The cost of college is a red hot issue today, with students and parents fretting about how they will be able to foot the skyrocketing tuition bills at many private and public colleges. During these difficult economic times, the cost of higher education leaves many students wondering if they will be able to afford college. For those who are worried and would like to avoid being burdened with with huge loans, there are eight tuition free colleges in the U.S. (and you thought the “five dollar foot-long” was a good deal) that might be your answer to pricy universities.
Tuition-free colleges — also known as full-scholarship colleges — remain one of higher education’s best-kept secrets. True to their name, they are institutions that guarantee to cover the entire student-body’s tuition. There are only a handful of such schools in the U.S., which is one reason they are often overlooked by students, parents, and high school guidance counselors during the college search, says Sandy Baum, a senior policy analyst at the College Board to NY Times. “It’s not a trend of the future. It’s just a certain niche market. These schools have unique situations that allow them to go tuition-free,” she said. Though finding tuition-free schools can take some work, parents and students say the payoff is worth it in the long run.
Here are the eight schools that offer tuition free education:
College of the Ozarks, also known as “Hard Work U” is located in Point Lookout, Missouri. Instead of paying tuition, the 1,400 students are required to work at least 15 hours a week at a campus work station. Jobs at C of O are taken seriously; they are graded on their work performance as well as academics. The mission of this unique institution focuses on “providing a Christian education to those who are found worth, but who are without sufficient means to obtain such training.” They also openly discourage debt and therefore do not participate in any government loan programs.
Deep Springs is a two-year, all male, and liberal arts college. It is located on a cattle ranch and alfalfa farm in the Inyo-White Mountains of California’s High Desert. Electrical pioneer L.L. Nunn founded the school in 1917 on the three pillars of academics, labor, and self-governance in order to “help young men prepare themselves for lives of service to humanity.” With a total of 26 students, Deep Springs only admits 10 to 15 new students per year. Students receive free tuition, room and board for working at least 20 hours a week on the ranch. Jobs range from washing dishes to milking cows. Each student attends for two years and receives a full scholarship valued at over $50,000 per year. Afterwards, most complete their degrees at the world’s most prestigious four year institutions.
In an effort to attract the best and brightest students for its inaugural class, the University of California, School of Law is offering a free ride to all 60 students admitted this fall. According the University, the school will rely on grants and donations to cover the estimated $6 million it will cost to cover the expenses.
Thanks to a large donation, every student admitted to Berea College in Kentucky receives a full tuition scholarship. The scholarship is valued at $90,000 – multiply that by the 1,500
student who attend and you will see just how large of a donation was made to the school. Students who are accepted are required to work at least 10 hours a week. Room and board as well as books are not covered. Berea College was founded as the first interracial and coed colleges in the South. Berea also supports the Christian faith, as you can see in its motto: “God has made of one blood all peoples of the Earth.”
Olin College is a school of 300 students in Needham, Mass., where every accepted student receives four years of free tuition. According to the school, these four years of tuition are estimated to cost $130,000. The school is mainly funded by a $400 million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation and ranks as one of the top undergraduate engineering programs in the country. As they publicly state, there is a large emphasis on philanthropy at Olin, students are “encouraged to develop creative ideas that address societal needs and help make the world a better place.” The school was just completed in 2002 and graduated its first class in 2006.
6. Cooper Union
Cooper Union is located in the heart Manhattan in New York City and offers degrees in art, architecture and engineering. The college admits undergraduates solely on merit and awards full scholarships to all enrolled students. Cooper Union is one of the most selective colleges in the United States, with a current acceptance rate of about 8%. Donations from alumni are what the college rely on for a large portion of their budget to keep the school going.
Curtis Institute of Music is considered one of the most prestigious performing arts conservatories in the world, and it doesn’t cost a penny. All students admitted to the school of 160 in
Philadelphia receive a full scholarship. And if that is not enough, all piano, harpsichord, composition and conducting majors are lent a Steinway grand piano for the duration of college. Their mission is to “educate and train exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artist on the highest professional level.” The school received an endowment from its founder Mary Louise Curtis which keeps the school running and tuition free.
Alice Lloyd College is located in Pippa Passes, Ky., where all students admitted receive free tuition. In exchange for their tuition, students are required to work at least 10 hours per week. Room and board are no included, but students who need additional financial aid may work up to 15 hours per week. The school of 550 assigns students jobs based on prior work experience or personal preference.
Another thing to keep in mind while in college are these smart spending tips, because it’s easy to go over budget when your budget is not very big. And if you have already found yourself burdened with student loan debt, there are ways around it like trading in your debt for charity work.
Tuition free college locations