Free Tuition

Free College Tuition and Assistance For Hardworking People
Mike Bowman   

In a previous article I mentioned that there are many ways to go to college tuition free. Yes, nearly all of these ways require a commitment on your part. However, many of those commitments not only pay for your tuition, but they also pay YOU for your service. Here are 4 more ways you can get through college without debt.

1. Work for the college itself.
Get a job at the college and they will be paying YOU to come study there. Nearly all colleges and universities offer free, or dramatically discounted tuition, to their employees, and often to the employees’ family members as well. Education Management Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a great example of this. EDMC says their Tuition Voucher Program, "...provides 100% tuition assistance for employees, domestic partners and eligible immediate family members attending courses/programs offered by institutions affiliated with Education Management."

2. Military (ROTC, full time, part time).
The military offers many options for work and school. You can earn tuition and scholarships through ROTC in college, part-time service through the National Guard or Reserves, and full-time service commitments. Obviously, all military options come with your required commitment to the military for pre-determined amounts of time.

3. Employer paid tuition.
Many growth industries have "high demand" jobs. Employers in these industries (examples: pharmacist, nurse, engineer, petroleum, IT) often struggle to find enough workers to fill all of the open positions. As a recruiting tool they often incentivize candidates with tuition reimbursement or free skills training.

Other employers (particularly larger companies such as banks, hospitals, and government agencies) may also choose to include tuition reimbursement as part of their fringe benefit package. As of 2014, the IRS said that employees can receive as much as $5,250.00 for graduate or undergraduate tuition, fees, books and supplies before that benefit is included in the employee’s gross taxable income. That means if you found an employer who gave you $6,000 toward your education expenses you would have to pay tax on $750.00 of it.

4. Apprenticeship (Builders Guild).
Some industries provide paid training and even a salary through apprenticeship, as is the case with the Builder's Guild. The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania is a partnership of the building trade unions and contractor associations. From a financial standpoint apprentices have an advantage other students do not have. Apprentices enjoy a tuition free education in the building trade of their choice, and earn a salary with benefits during their 3-5 years of training.

Completely obvious bonus tips.
#1: Don’t forget to ask for a discount! Yes, many colleges will give you a better deal on the tuition if you simply ask for it. Remember you are also a customer and the college is a business. Just a like a car dealership doesn't want you to walk off the lot and buy somewhere else, the college doesn't want you leaving and attend elsewhere.

#2: Go to a community college, earn as many credits as you can there, and then transfer to a university to finish your bachelors degree. Tuition at community colleges is much cheaper and will let you further stretch any scholarships or other financial aid you receive.

Don't forget to check out these 5 other ideas for getting through college 100% debt free!

Other Resources & Ideas
1. 9 ways to attend college for free
2. How to pay for college and be debt free
3. 8 ways to go to college for free
4. 12 insider tricks to pay for college
5. 3 ways to get a free college education (with no strings)
6. 20 ways to get federal money for college
7. You can go to college for free.
8. Getting paid to go to college.
9. More ways to attend college for free.

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The Quarter Roll is published to provide personal insights and opinions on everyday ways of saving and managing money, budgeting, and reducing debt. The Quarter Roll does not give professional accounting, legal, or investing counsel. The ideas, examples, and advice presented on this site are solely the opinion of the authors based on his or her personal experiences. All photos courtesy of The Quarter Roll, iStockphoto, or Dreamstime. © All rights reserved.