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12 Tuition-Free Colleges

Going to college for free? That's music to our ears!

Elizabeth Hoyt

June 01, 2017

12 Tuition-Free Colleges
In an age when tuition is sky-high, this certainly sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us! Keep in mind, however, these schools can be very competitive, financial-need based or for specialized studies. Either way, going to college for free is music to our ears. With 11 listed byU.S. News & World Report, here are 12 totally tuition-free colleges that allow you to leave worries about paying for school behind With tuition prices rising, it’s good to know that some colleges have kept up their tuition-free promises.

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1. College of the Ozarks

Cleverly nicknamed “Hard Work U,” the College of the Ozarks, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, offers degree programs in more than 40 academic areas and a student to faculty ratio of 13:1. The school accepts 1,400 students that demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Although the school doesn't require that students pay tuition; students must work for their education-15 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week while school isn't in session.

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Students work performances are considered very important, in fact, their work performance is even recorded on their academic records along with their academic grades!

2. Berea College

Self-described as “the best education money can’t buy,” with a 10:1 student to faculty ratio, Berea College is located in picturesque Berea, Kentucky. At this school, every student “receives the equivalent of a Tuition Promise Scholarship worth $24,300, or $97,200 for four years.” The college was founded in 1855 and, with deep historical roots, its endowments, combined with federal and state grants, allows the financial stability to offer students enough financial assistance to pay for tuition as well as a laptop that students are able to keep once they graduate. The college offers students the choice of 32 fields of study but students must participate in the college’s Work Program, which pays for their room and board and any other expenses they may have while attending the school.

3. Curtis Institute of Music

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Curtis Institute of Music is for students looking to pursue a career in musical performing arts. The school offers merit-based full-tuition scholarships, regardless of financial need and in-person auditions are required for all areas of study with the exception of vocal studies (for which they accept recordings through an online portal). There is no minimum or maximum age required to audition for the school. Students at the school are able to participate in scheduled public performances throughout Philadelphia so that students are able to “learn by doing.”

4. Alice Lloyd College

Founded in 1923 by Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd and Jane Buchanan, the Pippa Passes, Kentucky college offers an education tuition-free to students from 108 counties in the Appalachian region. Students are required to participate in the school’s Student Work Program, which requires a minimum of 160 hours per semester working at a job on campus or locally within the community.

5. Webb Institute

All enrollees receive a full-tuition scholarship, but pay for other living costs like books, room and board. Students at the exclusive Webb Institute don’t have any problems getting help with their coursework, since the average class size is only 22 students, boasting an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. Even better? The school boasts a 100 percent job placement rate for its graduates. Pretty impressive!

6. United States Military Academy

Students – AKA cadets – have tuition fees covered when they attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. That’s because the each cadet’s tuition is fully funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,300 cadets enter the Academy each July with about 1,000 cadets graduating. Graduates of West Point earn Bachelor of Science degrees and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army.

7. United States Coast Guard Academy

The United States Coast Guard Academy was founded in 1876. Located in New London, Connecticut, it’s the smallest of the five federal service academies. About 300 cadets enter the academy each summer, with about 200 cadet graduates. Similar to other U.S. service academies, each cadet’s tuition is funded (at this particular school by the Coast Guard). Cadets receive this tuition “deal” in exchange for an obligation of five years active duty service upon graduation – however, the obligation increases if the cadet chooses to go to flight school or graduate school. About 300 cadets enter the academy each summer, with about 200 cadet graduates.

8. United States Naval Academy

Also known as USNA, Annapolis or simply Navy, the United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational college which was established in 1845, located in Annapolis, Maryland. It’s the second oldest of the five U.S. service academies, educating its students, referred to as midshipmen, to study as officers-in-training to eventually become officers within the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. These midshipmen have fully funded tuition by the Navy in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. About 1,300 “plebes” enter each summer, but only about 1,000 graduate.

9. United States Air Force Academy

This military academy is located in picturesque Colorado Spring, Colorado. However, life here is more disciplined than in a typical laid-back Colorado town. While the academy focuses on preparing students to serve as officers in the Air Force, the students do have the option of up to 27 majors to choose from. The academy also boasts a student to faculty ratio of 8:1, allowing individualized attention for any student that may need it, with an average class size of 19 students.

10. United States Merchant Marine Academy

This military academy is also known as USMMA or Kings Point. The school trains officers for the U.S. Merchant Marine, various military branches and the transportation industry. Similar to the Naval academy, students are referred to as midshipmen, where they’re trained in marine engineering, navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, along with all other subjects relevant to running large ships.

11. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

Located in the Big Apple, just a few blocks from Central Park, Macaulay Honors College allows its students to enroll in one of its eight City University of New York network colleges. The college is described as a “highly selective college where New York’s most promising students receive the financial and academic support to realize their leadership potential.” This type of programming allows each enrolled student to receive an individualized experience complete with the college’s thorough guidance and advising program, free of the burden of student debt.

12. Deep Springs College

Deep Springs is currently a male-only institution but is in the legal process of being able to admit women. For those that are selected to attend the exclusive college, tuition, room and board are all covered by the college. Located near Bishop, California, Deep Springs offers its academic experience on an isolated Cattle Ranch in the Deep Springs Valley. Only 12 – 15 students are admitted each year. The student body is responsible for determining who is admitted, who is hired and how their peers are graded. Each student is expected to commit to 20 hours of labor on the ranch.

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