10 Truly Free Colleges That Don’t Charge Tuition

Berea CollegeHave you lost your job, or do you despair that you lack education for a higher salary? Take a look at these ten truly free colleges listed below, as they truly do not charge tuition. With that said, some do charge for room and board or processing fees. But, you may find a degree that can provide you with the career boost that you need — without college loan worries.

The colleges are listed in alphabetical order to show readers that we do not favor one college over another.

  1. Alice Lloyd CollegeAlice Lloyd College: Located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, this is a liberal arts college with a work-study program. Applicants must reside in rural Appalachia, must score at least a 17 on the ACT or 430 verbal and 400 math on the SAT, and must have a 2.25 grade point average (GPA) in pre-college curriculum courses. Students are required to work at least ten hours per week in exchange for tuition, and students who cannot afford room and board may work up to fifteen hours per week.
  2. Berea CollegeBerea College: Located in beautiful Berea, Kentucky, this liberal arts college program contains a mandatory work-study program. Most accepted students have limited financial resources and reside in Appalachia. Requirements include a score between 20 and 30 on the ACT or between 1410 and 1980 on the SAT. GPA must be at least 3.0. Accepted students are required to work at least ten hours per week in one of more than 140 college departments. Unfortunately, room, board and books are not covered, but that ten hours of work takes care of a tuition valued at $23,400.
  3. City UniversityCity University of New York’s Teacher Academy: This New York academy prepares undergraduates to be math or science teachers in New York City’s public middle and high schools. Applicants must show a strong science and math background, a high overall GPA and high SAT or ACT scores. Teacher Academy students begin working in host schools in their first year, within a community to understand what makes great teaching and what motivates students. They see what is happening in the schools — how students respond to teachers, how teachers assess students, how students change over time.
  4. College of the OzarksCollege of the Ozarks: Point Lookout, Missouri is the location for this liberal arts college, which also is known as “Hard Work U.” Students must demonstrate a financial need and should be in the top half of their graduating class with at least a 19 on the ACT or a 910 on the SAT. In exchange for no tuition, students must work at least fifteen hours per week at a campus work station. Students are graded on their work performance as well as their academics.
  5. Cooper UnionCooper Union: A highly rated engineering, art and architecture college located in Manhattan, New York, Cooper Union requires students to submit a portfolio and to complete a home test comprised of six or seven projects. Architecture applicants are accepted after academic achievement and a home test evaluation are reviewed. Engineering students are required to have high GPA, SAT scores and to excel in math and science exams. Thanks to an endowment, accepted students can save on a tuition valued at $130,000.
  6. Curtis Institute of MusicCurtis Institute of Music: Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this music conservatory seeks students with strong musical aptitude who want to pursue a professional music career. Student must apply and then audition for acceptance. This music conservatory is rated as highly as Juillard. As part of their training, Curtis students host over 100 public concerts each year.
  7. Deep Springs College: This all-male liberal arts college is located on a cattle ranch in a remote Deep Springs, California desert. The focus at this school is on academics, labor and self-governance. Applicants must take the SAT or ACT and complete a two-stage application process. Every student admitted to this program (about 10-15 per year) must work at least twenty hours per week on the ranch for free tuition, room and board.
  8. Franklin W. Olin College of EngineeringFranklin W. Olin College of Engineering: Students with a strong calculus and physics foundation can take either the SAT or ACT and apply to this engineering school, which is located in Needham, Massachusetts. Applicants also must take two SAT subject tests in math and science. Students here can feel honored, as Olin is ranked as one of the top undergraduate engineering programs in the country. A hint for your projects: Olin places an emphasis on creative ideas that address societal needs.
  9. University of the PeopleUniversity of the People: University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first tuition-free, online academic institution dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. With the support of respected academics, humanitarians and other visionaries, the UoPeople student body represents a new wave in global education, realized by entrepreneur Shai Reshef. Located in Pasadena, California (but available from any computer online), this college is based upon learning by teaching, or peer-to-peer methodology in two programs — Business Administration and Computer Science. All fees have been waived except registration ($15 to $50 depending upon your resident country) and $10 to $100 exam processing fees, once again based upon resident country. Prospective students must fill out an application and compose a 400-500 word essay based upon a topic provided to the applicant. UoPeople currently is not accredited, but they are active in the process; therefore you cannot transfer credits to or from this school.
  10. Webb InstituteWebb Institute: Glen Cove, New York, is home to this naval architecture and marine engineering college. Student applicants must show a strong engineering background, and must have at least a B average in physics, chemistry and math as well as strong grades in all other subjects. The average SAT score for accepted applicants is 1370 out of 1600.