What’s the easiest way to avoid heaps of debt? Get your education somewhere that will grant you free college tuition, of course!
A debt-free college education is hands-down the best freebie you’ll ever get, and the list of tuition-free schools in the U.S. is steadily growing.
Here is a list of places you can find free college tuition.
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Get a free Ivy League education if your household makes less than $60,000 to $160,000.
Here is a list of Ivy league universities that will pay for your education if your family makes less than $60,000 — and you get accepted, of course.
- Brown University
- Dartmouth (household income must be less than $100,000/year)
- Harvard (household income must be less than $65,000/year)
- MIT (household income must be less than $75,000/year)
- Princeton (household income must be less than $1620,000/year)
- Stanford (household income must be less than $125,000)
- Vanderbilt (although a minimum household income is not noted outright, they promise to provide for low-income students)
- Yale (household income must be less than $65,000/year)
Tennesseans can jumpstart their education for free thanks to state-sponsored programs.
Folks who don’t already have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree can attend a community college in Tennessee for free thanks to the Tennessee Reconnect program. To maintain the scholarship, students must attend school full-time and do eight hours of community service each semester.
The Tennessee Promise program also provides free tuition community college or technical school for two full years Only residents who don’t have an associate or bachelor degree are eligible.
You must have been a state resident for at least one year prior to applying, enroll as (at minimum) a part-time student, and maintain a 2.0 GPA.
Attend community college in Oregon for free if you have at least a 2.5 GPA.
The Oregon Promise program grants free tuition to high school students who have a 2.5 GPA or higher or received 145 on their GED.
In addition, you must have graduated from an Oregon high school within six months of enrolling at the community college (or completed your GED in Oregon) and have been an Oregon resident for at least 12 months prior to enrolling.
Alice Lloyd College offers free college tuition to residents of 108 Appalachian counties.
Alice Lloyd College is located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. ALC students living in one of the 108 counties throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia can get a free four-year college education.
The catch? Students must work 10 to 20 hours per week on campus.
Barclay College in Kansas provides free tuition to any full-time student living on campus.
Barclay College is a four-year Quaker university located in Haviland, Kansas.
Students just have to pay room and board to live on campus (which is non-negotiable for those receiving free tuition), but after that, tuition is covered.
Berea College offers free tuition to working and volunteer students.
Berea College in Berea, Kentucky only accepts students who qualify for financial assistance. They give every student a laptop, and charge $0 for tuition.
Students are required to pay their own room and board as well as other expenses, and must work on campus or commit to local community service — including working with programs focused on extending the life of historical mountain crafts and traditions.
Which means, you could get a free education while also learning a traditional craft like basket weaving.
The College of the Ozarks offers free tuition in exchange for part-time work.
The College of the Ozarks, Christian liberal-arts college located in Missouri, will pay tuition for students who do 15 hours per week of on-campus work. Nicknamed “Hard Work U,” the College of the Ozarks boasts zero student debt and 100% hard-working students.
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California residents can attend community college for free.
The state of California pays for residents to attend two years of community college if you are attending for the first time and will be enrolled full-time. California’s Promise Program is similar to Oregon and Tennessee. Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, Montana, and Oklahoma also have similar initiatives, though eligibility may vary.
Claim a spot at the Curtis Institute of Music for free top-notch classical training.
Are you a classical musician and/or vocalist? If you claim one of the 150 competitive spots at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, you’ll be trained as an orchestra musician, opera singer, or composer for free.
Most of these students go on to earn a spot in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Pretty impressive.
Get a free education at one of the U.S. Military Academies.
While you’ll need to go through a fairly competitive selection process that includes a congressional recommendation, and both physical and academic evaluations, the education you’ll receive at a one of the U.S. Military Academies (USMA)USMA is top notch.
Here are a few you can attend for free once you’ve been accepted:
- Air Force Academy
- Coast Guard Academy
- United States Merchant Marine Academy
- West Point
- U.S. Naval Academy
The Webb Institute will teach you to build ships for free, then place you in a job.
The Webb Institute has an incredibly narrow focus — naval architecture and marine engineering — but your bachelor’s degree is paid for. You’ll just have to pay for books and fees.
And don’t worry about getting a job afterward: Webb Institute’s job placement rate is about 100%.
Low-income locals of Carlinville, Illinois can attend Blackburn College for free.
College hopefuls of families who make less than $60,000 a year and live in Macoupin County in Indiana will be granted a full ride to Blackburn College.
Eligible students must be accepted, receive a full Federal Pell Grant and Illinois Monetary Awards Program (MAP) assistance, and take part in the university’s work program.
New Yorkers could qualify for free college tuition via the Macaulay Tuition Scholarship.
Eight colleges in New York State participate in the Macaulay program, which awards students who meet CUNY NYS residency requirements and have outstanding academic records with free tuition.
Students who qualify for the highly competitive program will also receive a free MacBook.
Get two years of education for free at Deep Springs College.
Deep Springs College is located in Deep Springs Valley and 40 miles from its closest town — Bishop, California. This small, rural two-year college gives all its students a $50,000 scholarship that pays for tuition, room, and board.
Deep Springs students study academics, student self-government, and manual labor and will work on campus about 20 hours per week. They are also expected to pay for their own books and supplies, but can ask for additional financial assistance if they’re unable to do so.
Antioch College will pay for your tuition in exchange for work.
The liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio announced its Antioch College Works program will start in fall 2020 and pay full tuition for students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Students must also work on campus and are responsible for meal plan and boarding costs (though you could apply for additional grants to cover them). But, you could get all four years paid for if they maintain grades and eligibility.