4 of the Best College Bargains

Here at CollegeMadeSimple, we decided to put together a ‘short list’ of private colleges that offer a great education… at zero tuition and fee cost. (Keep in mind, this list is not in any way an endorsement of these colleges.)

Free tuition almost sounds too good to be true. But it’s not.  And here’s why.

Each of the schools on this list has some type of creative solution for eliminating college costs entirely.

Let’s take a closer look at four little-known college bargains available today…

#1 College of the Ozarks

Based out of Point Lookout, Missouri, you can get an entirely free education at the College of the Ozarks in exchange for working at – of all places – a fruitcake and jelly factory.

Here’s how it works.  This Christian-based college charges zero tuition.  Instead, enrollees are required to do 15 hours of work-study per week as well as two full weeks of work per year.

The required work can vary. Anything from landscaping, to teaching in the day care center, to working at the company dairy farm.  Money generated from the work-study program goes towards a chunk of tuition costs, with the school’s endowment covering the rest of costs.

Working at a private company throughout the year requires kids to stick to a somewhat conservative dress and grooming code.  But in exchange for it all, your child can get an excellent degree – debt-free.

#2  Cooper Union

Located in New York, NY, Cooper Union provides a world-class education in a world-class city.  And it comes with zero tuition and fees charged to the student.

Only 1000 kids make up the enrollment at any given time.  So, classes are small, which provides a much more hands-on approach to working with each student.

Cooper offers a very well-respected program in art, architecture, and engineering.

One drawback is the ultra competitive acceptance rate of 8%.  But if your child is good enough to get in, you won’t have any tuition or fees to pay.

#3 Berea College

Berea, a small and largely Christian College, has a very unique approach to admissions.

They only accept students who would otherwise be unable to afford a higher education.

Those who qualify are rewarded with free tuition as well as a free Dell laptop computer.

With 1,600 students, Berea offers a lot of diversity. Enrollees hail from more than 40 states and 60 countries, with about a third coming from ethnic or racial minorities.   Berea encourages studying abroad with a commitment to cover 75% of any qualified overseas program.

Students are required to work 10 hours a week each semester to defray some of the tuition costs.

#4 Webb Institute

Webb is without a doubt the most challenging school on this list. Homework, it’s estimated, takes 5-7 hours per night.  Additionally, the courses of study are narrow. In fact, there are  only two:  Naval architecture and marine engineering.

If your child is unclear on what they want to do, this is not the school for them. But if your child wants one of these two paths, the rewards are high.

Tuition and fees are free.  The campus is located on a 26-acre estate on Long Island, NY, where students have access to a private beach when they have a break from their studies.  Plus, most students get well-paying jobs upon graduation.

To your successful college search,

Jodi Polster,

Education Director, CollegeMadeSimple.com

P.S.  Follow this link for more insights into picking the right college.


Related Articles:

Finding Colleges with Low Tuition

How to Pick a College or University That’ll Give You the Best Financial Aid Package


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VictorJanuary 26th, 2011 at 10:28 am

While that is a ton of homework at Webb, I think its really important to make kids work in college. All too often I see, my friends included, goto college not to learn, but simply because it is the thing to do or because they think a degree is a magic piece of paper. Ultimately, I think this does more harm than good, but many colleges perpetuate this idea.

I think offering a quality eduction, while reducing student debt is an excellent business model. Its neat to see that there are some options available for students!

RandiJanuary 30th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Webb Institute is actually one double major- you do both. It provides an operational engineering approach that encompasses some of most every engineering discipline. Graduates of Webb follow many career paths including law, engineering and medicine, as well as ship design. Graduates of Webb know how to work hard to achieve a goal. That is something that seems to become more rare all the time.

que es moringaApril 29th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

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