In today’s world, most students are using affordability as a deciding factor on where they go to college. With so many college graduates shouldering massive amounts of debt upon graduation, today’s college applicants are wary of repeating these mistakes. College applicants are not only considering what programs colleges offer, but also what type of financial aid or scholarship package they will be able to obtain.
As college costs go through the roof, college applicants are reconsidering where they will attend college and how they will pay for it. While many apply for scholarships and others consider working their way through college, there are some students who have happily discovered that there are tuition-free schools scattered throughout the United States. Below is a list of a diverse group of colleges that are available to help their students obtain a free college education.
When putting together this list of tuition-free colleges, it was important to include schools throughout the United States, but also schools that offered different programs. This list was intended to help a wide variety of students with different interests receive the same quality education at no cost. Many of these schools do have some specific requirements for admittance, so it is important to do more research on each school to make sure it is the correct fit.
10. Berea College
Located in Berea, Kentucky, Berea College is a private, liberal arts college that is also faith-based. It requires its students to work a minimum of 10 hours per week on campus in one of the over 140 departments to earn free tuition as well as a low salary that helps with books, room, and board. Berea College has about 1,600 undergraduates enrolled in one of its 28-degree programs.
Berea College serves students with limited financial resources and therefore does not charge tuition thanks to a generous endowment and grant money that covers the entire tuition for each student. The college has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio with an eleven percent acceptance rate with SAT score requirements at 495/640 for critical reading, 513/610 for writing, and 483/588 for math.
You can learn more about Berea College here.
When you think of free colleges, it doesn’t occur to you that one of them will be an Institute of Music. Founded in 1924 the Curtis Institute of Music accepts students based on an audition, and it has a four percent acceptance rate. It is located in Philadelphia, and tuition is covered by an endowment and donations. There is also financial assistance for room and board based on need alone.
This is a liberal arts college that provides musical training to the 165 students that attend. Another interesting aspect of the Curtis Institute of Music is that there isn’t a minimum or maximum age to attend. When a student graduates, they receive either a Bachelor of Music degree, a Professional Studies Certificate in Opera, a Performance Diploma, or a Master of Music in Opera degree.
As one of the leading conservatoires in the world, Curtis’ faculty employs professors who hold 16% of the principal chairs of the top 25 United States orchestras. Graduates are among the winners of Tony and Grammy Awards, Guggenheim Fellowships, and Pulitzer Prizes.
You can learn more about the Curtis Institute of Music here.
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, the Haskell Indian Nations University was founded in 1884, and it is a public, coeducational, tribal college that has almost 1,000 students enrolled each semester. Around 140 Tribal Nations and Alaska Native communities are represented at the college that offers both associates and bachelor’s degrees. There is no tuition charged, but there are semester fees that are assessed. The Haskell Indian Nations University is dedicated to serving as a leading academic institution to address the educational needs of Indigenous communities and offers a unique cultural experience for its students. Bachelor’s degrees include elementary teacher education, environmental science, American Indian studies, and business administration.
You can learn more about Haskell Indian Nations University here.
The College of the Ozarks is another school that requires students to work 15 hours on campus each week, plus they must work two 40-hour weeks sometime during the school year in one of the campus positions that are available. These positions include custodians and administrative assistants, or they can even work as dairy farmers.
The College of the Ozarks is located in Point Lookout, Missouri, and provides free tuition from an endowment, as well as scholarship and grant money. Room and board can also be paid for by the student through working in the school’s summer work program. This is a liberal arts college that offers its 1,400 students bachelor’s degrees in over 30 programs including accounting and culinary arts. It has a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio and accepts nine percent of applicants with SAT score requirements of 530/560 in math, 580/630 in critical reading, and 540/570 in writing.
You can learn more about the College of the Ozarks here.
Located in Haviland, Kansas, Barclay College is Christian-based and provides free tuition, plus room and board, for all full-time, on-campus students who are studying religion-based professions. Off-campus students are offered partial scholarships. Barclay has a 49 percent admission rate, and it offers bachelor’s degrees in Youth Ministry, Christian Elementary Education, Pastoral Ministry, Business Administration, Sports and Recreational Leadership, plus Associate degrees in General and Biblical Studies and General Studies.
Barclay College is a Quaker school that enrolls approximately 250 students. It welcomes students from all faith traditions who are looking for an academic setting with a solid biblical foundation. SAT requirements are at 410/440 for math, 410/460, for critical reading, and 290/410 for writing. The school is dedicated to training students for a valuable Christian life through leadership and service.
You can learn more about Barclay College here.
The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology. It is an all-male junior college that gives students free tuition as well as books, room, and board. Students are required to live on campus, be less than twenty years old, and be unmarried. It is located in Media, Pennsylvania, and all of its 250 students are also required to attend a worship service each day as well follow a dress code, and join one student activity each year.
95 new students are admitted each year, and they choose a program of study in horticulture, carpentry, turf management, masonry, landscaping, painting, machine tools, or power plant technology. The average term of study is three years, and most students graduate with an Associate’s degree. The school gives preference to students from the Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania regions.
You can learn more about the Williamson Free School here.
A small, engineering college in Glen Cove, New York, Webb Institute is able to provide free tuition each year through endowments to students interested in a degree in engineering. Webb Institute has a 37 percent acceptance rate, and all of its graduates find jobs in the maritime industry as they receive a double major in marine engineering and naval architecture. During the Winter Work Term, students are required to work in the industry to gain real-world experiences. To cover room and board, students can apply for grants or federal loans.
Webb Institute has only 80 students with a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Their curriculum includes several engineering disciplines including ship design, systems engineering, marine engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil/structural engineering.
You can learn more about Webb Institute here.
The first online, tuition-free university is a non-profit that gives an accredited choice to those who could not otherwise attend a traditional college. Located in Pasadena, California, the University of the People has both an Associate and Bachelor’s degree program in either Computer Science or Business Administration. They received their accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) in 2014. Although the university gives free tuition to hundreds of students all around the world, students are required to pay a registration fee ranging from $10 to $50, dependent on income and country of origin, and a $100 administration fee for each exam taken per student. Twenty exams are required to receive an Associate’s degree, and forty exams are needed to receive a Bachelor’s degree. If you can’t pay the exam fee, scholarships are also available to help pay these fees.
You can learn more about the University of the People here
Located in New York City, this school is free for in-state residents only. This 1,400-student college provides a liberal arts education, plus a laptop and opportunity funds that can be used for internships, study abroad programs, and research projects. These funds can also be used for arts and cultural events in New York City. There is also the additional requirement of ten community service hours to be completed in each of the first three years at the school.
Students accepted to the Macaulay Honors program have 1400 in combined SAT math and critical reading with an A average in high school. Students can choose from over 210 majors, and each received an individualized academic program with many entering top graduate programs upon graduation.
You can learn more about Macaulay College here.
Alice Lloyd College is a Christian liberal arts college that provides free tuition to those who qualify from the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia. It is located in Pippa Passe, Kentucky, and it is an accredited four-year college that includes 18 bachelor’s degree programs as well as several minors.
There is one catch. All students must work in the student work program at jobs found on-campus or in the local community for a minimum of ten hours a week. These jobs include maintenance positions and library assistants, and there are over 500 jobs open to these students. Plus, they can also qualify for free room and board by working a minimum of fifteen hours a week.
Alice Lloyd College has an eighteen percent acceptance rate with only 600 students and requires an SAT score of 420/520 in math, 440/480 in writing, and 460/590 in critical reading. They have a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio with bachelor’s programs including medicine, law, art, and several more areas.
You can learn more about Alice Lloyd College here.
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