#free online education
12 Tuition-Free Colleges
Want to go to college. but wish you could avoid tuition? It’s possible. Schools around the country offer free tuition to admitted students.
But read the fine print. Students may have to hail from a certain state or region or come from a low-income background. Some schools require on-campus work or service after graduation.
Updated Sept. 13, 2016:This list has been updated to reflect information for the 2016-2017 school year.
Alice Lloyd College
(Alice Lloyd College)
This small school in Kentucky guarantees free tuition to students who live in the Central Appalachian service area. Residents of Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia may qualify for Alice Lloyd College ’s free tuition program. All students take jobs through the student work program. Tasks include maintenance positions, library assistantships, lifeguard posts and other duties.
U.S. News rank: Rank Not Published. National Liberal Arts Colleges
Students at this private, Christian college in Kansas attend for free if they live on campus. All students – including international students – who live in a dorm qualify for the college’s full-tuition scholarship.
“Our goal with the scholarship is for students to be able to graduate without crippling financial burdens,” says Casey Roberts, a spokesman for the college.
Barclay is classified as a theological college, which U.S. News does not rank.
(O Neil Arnold/Berea College)
At Kentucky’s Berea College. students pay no tuition. They must work at least 10 hours on campus and earn low hourly salaries of roughly $4.65 to $6.80 to pay for room, board and books.
U.S. News rank: 60 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
College of the Ozarks
(College of the Ozarks)
Students at the College of the Ozarks work on campus 15 hours a week, plus two 40-hour work weeks. Possible jobs at this Missouri college include dairy farming and custodial work.
While this college doesn’t participate in federal, state or private loan programs, it’s still worth filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The college uses the FAFSA to determine financial need, an admissions requirement for the majority of freshmen. Plus students can use Pell Grants – determined by the FAFSA – to cover additional costs.
U.S. News rank: 4, Regional Colleges (Midwest)
Curtis Institute of Music
(Pete Checchia/Curtis Institute of Music)
Prospective students must audition for enrollment into Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. which has offered full scholarships to its students since 1928.
But living in Philly isn’t free. Student housing at the institute costs $800 to $900 a month for the 2016-2017 school year.
U.S. News does not calculate overall rankings for arts schools, including the Curtis Institute.
Deep Springs College
(Deep Springs College)
The students enrolled at California’s Deep Springs College don’t pay anything, and their education extends to working on the school’s cattle ranch and alfalfa farm.
The school accepts only men after a court struck down an attempt to enroll women in 2013. The scholarship covers tuition and, unlike many of these tuition-free schools, includes room and board.
The small school is a two-year institution, so it is not included in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.
United States Air Force Academy
(Jewel Samad – AFP/Getty Images)
No tuition is charged at the Colorado-based Air Force Academy. After graduation, cadets are required to serve in the military.
U.S. News rank: 32 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
United States Coast Guard Academy
(United States Coast Guard Academy)
Students are also known as cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. where tuition is free and postgraduate service is required. Located in Connecticut, the academy overlooks the Thames River.
U.S. News rank: 2, Regional Colleges (North)
United States Merchant Marine Academy
(USMMA Alumni Association Foundation)
Students at the Merchant Marine Academy in New York don’t pay tuition in exchange for service after graduation. They spend a “Sea Year” during college, visiting many countries aboard a school vessel.
U.S. News rank: 3, Regional Colleges (North)
United States Military Academy
(Tommy Gilligan/United States Military Academy)
Tuition is covered for students, also known as cadets, at West Point in New York. In addition to required military service after graduation, cadets at the United States Military Academy must play on a sports team each semester.
U.S. News rank: 19 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
United States Naval Academy
(United States Naval Academy)
By pledging to serve in the U.S. Navy after graduation, enrollees at the Naval Academy receive free tuition. Students at the Annapolis institution are known as midshipmen.
U.S. News rank: 12 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
The Webb Institute. a small engineering school in New York State, gives full-tuition scholarships to all students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The school offers one course of study, a dual bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. Students can apply for federal loans and grants to cover their room, board and other expenses.
U.S. News does not calculate overall rankings for specialty engineering schools, including Webb.
Other Ways to Pay Less for College
If one of these colleges isn’t the school for you, research our 2017 Best Colleges rankings.
Follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and stay informed about the latest tips and advice on paying for college .