A small but growing number of colleges are now offering free tuition – but you can expect there to be some strings attached.
The original free tuition school was Harvard. For years, they ivy league icon has given 100% financial aid to students whose families earn less than $65,000. per year. The two issues are 1) if your family earns more than $65,000. per year, hardly a princely sum, you’ll have to pay at least something for school, and 2) you have to get accepted to Harvard, no easy task.
Newer Free Colleges And Universities
That model is echoed in many of the free tuition plans being offered. Rice University recently announced full financial aid to students where the family earns less than $130,000., and 50% of tuition covered if the student’s family earns up to $200.,000. per year. That’s a more liberal financial approach but again, Rice is a well-known school with very competitive admissions.
New York State recently made headlines by starting a program granting free tuition at two and four year schools in the state’s SUNY system to students with earnings under $125,000. per year. You must be a resident of New York state to qualify. SUNY schools are far less competitive than Harvard to get accepted to, but they have become tougher to get into over the years.
Here’s a list of colleges offering free tuition across the country. For many, the offer involves a promise that the student will either work for the school during their course of study or provide some service after graduation.
Online colleges are less likely to offer free tuition, but many help their students cut costs by maximizing Pell Grants, and some offer flat rate tuition plans to prevent costs from rising during a student’s degree program.