Colleges offer tuition-free education


According to College Board, the average student spends a mean of $22,958 on out-of-state public colleges, or $9,139 on in-state tuition. Though in-state tuition is significantly less than out-of-state tuition, some students still struggle with costs, which can often lead to debts.

For students that fit the financial criteria, there are options of tuition-free education. The following are open to students living outside of the college’s districts:

 College of the Ozarks

This is a college located in Point Lookout, MO, that provides students with the option to earn their education through their on-campus labor.

At College of the Ozarks, students are required to work 15 hours per week. They are also required to have two weeks with 40 hours of work, which is scheduled when classes are not in session. The hours that a students works goes towards paying their school tuition. Additionally, there is a Summer Work Program, where students have the opportunity to work in the summer before the term begins. The summer hours are applied toward room and board charges for the upcoming year.

On-campus jobs offered at College of the Ozarks range from agriculture, nursing, construction, communications and more. In total, there are over 80 work stations where students are employed. Rather than choosing their job station, students are assigned their jobs during a school sponsored program called a Character Camp.

Like off-campus jobs, students are permitted to request off holidays and sick days. If a student chooses to do so, they are responsible for arranging makeup hours with their work station supervisors.

Not only can students earn grades on their education, but College of the Ozarks files work performance grades alongside a student’s academic grades, giving students the opportunity to show a record of credentials to future employers outside of college.

Students interested in more information about College of the Ozarks should visit their website, here.

Berea College

Located in Berea, KY, students work in exchange for their tuition. Unlike College of the Ozarks, Berea requires their students to have a minimum of 10 hours a week at approved campus departments.

Berea offers over 130 departments for students to work in. Whether students may chose their work field or not depends on the student’s past academic performance.

Job opportunities on campus vary widely and opportunities change year to year.

Students receive the opportunity to participate in over 70 school-sponsored organizations, which students may chose to volunteer at alongside their on-campus jobs.

Students looking for more information about Berea should visit their website, here.

Deep Springs College

Though it may not be an Agricultural college, Deep Springs, located in Big Pine, CA, students play a large role on the on-campus ranch and farms.

Deep Springs provides education in exchange for farm labor. Each year, the college farm produces 152 acres of alfalfa hay. The college began their tuition-free program with alfalfa farming, but later expanded with nearly 15 possible positions. (List of possible jobs here).

Each term, students are assigned new labor positions, ranging from tasks such as dish washing, to farming alfalfa or herding cattle. Within the term, students must meet the minimum of 20 required hours of work.

Once a term has ended, students receive the opportunity to submit a list of preferred assignments for their next labor assignment for the upcoming term.

Though students get to chose their positions, it is required that all students work jobs within the boarding homes for at least two terms of the academic year.

Some on-campus jobs are longer than one term, such as farm hands and gardeners. Other jobs can even require students to work over the summer.

Through their labor, students earn all of their required supplies, along with room and board, as long as the minimum of hours is met.

Students looking for more information on Deep Springs should visit their website, here.

 Students are chosen to receive these college opportunities based on their financial need, as these programs are in place for students unable to pay for tuition fees. Whether or not a student fits this criteria is according to their completed Free Application for Federal student aid (FAFSA) form online. By filling out a FAFSA, students can highlight their necessity for financial assistance when applying colleges listed above, and other colleges within the program. To fill out a FAFSA and discover more information, visit their website here.