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How to Get Paid to Go to School – or Even Get it For Free


Getting a degree can be very valuable as it opens up new doors and expands our career opportunities. It can, however, be a very costly and time-consuming investment to make. For those with family responsibilities and priorities, it can be especially challenging to attend and pay for college. Everyone deserves a chance at higher education, regardless of their financial situation or personal circumstances.

That’s why there are many solutions to these common issues, such as colleges that pay you to attend, colleges that you can attend for free, and even tuition-free online degree programs that take much less time than traditional classes. Here’s how to go to college for free, and where you can get paid to go to school.

College students study in a university classroom that pays them to attend.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

How to Go to College for Free

1. Get Paid to Go to School

If you’re looking to go to school for free, know that there are many options and paths you can take to make this dream turn into a reality. In some cases, there are even some schools that pay you to attend, making for the ideal situation. It not only removes the financial stress of paying your way through school without any kind of student loans, but even provides you with an income as you study, to be able to save for you and your family’s future as you advance your career.

In order to get paid to go to school, you will need to first apply for federal financial aid with a free application form. In general, such a grant is given on a first-come, first-serve basis, and it is offered to students who demonstrate a great financial need. If you think that you may be eligible, then you have nothing to lose in trying!

If attending traditional college classes is not right or realistic for you, then there is always the option of online colleges. Traditional schooling can be a challenge for those that need to work and have families to take care of. That’s why many online universities will also pay you to attend and complete one of their accredited online degrees.

So where can you get paid to go to school? Universities like Southern New Hampshire University offer financial help for those in need, including the option of getting paid to go to school. This will give you the chance to work while you study, go to college for free, and even get paid for your studies.

2. Look into Grants and Scholarships

Getting paid to go to school is only one of many options out there for those looking to go to college for free. There are also numerous grants and scholarships available for students in need. You are best off searching and applying for as many as you can. They generally don’t cost anything to apply, and the more times you try, the better your chances are!

It’s important to note that once you are already enrolled in a college program it’s generally easier to apply for grants and scholarships. Many businesses and philanthropists have made donations to colleges in order to offer more scholarships for minorities, low-income workers and single parents. A scholarship is an incredible gift that allows deserving students to go to college for free.

3. Consider Student Loans Cautiously

While student loans can sound very attractive and can help you get through school, make sure that you know exactly what you’re doing before you enter any potential debt or situation that you aren’t able to manage.

Student loans may sound like the best and only option for going to school in a difficult financial situation but know that there are many other options out there.

Unlike scholarships, loans must be paid back, and often come with interest rates that increase more and more as time passes. Be sure to do your homework and look into all the ways to go to school for free before taking out a loan, including looking into schools that pay you to attend, scholarships, and tuition-free colleges and universities.

A happy college graduate that studied tuition-free at University of the People.

Photo by Brandi Ama Doyal from Pexels

4. Look into Tuition-Free Schools

Another great option to attend college for free is tuition-free colleges and universities. There are some schools that do not charge tuition, offering a degree for free if you meet certain criteria.

In some cases, you might have to be from a specific state or will have to work a certain amount of hours on campus to attend for free. Depending on what you’re looking for and what your specific interests are, there are no shortage of tuition-free colleges and universities out there with the goal of making education accessible to all. Education is a right that everyone is entitled to.

Here are all the tuition-free colleges and universities that can offer you an accredited degree without the financial stress:

  • Alice Lloyd College
  • Barclay College
  • Berea College
  • College of the Ozarks
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • University of the People
  • Deep Springs College
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • United States Military Academy
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Webb Institute
  • Williamson College of the Trades

5. Look into Online Tuition-Free Colleges and Universities

While studying on campus and having the college experience is attractive, it’s not always the most realistic option for everyone. For those who can’t commit to so many classroom hours, on top of the travel time that it comes with, there are options out there that will allow you to continue working and fulfilling your family commitments. Sometimes, just because college is free it still isn’t feasible for everyone, as it still requires a big time commitment.

Not only are there tuition-free colleges and universities that allow students of all economic backgrounds to go to school for free, but there are also online tuition-free colleges and universities that provide the same level of accreditation.

Such a path allows students to obtain a degree similar to one achieved in a traditional campus setting, just without a tuition fee and without the same kind of time commitment. This can help students achieve their educational goals in the most comfortable way.

Although there are far less online universities in comparison to traditional ones, they also offer the option of serving more students. These tuition-free online schools have certain credentials for acceptance, and are mostly based on financial need.

Here are some online tuition-free colleges and universities:

University of the People offers a wide range of accredited degree programs, including Business Administration with both undergraduate and master’s programs, Computer Science degrees, Health Science, and Education degrees. All of these programs are online and tuition-free, making earning a degree accessible to all.

The Bottom Line

Whether you decide to attend a tuition-free school, an online university, or get a scholarship at one of the schools that pay you to attend, there are plenty of options out there to go to school for free. Do your research and find out what’s best for you before you take out a student loan or give up on your career goals. Once upon a time, college was only for those who could afford it. Today, the whole game has been changed, and it’s been made accessible across the globe, offering equal opportunities.