10 Colleges Where Tuition is Free

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Higher education is a wonderful thing, but the price can be very steep.

The College Board reports that tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 school year average $10,230 at public four-year, in-state institutions. They average $35,830 at private nonprofit four-year schools.

But here and there throughout the country are schools where you pay nothing for tuition if you meet certain requirements. There might be work-study involved, but you can save tens of thousands of dollars by attending these schools.

Following is a look at U.S. colleges and universities that don’t charge for tuition.

Berea College

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Location: Berea, Kentucky

Berea College, located in Kentucky’s Appalachian region, offers a Tuition Promise Scholarship. As the college’s website explains it:

“No student pays tuition at Berea. All admitted students receive our Tuition Promise Scholarship, which covers 100% of tuition costs. For most Berea students, the Tuition Promise Scholarship amounts to over $157,000 across four years.”

Berea, like a few of the following institutions, is what’s known as a work college. All Berea students work at least 10 hours per week in campus jobs and service jobs.

Alice Lloyd College

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Location: Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Alice Lloyd College, another Appalachian work college, offers 10 semesters of free tuition to all students from the college’s service area, which comprises 108 counties in Central Appalachia. These counties are spread across Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Alice Lloyd is one of a select number of schools in the country that offers programs specifically designed to help students cut down on debt,” the college’s website states.

However, students must participate in Alice Lloyd’s Student Work Program, which the college describes as intended to be both an earning and a learning experience.

Deep Springs College

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Location: Deep Springs Valley (40 miles from Bishop, California)

Deep Springs College isn’t nearly your typical college. There are only 24 to 30 students, it’s located on a isolated cattle ranch and the school takes pride in its “weird” application questions.

But, if admitted, you can’t beat the price. Deep Springs offers its students “a full scholarship valued at over $50,000, which includes tuition, room, and board.”

Barclay College

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Location: Haviland, Kansas

This Christian learning institution provides a full-tuition scholarship so that students get a “Christian education without the weight of a debt mountain.”

One stipulation for the full scholarship, however, is that students must live on campus. Off-campus students and online students are eligible for smaller scholarships.

Barclay offers undergraduate programs in areas that include ministry and missions as well as elementary education and business administration, among others.

College of the Ozarks

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Location: Point Lookout, Missouri

Also known as Hard Work U, this Christian college nestled in the Ozark Mountains region openly discourages debt and does not provide loans.

College of the Ozarks students pay for their education through a combination of federal and state grants, a scholarship and a work program — which entails 15 hours of work per week and two 40-hour work weeks per school year.

Curtis Institute of Music

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Location: Philadelphia

Famous composers Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber are among the notable graduates of Curtis Institute of Music, which only admits about 4% of applicants and maintains a student body of only about 175.

Curtis provides all students with full-tuition scholarships. For the 2018-2019 school year, these scholarships are worth $43,590 for undergraduates and $54,125 for graduate students, according to the institute.

Warren Wilson College

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Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Warren Wilson College is a liberal arts institution that places a high value on working in the community.

As of fall 2018, undergraduate students who are eligible for federal or state need-based financial aid can attend the college tuition-free. Requirements for tuition-free attendance include being a North Carolina resident and participating in the college’s work program, which requires 10 hours of work per week.

Warren Wilson College, which has fewer than 700 students, encourages undergrads to explore their myriad interests by mixing and matching majors, minors and concentrations.

Webb Institute

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Location: Glen Cove, New York

Webb Institute is an engineering college focused on naval architecture and marine engineering.

The college provides all students full-tuition scholarships — which are valued at $51,240 for the 2019-2020 school year — and also need-based assistance to cover other costs of attendance.

Williamson College of the Trades

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Location: Delaware County, Pennsylvania

This Judeo-Christian school for men offers associate degrees in six mechanical trades, such as carpentry, masonry, horticulture and power plant technology.

All students attend Williamson College of the Trades on full scholarships, which cover the cost of tuition, room and board and textbooks. The college gives preference to applicants who could not otherwise afford to go to college due to their family’s financial situation.

Macaulay Honors College

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Location: New York City

Macaulay Honors College is the honors college of City University of New York (CUNY), which offers 475 majors across eight campuses.

Macaulay, located in Manhattan, provides in-state students with tuition scholarships, which cover the cost of eight semesters of full-time undergraduate study as well as summer and winter classes.

Would you consider attending a college like one of these, or sending your child to one? Share your thoughts by commenting below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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