generation. "There are hundreds of millions of people around the world unable to afford higher education," he says. "We are offering them an alternative." Class will be in session in fall 2009. — by Anya Kamenetz

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