Tuition Free Colleges: Higher Education’s Best Kept Secret?

Want to go to college for free?

According to BusinessWeek, a small handful of colleges in the United States offer special situations that allow students to attend school sans tuition.  Some of these schools specialize in a particular topic, while others offer a work-study program, in which students participate instead of paying tuition.  These schools are known as tuition free colleges, or full scholarship colleges.

Here are some of America’s tuition free colleges:

1) The Cooper Union of the Advancement of Science and Art

Located in the West Village of New York City, this unique institution was founded on the principle that education should be free and accessible to all.  The school offers degrees in fine arts, engineering, and architecture (which it’s probably known for best), and as you can imagine, it’s a very selective institution.

2. College of the Ozarks

Located in a remote area in Missouri near Branson, this Christian liberal arts college offers a work-study program that pays for tuition.  Students work at jobs that help maintain the campus for 15 hours a week — occasionally more — and that covers their tuition.  The school proudly bears the nickname “Work Hard U.”

3. Deep Springs College

Deep Springs is an all-male two year college located in the remote Owens Valley of California, about 45 minutes from the nearest town of Bishop.  Deep Springs is a truly unique place that only admits about 10 to 20 students per year, and students pay for their tuition through work-study, which is related to the cattle and alfalfa farm where the school resides. Students are not allowed to interact with the outside world during the semester.  Sound bizarre?  Maybe, but virtually all students go on to four year schools, and a huge percentage earn master’s or doctorate degrees — many at prestigious institutions.

4) The Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music is a conservatory in Philadelphia, and U.S. News and World Report ranks it to be the single most selective school in the United States.  The school only admits enough students to fill an orchestra — plus some additional vocal musicians — so there’s only about 150 students.  All students who are able to get in are on full scholarship.

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