At Scholarships.com, we help students find scholarships to pay for college tuition. But what if you didn’t have to pay tuition? There are a handful of schools in the U.S. that are tuition-free, meaning that while students may have to pay for room and board or meal plans, they do not have to pay tuition to attend the college. On the flip side, tuition-free schools may require students to work alongside their studies or, for military academies, to enlist upon graduation.
One common way that schools offer tuition-free admittance to students is by putting them to work on campus or in the community. Some schools, like Alice Lloyd College or Berea College in Kentucky, have tuition-free students participate in the campus work-study program, whereas other schools send students out into their fields to work the land. If you attend Deep Springs College in California for a two-year degree, expect to till the alfalfa fields and tend to the cattle that roam on the grounds. For students who had after-school or weekend jobs while in high school, working while at college may be in their wheelhouse.
Military academies like the United States Naval Academy or Military Academy also offer free tuition, only if students promise that they will enlist in the corresponding U.S. military field for at least five years upon graduation. Military academies are competitive schools and joining the military is a big commitment. But for students who have the drive to serve, the patriotism, and the discipline to become a soldier, marine or naval officer, military academies might be a good fit.
Then there are trade schools that, rather than enroll students, take on student apprentices to learn a variety of practical and essential trades. The Apprentice School in Virginia employs students in the ship-building trade, teaching them the skills and letting them put those skills to work. Rather than pay tuition, students are actually paid to work at the school, and their pay increases throughout their apprenticeship – usually four to five years long. Similarly, Williamson College of the Trades offers generous financial aid surpassing the price of attendance to students who are interested in learning masonry or horticulture. It may not be a traditional college experience, but these traditional trades are always in demand.
Significant financial need does not limit your options for college. Scholarships.com can help you find free financial aid to pay for school no matter where you go. From local scholarships, to state and national scholarships, there are avenues aplenty to pursue when seeking financial aid. Try a free scholarship search today and discover how you can save on college costs.