Falling victim to student debt is all too common in today’s society. After graduating from a four year program, it is likely that a student will be more than $20,000 in student loan debt; this is after grant money has been applied. With tuition prices on the rise, more and more students are looking for ways to go to college for free. While academic and sporting scholarships along with certain types of grants can lessen the amount of money paid to college, there are very few students who obtain a degree completely free of charge. Fortunately, there are colleges that help students overcome financial burdens by offering free tuition.
#1: College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO
Tuition rates: Free; however, students must cover room and board fees.
Value: over $17,000 a year
This amazing college is partly able to offer free tuition because it requires its students to perform work on and around the campus that would normally cost money. Each student must work at least 15 hours a week as well as two 40-hour weeks during each school year. Such work may include anything from providing administrative support to working in landscape. Even though students are responsible for their room and board costs, if they cannot afford it, they can work off the balance through summer work programs.
#2: Webb Institute, Glen Cove, N.Y.
Tuition Rates: Free; however, students must cover room and board fees.
Value: over $41,000 a year
The Webb Institute only offers a few certain majors. In addition, it funds much of its students’ tuition rates through endowments. Students who finish their studies through this school must take part in a “winter work” internship as well as obtain a double major in marine engineering and naval architecture. After graduation, students are guaranteed to have a job.
#3: Macaulay Honors College, New York City, N.Y.
Tuition Rates: Free for in-state residents.
Additional Incentives: Each student receives a free laptop as well as $7,500 that can be used to take part in study abroad programs, service initiatives, research projects, internships and more.
Value: more than $5,000 for in-state students.
Macaulary Honors College can only be attended by invite only. A student must have top-notch grades and outperform other students during their high school years. In addition to receiving financial incentives to attend the school, students at Macaulary are also provided the opportunity to enroll in an assortment of courses offered by any of CUNY’s 23 schools.
#4: United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn
Tuition Rates: Free
Value: more than $98,000 a year
Taking courses through the United States Coast Guard Academy free of charge is made available thanks to government funding. Just the same as this school, other schools with similar free tuition rates include the following:
- Air Force Academy
- U.S. Naval Academy
- Military Academy
- Merchant Marine Academy
#5: The Cooper Union, New York City, N.Y.
Tuition Rates: Free; however, students are responsible for room and board fees as well as a $775 fee per semester.
Value: more than $38,000 a year
Free tuition rates through The Cooper Union are offered because the school rids of nonessential student amenities. It is also partly funded by real estate income. One of the school’s most prized real estate possessions is the Chrysler Building which generates over $7 million dollars every year in rent money. In addition, the school has a $600 million endowment that helps cover the cost of each student’s tuition.
With the growing problem of student debt, it’s nice to know that there are some alternative programs available through select colleges that will allow students to get their degrees without being shackled to thousands in debt upon completion.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Lisa Goodson is a high school guidance counselor and enjoys sharing information about colleges with students as well as her readers. Lisa has also contributed to CheapestColleges.org, a great place for people to find quality education for the lowest prices.