5 Ways To Get Free Tuition

5 Ways College Tuition Can Be 100% Free
Mike Bowman   

O.D.. McKee, founder of the Little Debbie snack cake business, lived in a time when there were no scholarships or grants for a regular, working guy who wanted to attend college. He had to figure it out on his own. So in 1921 he took a job selling books door to door. Why? Because the company he worked for gave "full-ride" college scholarships to their top selling salespeople. O.D. had discovered just one of the many ways there are to have someone else pay for your college tuition.

Today, there are even more employers ready to pay for your college education, but that is just one option you can utilize. It is absolutely possible to go to college for free, however, you will find that nearly 100% of the time those opportunities are available because of who you are (example: your background or economic status) or the commitment you are willing to offer (example: working for a particular employer or profession). Here are just 5 of many ideas that can help you find a tuition free college education.

1. Volunteer firefighting.
In an effort to recruit younger members into their ranks many volunteer firefighting companies incentivize their members with college scholarships in trade for their service commitment. Additionally, some colleges also offer full scholarships for volunteer firefighters. For example, the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania provides a full scholarship for student who commit to serving as a volunteer firefighter for 5 years.

2. Rowing.
If you are a girl in high school and want another college scholarship option, consider the sport of rowing. Why rowing? Title IX. In order to comply with the equality requirements Title IX requires of academic institutions, colleges aggressively pursue giving out full scholarships to women participating in crew (rowing), in order to balance the number of scholarships given to sports primarily played by men (football, for example).

3. You are a "dislocated worker".
Many community colleges across our nation offer specialized programs to assist dislocated workers. This can include free tuition. The Dislocated Worker Tuition Waiver program at the Community College of Allegheny County is one such example.

According to the CCAC website: “Dislocated workers may take classes at CCAC toward the successful completion of one of the approved certificate programs for free tuition and fees only (no more than 36 credits within a 24-month period).”

4. You were adopted or in foster care.
Some states provide a "tuition-waiver" for residents who were adopted or in foster care and will attend one of the state's public colleges. If you do your own research for these tuition waivers you will often find the word "varies", as in the number of waivers available. Your best bet is to let the professionals in the Financial Aid office of your choice colleges know that you were adopted or in foster care and let them help you get details on your state's specific programs.

5. Job Corps.
If you already have a high school diploma, consider their college program. What does a typical scholarship from the Job Corps include? Job Corps can tell you what kind of assistance you qualify for such as help with the cost of your tuition and books, money for clothing, bus passes, housing and food if applicable, a monthly cash allowance, and a $1,200.00 cash bonus after you've completed school.

Completely obvious bonus tips.
#1: Pick the cheapest public college that makes sense for you. That way you have to find less money to pay the tuition.

#2: Take the time to apply for all state, federal, and private grants and scholarships you and the college's financial aid office is aware of.

#3: Go to a college that is financially struggling. They are often very willing to negotiate the price of tuition. Source

Want even more ideas for getting through college debt free? Here are 4 more ways you can get through college without debt.

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