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Tuition Free Colleges

Updated on April 8, 2015

Tuition-Free Colleges and how to make college more affordable.

Would you like to go to a tuition-free college? How's that for a cheap education? Yes, they do exist but you must be aware that it is not easy and there may be drawbacks. You need to be at the top of your education game with a high GPA and a good student resume to get in. But if you get into a tuition-free college, you have got it made!

Military Service Academies

The US Military Academies are all tuition free. Yes, they are hard to get into, but they admit more student than you think.

The US Military Academy, West Point admits 1,292 new students each year.

US Naval Academy admits about 1,200.

US Air Force Academy has about 1,400 incoming freshmen.

That's a total of about 4,000 students a year. Have a super high SAT/ACT score and get to know a senator.

Most will write letters on your behalf if they think you are a good candidate.

Yes, you do have to commit to a few years in the military, but an academy college education is top notch.

Can't get into an academy but still want to be an officer? JROTC and ROTC also will help pay tuition.

Tuition-Free Colleges

What you need to know.

They are quite hard to get into as many students are applying. Start in high school to find out what is involved for each school.

Tuition-free colleges are scattered all over the United States. You may need to travel to places you never thought you would live. You may not be near a large city and your social life may be nonexistent for 4 years. Yes, there tuition-free colleges in other countries!

Tuition-free colleges and universities are not for party animals. They are schools that over-emphasize academics. If you don't like studying, forget about them.

Do you have the right skills or interests for that tuition-free college? Some have a narrow scope, like music or visual arts. Your major may need to change.

Many tuition-free colleges don't just give it to you. You must work on campus. If you think it is impossible to work, study, and go to all your classes, think about paying tuition somewhere else.

There are other expenses other than just tuition. Yes, tuition is a big chunk, but you will still need cash for personal items and luxuries. And traveling back home may be a big expense as well as inconvenient.

However, with even state colleges charging up to $50,000 for a four year degree, it is well worthwhile to get in to a tuition-free college or university!

Stanford University, Washington, Washington State, MIT do not charge tuition to students of certain income levels.

SOKA University of America in Alisa Viejo, CA., charges no tuition for students whose family income is below $60,000

Other tuition free colleges:

Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia

College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri

Deep Springs College located on a farm/ranch on California's High Desert

Cooper Union in Manhatten (No longer tuition free, but offers a sliding scale with the most needy students still paying nothing.)

Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass.(No longer tuition free, but gives each student a half-ride scholarship, and awards grants to needy students)

Berea College in Berea, Kentucky

In Norway, Norwegian University of Science and Technology is tuition free

In Sweden, one tuition-free college is Jönköping International Business School.


> College money help


Outside Articles for College Students

Don't pay for scholarship searches. Start at your counseling office at your high school. They will have virtually all scholarship information you need for free. You can also click below for a free search:

Search for scholarships

Ways to Make College More Affordable

Take some classes at a junior college. The tuition is much lower.

Take classes with a friend and share the cost of a book.

Take an online class. The tuition is usually lower and no travel.

Live at home with your parents or a relative.

Get as many free college money like scholarships and grants. Every little bit adds up.

Ask your relatives to donate to your education. Sounds funny, but why not have a little internal-family fund raising?

Many colleges keep copies of textbooks in the library. Check it out! May give you free access to a textbook you cannot afford.

Change your major! Okay, last resort. But many science degrees cannot be completed in just four years. Too many prerequisites. That's more classes, more tuition. Also, math and science textbooks are on average much more expensive than other books.

Having said that about textbooks, sometimes a math book, like the calculus series, can be used for multiple quarters. Check on this as well.

Buy your books online or buy early and get them used. Textbooks at the college bookstore are VERY expensive. Even for used books. Make sure you sell your books online as well. You will get a lot more money than the bookstore will.

Attend a state college or university. They are light years cheaper. And get this. Once you graduate, nobody will really care where you went!

Many Christian and private colleges offer a tuition reduction for work. And they will supply the job!

Make college as cheap as you can. Don't party. Attend a college where the weather is good most of the time. A foul-weather site will eat a clothes budget quick.

Put your social life on hold. You are young. You will have the rest of your lives to party and have fun. Right now, in college, study and graduate.

How to Pay for College - Get the cash you need for college now!

Reader Feedback

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    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 4 years ago from Corona, CA

      @anonymous: Sliding scale for one, with some students paying zero, and half ride scholarships right off the bat for the other, with generous grants for needy students. Those who do not have the ability to pay, in most cases, will still get in basically tuition free.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cooper Union and the Olin school are no longer free. They are both charging tuition now.

