One of the most critical aspects of attending college is the student’s or parent’s excessive financial responsibility. No one wants to be left with massive student loans to pay back after graduation. Studies show that a majority of students graduate school with an extraordinarily high mound of college debt to whittle away at as they begin their lives in the workforce, sometimes upwards of $35,000. But, graduating with your college degree or certification in hand doesn’t have to be that way.
Amazingly, there are a few colleges that offer degrees to students at no cost, or, at least at a significantly reduced price. So, does the adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is” apply here? Yes, it does, in some instances. Most definitely, if a school offers free tuition, you should check the fine print and inquire about hidden fees.
Perhaps the tuition-free option you are exploring depends on the type of learning format you prefer, as well. Are you going to attend the traditional brick and mortar university and what is your end goal? For example, some schools offer free tuition for a particular course; therefore, you may only earn a certificate and not a degree or academic credit for the course. Another option allows you to work on-campus a certain number of hours, perhaps 15 hours per week, in place of tuition. Additionally, schools may also offer summer work programs to help with room and board costs.
Of course, scholarships and grants play an important role in obtaining a college degree. Pell grants are available to low-income families and do not have to be paid back. Even a few prestigious Ivy League schools, such as Harvard, offer free tuition if the combined family income is at a minimum.
Although tuition-free college is extremely helpful to students and parents, it can be misleading, as registration fees and examination fees usually do apply. For example, if a school charges $100 for each exam taken, the total cost incurred, while earning an associate degree, can cost upwards of $2,000, based on 20 exams. Naturally, this can increase up to $4,000 for a bachelor’s degree program. Other expenses, depending on your learning format, may include textbooks, meal plans, housing, and additional student fees.
If you are interested in online learning, but not necessarily focused on an academic degree, you should consider Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are primarily offered for free through EdX, FutureLearn or Coursera.
Students without the necessary means to afford a college education should fret no longer! For a list of Tuition Free Colleges and Universities on our website, click the link and explore your options!
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