More “Free” Money for College 4: Attend a Tuition-Free School

Maybe it’s not “free” money, but “free” college is just as good! There are a handful of colleges that don’t any cost money to attend if you have one of the following qualities:

  • You are financially needy.
  • You want to work in the college’s field of specialty.
  • You are willing to work 15–20 hours a week for the school.
  • You are very smart.

The difficulty with these schools is that the competition for admission can be fierce. Dartmouth College, for instance, is one of many institutions that choose their student body based on merit alone, with no knowledge of each applicant’s financial situation. If a low-income person is admitted, the school will (currently) cover that student’s entire tuition. However, Dartmouth’s Ivy League status plus its reputation as a party school make it a popular choice for many hopeful applicants, and acceptance is limited to only the exceptional. The highly-acclaimed Deep Springs College considers a person’s willingness to milk a cow of greater importance than a strong academic background, so it invites young men with low SAT scores to come on in and apply. Unfortunately, the college only accepts 15 or fewer new students each school year.

University of the People is an up-and-coming educational option for the poverty-stricken. This tuition-free online school is “devoted to providing universal access to higher education.” And since they received accreditation in 2014, they offer two-year associate and four-year bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Health Science. They’ve partnerships with a host of other educational institutions with longer-standing reputations, such as UC Berkeley, NYU and Yale Law, and now have over 9,118 students from 194 countries enrolled. Read more about them online here.


Photo:  Amanda Kerr

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