Are there colleges or universities that offer free tuition?

For most students and parents, tuition costs to cover your education at your desired university or college is of the utmost importance. Who wants to start their life and career straight out of college in debt up to their ears? Nobody. Affordability is, of course, your biggest concern.

According to, as of 2018, 44.2 million American student loan borrowers owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt. That is astounding considering it outweighs U.S. credit card debt by $620 billion. The average student in 2017 graduated with student loan debt in the amount of $39,400, which is up six percent from the year 2016. A borrower between the ages of 20 to 30 years old has an average loan note of $351 per month, and furthermore, 11.2 percent of students are delinquent in their payments by over 90 days or in default.

Due to high tuition costs, a majority of students are not able to attend college. Some start and are not able to finish and are leaving before obtaining the degree they desperately need. In America, this is happening more than in any other developed country. Sure, there are scholarships and grants, but they will often only pay for a portion of your educational journey.

The question is, why would anyone want to put themselves in that predicament upon starting their career? Well, often to get the education you desire and from the prestigious college you wish to put on your resume, debt is your only option…or is it? Amazingly, there are a few colleges that can offer degrees to students at little to no cost; however, other fees may apply.

Here are a few examples of free-tuition specifications that might be options that can benefit you.  Some colleges offer free tuition to students that live in a particular state or region applicable to their location; however, you will be required to accept a job through their work programs, such as a library assistant, lifeguard or a maintenance position.

The College of the Ozarks in Missouri requires the student to work on campus 15 hours a week, in addition to two 40-hour work weeks performing custodial and dairy farming duties. Is music your passion? The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia offers prospective students auditions to qualify them for free tuition; but, students are responsible for their own housing costs, as well as, textbooks and administrative fees. For the guy’s only, Deep Springs College in California offers free tuition in exchange for working on the school’s alfalfa farm and cattle ranch.

Many students right out of high school join a branch of the military; however, many academies offer free college tuition in exchange for your military service after graduation, such as the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. If you are a sports enthusiast, the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York also offers free tuition; although, they do require their cadets to serve in the military and play on a sports team each semester.


tuition free colleges and universities

As you can see, higher education is not entirely out of reach. Be sure to read the fine print of any free tuition college or university agreement because there are probably several stipulations to receiving the free tuition that you will want to be aware of, without a doubt. If you are interested in degree programs with free tuition options, please check out our picks for the Tuition-Free Colleges and Universities.