Five Ways to Get a Tuition-Free Degree

Looking for ways to get a great education without going into debt? Here are five ways to get your entire college tuition funded.

Having a college degree has never been more important than it is today. Even entry-level jobs can be hard to score with only a high school degree. At the same time, getting a college degree has never been more expensive. Tuition prices across the country are skyrocketing and students are sinking deeper and deeper into student loan debt.


If you’re looking to get a great education without having to go into debt or use up your savings, here are five ways to get an education with no tuition-costs.



1. Study Tuition-Free in Europe

The Deal: Many European countries offer tuition-free college educations to students from around the world. Many of these programs are offered in English and there is a wide range of program types and countries to choose from. Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden are among the European countries that offer free educations. These countries also have great educational systems and high-quality universities to choose from.


The Upside: If you have a travel bug, going to Europe is a great way to get a free education while seeing the world.


The Downside: It’s not easy to relocate overseas and it can be pricey to make a large international move, especially if one plans on flying back and forth throughout the year.


Helpful Links: Check out countries that are tuition free here.



2. Get a Tuition-Free Education From the Military

The Deal: Members of the U.S. military are eligible for a whole slew of benefits, and many of them pertain to education. According to the Armed Services Tuition Assistance Program, members of any U.S. military organization (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard) are eligible to get up to 100% of their tuition-costs covered. This money isn’t a loan and is generally paid directly to the institution.


There is also the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill which provides educational benefits to individuals who have served 90 or more days of active duty since September 10th, 2001. This program provides eligible individuals with up to 100% tuition and other benefits such as relocation assistance for students living far from where they want to study, money for housing and fees, and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.


The Upside: The benefits are quite comprehensive and can be, in certain cases, extended to one’s spouse and children.


The Downside: Military life can be demanding. Individuals considering service in the U.S. military solely as a means to get funding for their education should consider whether or not they are prepared for this commitment. Education plans can also be disrupted or delayed due to deployments and relocations.


Helpful Links:


  1. Compare different kinds of military education benefits here.
  2. Read more about the Post 9/11 GI Bill on the Veterans Affairs website.


3. Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Deal: There are tons of financial aid options available for students. The best place to start is by applying for Federal Student Aid money. You can find the application here. In addition to this, each university will have its own student financial aid packages that you can apply for. Checking out these packages should be part of your selection process as you look for schools.
Beyond student aid, there are thousands of grants and scholarships that students can apply for. These are offered by schools, organizations, religious organizations, etc. Once you start looking you will see the wide array of scholarships available for any type of student.


The Upside: There are a ton of funding opportunities out there. The more you apply for, the better your chances are of scoring some big money towards your studies.


The Downside: Applying to federal aid and scholarships can be labor intensive. It’s a lot of paper work and essay writing. The more you apply for, the more applications you’ll have to fill out.


Helpful Links:

  1. Read about federal financial aid on the official FAFSA website here and learn how to apply.
  2. Search through tons of amazing scholarship opportunities here with the College Board’s amazing scholarship finder tool.


4. Check Out State-specific Tuition-Free Programs

The Deal: Some states offer specific programs for residents to study for free at public universities. Rhode Island is the latest one and fourth state to make community college free, following similar legislation in New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. Michigan has a similar offering at the University of Michigan with the “Go Blue Guarantee.”


The Upside: For residents of states with these programs in place, this is a great way to get tuition-funding at great public institutions.


The Downside: These programs are not available for everyone. A long list of eligibility requirements and conditions apply.


Helpful Links: Learn more about the Excelsior Scholarship Program here.



5. Find a Tuition-Free University

The Deal: Some colleges and universities are tuition-free for all students. If you find a tuition-free university that works for you, this is a great and simple option for opting out of pricey tuitions. One such institution is the University of the People – a tuition-free accredited online university. Students only need to pay minimal fees for registration and exams for a high-quality, accredited degree program. There are other great colleges and institutions that are either partially funded for all students or completely tuition-free and students looking for an affordable way to study should give careful consideration to each.


The Upside: A chance to study with no tuition-costs without a complicated process of applying for different financial aid programs.


The Downside: The list of tuition-free universities is limited, and students may not find their dream program on the list.


Helpful Links:

  1. Check out degree programs at University of the People here.
  2. Read more about our tuition-free model here 




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