NFTs and Higher Education

Here is our third article making the link between NFTs and traditional life. This article will focus on Higher Education!

knack ·  · 03/20/22 ·  3 min

In the United States, conversations about higher education are commonplace. That’s because in our information-driven economy college-level education is a necessity across many careers. More recent educational theories have sought to better meet this demand.

These theories are, like non-fungible tokens, more decentralized and focused on the agency of individual students. They combine with higher education’s increasing dependence on technology to create a welcoming landscape for NFTs.

College admissions and student-ownership

Getting into college comes first and that can be a tangle of paperwork that non-fungible tokens could smooth out. High school transcripts, standardized test scores, and other achievements would streamline college admissions if transferred to NFTs.

And in the US, students would save significant money: every transcript and test score sent to colleges comes with a fee that NFTs would obviate. Once admitted to college, NFTs could help students more easily make their case for scholarships, internships, study abroad opportunities.

And more because they’re in possession of the proof of their accomplishments rather than some distant or disengaged middleman institution. 

Optimizing credentialism

new media nft certificate
New Media – NFT Certificate

Credentialism is here to stay. Positions that once required only a high school education and a reference now ask for a college diploma or certificate plus relevant experience. The on-chain transparency, visibility, and authenticity of NFTs allow students to clearly display their diplomas and certificates.

Even more detail is possible, especially for coursework completed online. Students can showcase the individual courses they’ve completed, the real-world projects they’ve collaborated on, the skills they’ve gained, and the knowledge they’ve acquired in courses from ENG 101 to advanced math.

Universities world-wide have begun to offer NFTs. The University of Georgia’s New Media Institute confirms program completion via NFTs. South Korea’s Samsung-backed Sungkyunkwan University has also issued NFTs to graduates and to competition winners. 

Perhaps you’ve noticed a friend or colleague has fully embraced credentialism almost to the point of becoming a collector. Well, why not? Students and institutions can make the most of credentialism by merging it with other trends such as gamification. More on gamification and NFTs in the followup to this article. 

Individual professors like Beau Brannan has already distributed NFTs to the enjoyment of students, so why not create institution-wide, interactive showcases for marketable skills and knowledge? 

Community college benefits

Non-fungible tokens could also benefit students attending professional programs offered by community colleges. Certification programs in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), welding, healthcare, and more could just as easily roll out their certificates in NFT form.

Imagine how much easier it would be for a fresh graduate and an employer to connect when the student can link an NFT that shows them doing the desired work in addition to what would have been a mere piece of paper?

Post-graduate job search and community building

Employers can, in turn, more easily authenticate the claims college graduates make on their resumes. As with the streamlining of college admissions discussed above a smoother, NFT-facilitated path could create significant time savings for applicants and for employers in expensive, time-consuming hiring searches. Alumni communities often play a role in graduates’ job searches.

NFT diplomas and resumes would support these communities by serving as their own on-chain background check. Such background checks could also crossover to sites like LinkedIn, Ziprecruiter, and Monster.

Alumni associations could also take advantage of the possibility of governance tokens issued to graduates who’ve received NFT diplomas. Governance tokens would even the playing field among alumni, eventually making such associations more egalitarian and less old, established money.

Some Usecases for Students

Credentialing & Diplomas:

  • Can show how individual courses, the skills and knowledge gained relate to one another, and as a whole program completed; demonstrate interconnection, interplay of learning.
  • Gamification of learning; learning as a collectible, value of showing learning over telling
  • Certifications for stuff like CNA, welding, etc at community colleges


  • Transparency and visibility of diplomas and certificates could be built into resumes and CVs that employers could more easily assess for authenticity, even showcase for clients and HR recruiting purposes
  • Whole-person, citizengogy, active learning, logocentric learning

Or for Institutions

  • Shows that the institution is tech-forward, innovative, engaged
  • Cal selling NFTs of Nobel Prize winning research 
  • Possibilities for sports NFTs
  • Event ticketing, gain $ from secondary sales market
  • Instructors can use NFTs as CV as well: NFT vita
  • More robust version of RMP
  • Lower textbook cost — Mark Cuban — again, secondary market savings / profits
  • Share sensitive research between colleges, with private sector, government
  • NFT / crypto-guided DAO colleges / universities online

Inspiration sources : abc7 NewsDAOtalkUPCEAWall Street JournalInside Higher ED

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