    • profile image

      greytdogz 5 years ago

      Although I am in Canada, the advice and suggestions in this lens is very helpful. My son will be going back to college next year. Thanks.

    • Infohouse profile image

      Infohouse 5 years ago

      Timely and very useful information. My son is starting college in two years.

    • irminia profile image

      irminia 5 years ago

      I tried Coursera - fantactic online courses given by sme of the best universities for free.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had no idea there were tuition free schools, other than some states that do not charge tution for residents. Remember to apply for FASFA because depending on what grants you apply for you may not need to worry about 'free tutition'. can help you find great schools that match your goals. Where ever you go....good luck!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I am dropping by again to read this helpful and hopeful article.

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      This is a great lens for anyone trying to go to college but struggling with money. I actually never knew tuition free colleges existed. However, if one is that academically studious, tuition free college may not be necessary because scholarships may cover all tuition costs. There are many good tips on here though.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Very good lens. You give some good advice here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Tuition Free College's are hard to find, this Lens is Extremely useful!! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great advice and good tips on saving money for kids and parents!

    • profile image

      pbfinance 6 years ago

      Loved the post but the point you make is a good one.

    • OldStones LM profile image

      OldStones LM 6 years ago

      I forwarded this page to my daugter who hads just started her first year of college at a local university. I am sure she will find the money saving tips most helpful, so will I ;) This page is a great resource for students and their parents. Well done.

    • Mermaiden profile image

      Mermaiden 6 years ago

      what a really great informative and comprehensive lens. This page has so many great resources for college students. Nice!

    • LaineA profile image

      Amy Stephens 6 years ago from Missouri

      Free colleges are awesome. My sister went to a free college. Just make sure the college you are going to will have transferable credit if going else where for a masters degree.

    • vauldine profile image

      vauldine 6 years ago

      I would really like to get to some free coleges for my daughtr in the US. Thanks

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      Excellent lens--I am going to feature yours on my lensroll--as soon as I can figure out how to do it!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Great! thanks!!!!! Let them learn!

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      Very good lens. I am heartily in favor of getting higher education, and too many people can't afford high tuition.

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 6 years ago

      Good info for the college bound set in this economy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is valuable information for anyone, especially those of us who have children on their way to college. Thanks for taking the time to create this Lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens Thanks for sharing. Work Plan Platform

    • profile image

      wheelbound 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Super informative. Great job.

    • profile image

      SnoopyGirl1 7 years ago

      My kids are only in kindergarten and 2nd grade, but it sure is helpful to think ahead. I have looked into the College of the Ozarks, but didn't realize there were so many others. Thanks for sharing!

    • SilverLotus1 profile image

      SilverLotus1 7 years ago

      You might want to add the US Coast Guard Academy to the list of military service academies!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 7 years ago

      I worked in higher education for years and I still learned a lot reading this lens! Way to go! Great information.

    • Davidfstillwagon profile image

      Davidfstillwagon 7 years ago

      Really great information!

    • profile image

      DARdreams 7 years ago

      A couple more tips: Check places like your local Craigslist for used college textbooks and post yours for sale there when you're finished with them. Even used textbooks are expensive at the college bookstore and they give you very little when/if they buy them back.

      Some community colleges offer free tuition for those who have just graduated from high school with a high GPA.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Excellent lens! This is the information I was looking for, great help! Thank you for sharing this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very good information, nice to find something of use to me keep up the good work, would be nice to see more from you, 5 stars! accredited online college degree

    • profile image

      88shoppe 8 years ago

      great lens! lots of valuable info. I leave a star for you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Excellent lens for those who would like to earn online college degrees in whichever field they desire. The main advantage to home study is that you have that much needed flexibility allowing you to mould or rather sculpt your degree programme around your current life situation. Excellent work nonetheless.

    • profile image

      rmyskd 8 years ago

      Nice lens with good information. Worth reading it. Here is my 5 stars!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great information. A lot of people want to continue with their higher education and don't know any resources to help them accomplish that. People like me. I earned my Associate's Degree from Katharine Gibbs School in June of 2001 in Occupational Studies. I then continued to earn my Bachelor's Degree from The College of New Rochelle-School of New Resources, but just completed 2 Semesters ending in 2007. I didn't know where to begin. Thanks for the thorough information. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      which of d country offer free tuition

    • profile image

      alghaz01 8 years ago

      5 stars to you StephenC.. Hopeful you will visit my lens about depression treatment program..thanks

      I wish I can make LoTD like yours..thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This page is great! Good information! I got the scholarship to Netherlands on 2006.

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