• Amanda

Don't Pay for Your Degree: Go to College for Free

Check out the tuition-free college options below to keep college debt down!

College isn’t exactly cheap but for people who want a career and not another job, to make money doing what they love in this thing called life, it’s pretty important. U.S. News says students spend an average of $11,171 to attend an in-state public college, but that rate significantly increases at private institutions and out-of-state-colleges. Sure, student loans and scholarships are available, but they each carry their own disadvantages. Rather than go into debt to get an education, why not attend a tuition-free college instead?

Free Community College in 17 States

In 17 states, students can attend community college at no cost. Those states:

- Arkansas

- Delaware

- Hawaii

- Indiana

- Kentucky

- Maryland

- Minnesota

- Missouri

- Montana

- Nevada

- New York

- Oklahoma

- Oregon

- Rhode Island

- Tennessee

- Washington

Community colleges in each state on this list offer first-dollar and last-dollar grants for students that cover most tuition costs. Most states offer last-dollar grants.

First-Dollar Grants Vs. Last-Dollar Grants

First-dollar grants provide scholarship funds that cover all tuition fees for a student, regardless of their eligibility for financial aid.

Last-dollar grants cover the gap between the student’s financial aid and college tuition costs. Students must make a financial contribution to the tuition cost before the grant takes effect.

Tuition-Free College Requirements

Each community college sets its own requirements for admission and acceptance for the tuition-free program. Check with the college of interest for information about their requirements and assistance completing an application.

More Than Free Community College

Want a better education than available from a community college? Several colleges across the country offer the same opportunity to earn a degree for free. Like the tuition-free community college program, two-year and four-year colleges and universities set special requirements for students accepted into their programs. Contact the Admissions department at the college of interest to learn more about their criteria for acceptance.

Free Tuition at U.S. Colleges

The following colleges are among the many across the country offering free tuition for students who meet their requirements.

University of Southern California (USC)

USC understands the burden college tuition places on students, especially in California, where tuition rates are among the highest in the country. Students earning less than $80,000 qualify for free tuition at USC. The goal of this program is to ease the debt students experience after graduation.

City College of San Francisco

Another California college offering tuition-free education is The City College of San Francisco. Available for local students, the Free City program covers the enrollment fee for students earning associates degrees. Miscellaneous fees like student activities and the health fee are not included in the offer.

College of the Ozarks

Located in Missouri, the College of the Ozarks offers free tuition to students who enroll on a full-time basis. Part-time students pay $310 per credit hour. Students must work 15-hours per week with two mandatory 40-hour weeks during the year. Students must pay their own service and technology fees. Contact the Admissions Department at the college for additional information.

Barclay College

A Christian college in Kansas, Barclay College provides a $17,000 scholarship to full-time, on-campus students. Courses available include Family Ministries, Business Management, and Psychology. Students are responsible to pay their own health fees, technology fees, room and board, and miscellaneous fees.

Williamson College of the Trades

A faith-based college located in Pennsylvania, Williamson College of the Trades offers associate degrees and teaches horticulture, masonry, and other similar trades. A scholarship at this college could be as high as $33,180, which exceeds current tuition fees.

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