According to a recent article in USA Today, nearly fifty percent of parents are limiting their child’s college choices because of tuition costs and other college-related expenses. Students are also taking a closer look at sticker prices and weighing their options since many are now left paying the bill. In fact, the cost of tuition is one of the main reasons students are opting not to enroll at their first choice schools, even after they have been accepted. Thankfully, some options still exist for those who still want to get an education, but may not have the financial means to attend a traditional school. Here are seven colleges that offer students the ability to earn degree without the tuition fee.
Students who live in one of the 108 counties within the central Appalachian service area are guaranteed to have their cost of tuition waived at Alice Lloyd College thanks to the school’s Appalachian Leaders College Scholarship. Students are required to work a minimum of 10 hours a week or 160 hours per semester at either an on-campus or off-campus location, providing them the opportunity to attend tuition-free for up to 10 semesters. Although their tuition is covered, students should expect to pay up to $8,000 annually for housing, meal plans, books and other expenses. Each year, less than eight percent of students are accepted to the school.
All students who are accepted to Berea College receive a 4-year Tuition Scholarship that essentially makes the school tuition free. Similar to Alice Lloyd College, students at Berea are expected to participate in a work program, contributing between 10 and 15 hours a week in an approved on-campus or community position. Only those students who demonstrate academic promise and limited financial means will be considered for admissions. Annual costs (housing, meals, etc.) typically run around $8,000, but there are additional scholarships provided that can help students significantly reduce their expenses. The college boasts that nearly one-third of all freshmen attend at no cost and 25 percent of their students graduate debt free.
The majority of students who are accepted to the College of the Ozarks (also known as Hard Work U) come from Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas; ninety percent of them demonstrate financial need. Regardless of income, all accepted students will have their tuition covered through a combination of federal and state grants, an on-campus work program, and the Cost of Education Scholarship. Students should expect to cover their room and board ($5,900), books ($800), and the annual health and technology fee ($430).
The Curtis Institute of Music provides full-tuition scholarships, regardless of financial need, to all accepted students to ensure students are selected solely on their artistic promise and not their ability to pay. Students must pay $150 to audition and should expect to incur fees ranging between $11,000 and $25,000 annually, depending on whether they live on or off campus. Additional financial assistance may be offered in the form of on-campus employment, paid performances, and supplemental housing and/or dining grants.
Located on a cattle ranch in California, this all-male college provides free tuition, room and board to its 26 students. The college is accredited and provides only associate-level degrees, but its graduates have been accepted to Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University and other prestigious schools. Students can expect to spend less than $3,000 for books, travel and other annual expenses. Currently, the college is working towards becoming a coeducational school.
Although the Webb Institute only offers a major in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, U.S. students who are accepted into the college will have their tuition ($41,500) waived. Students are not assessed any laboratory, library or course fees, as well. Unfortunately, working in the marine industry during the winter term is mandatory, so all students must pass a health screening and be under the age of 25. Although transfer students are accepted, all incoming students are considered freshmen, regardless of previous credits earned. Each year, students should expect to spend approximately $19,000 for housing, meals, transportation and other living expenses, but the college does offer a variety of need-based scholarships to help reduce these expenses.
The University of the People is the first tuition-free, non-profit , online institution open to students across the globe. Although it is not yet accredited, the college does have a partnership agreement with New York University, and many of those on the Presidents Council hold leadership positions at top-tier universities from around the world. The only expenses students can expect to incur will include the admission processing fee ($10 to $50) and a $100 end-of-course exam fee per course. Those who may have difficulty paying the exam fees can apply for scholarships to help cover their expenses. Currently, students may only receive a degree in Business Administration or Computer Sciences.
Of course, many students may find the idea of working for their tuition less than favorable (crazy, I know!), but they still have options for reducing the cost of attendance. One way students can help lighten their debt is by starting their scholarship search early and continuing to apply for programs throughout high school and college. Students should also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year, regardless of their income.
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