With my youngest starting college this year, I’m all too aware of the emotions surrounding making college payments and student debt. While I’m incredibly proud of both of them for all they continue to achieve, my bank account and I have been on better terms.
It seems that institutions of higher learning have been paying attention to their alums, students, and parents, though. An increasing number of colleges and universities are offering free or reduced tuition options.
The list is growing, so be sure to do your own research if there’s a college you or your child is interested in. What follows is some of our favorites and is by no means comprehensive.
Alice Lloyd College
- Tuition-free in exchange for students working at least 160 hours each semester at either an on-campus job or in the community
- Found as “college for Appalachia”
- All financial aid packages have replaced loans with grants (which do not have to be repaid)
- More than 55% of the student body receives financial assistance
- All student can attend tuition-free
- Students must work at least 10 hours each week
College of the Ozarks
- Tuition-free for everyone
- Must work 15 hours every week
Macaulay Honor College at City University of New York
- Every student receives a merit-based scholarship allowing them to attend at no cost
- Matriculated students also receive a laptop and other perks
Many other colleges across the country are changing from loans to scholarships or grants and others are excluding parental assets as a basis for determining financial need. Each school, and each state, is different. Before you decide your kid’s dream school is financially out of reach, talk with them and do some research. You might discover it’s more affordable than you thought!
Note: most of the “ivies” have programs in place as well, so don’t let cost deter you! It’s best to contact the ivy league school of your choice to discuss your particular situation.