Getting A Tuition-Free Degree: Low-Cost Learning

Getting A Tuition-Free Degree: Low-Cost Learning

Studying abroad is a coveted dream. Not only can you receive a better education, but you also get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of studying in the United States.

But there is one huge barrier between you and your dream: money. Education in the U.S. is very expensive, and even more so for international students.

Additionally, there are expenses of living, food, visas, travel, and qualification exams that most U.S. citizens don’t have to bear. If you can’t afford these expenses, you will have to take on a hefty debt.

However, there are better alternatives. You don’t have to pay a huge sum to achieve your dreams. This guide will inform you about the ways that you can get a degree without having to pay the expensive tuition.

4 Ways to Get a Tuition-Free Degree

1. Attend a university that does not demand tuition

These universities offer tuition-free education to their students. You don’t have to take out loans or apply for scholarships. You just need to be accepted.

Some of these colleges only offer admissions to U.S. citizens. However, there are some colleges that take in international students as well.

A. Berea College offers a 100% scholarship

The University is known for “the best education money can’t buy.” No student here pays tuition. You can also apply for free as an international student.

You can enroll in the Fall Term of each year, and you will automatically receive financial aid and scholarships that cover 100% of tuition, room, board, and fees for the first year of enrollment.

In subsequent years, you will have to save $1,000 for your expenses. You can ask the college for summer jobs to help you save the sum.

After you get admitted, you have to pay a $50 entrance fee and a $2,200 deposit to confirm your enrollment. You can use the deposit for your expenses over the course of your degree.

B. You can work at Alice Lloyd College part-time to cover your tuition

To get into Alice Lloyd College, you should have a minimum score of 17 on the ACT or 810 on the new SAT, and 2.25 core GPA from high school.

Getting into ALC is harder for international students because it was established to serve students from the Appalachian region of the U.S.

Unlike Berea, you won’t automatically receive a scholarship covering 100% of your university expenses. You can earn your tuition from work-study programs throughout the semester. You will have to work at least 160 hours per semester. You’ll approximately make $1,160, which will be put towards your tuition amount.

2. Apply for the scholarships provided by the University

Almost all universities in the U.S. value diversity and encourage international students to apply for admission. This is especially true for Ivy League universities. This is because these schools are not only concerned with making a difference domestically, but also seek to generate knowledge on a global level.

These universities offer many scholarships. You can find them on their website. If you have the qualifications, you can get free tuition plus coverage for accommodation and living expenses.

You’ll be considered for most scholarships automatically upon admission, and you can apply separately for the rest.

However, these scholarships are extremely hard to get. You need an almost perfect track record and a clear aim for your future. Even to qualify for the scholarship, you need to be a top scorer.

There are many scholarships available only to students from developing countries, or those who are planning to major in a remote field.

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3. Apply for independent and state-sponsored scholarships

There are many scholarships that provide financial aid to students who need it. Your country, the U.S. government, and independent benefactors sponsor these scholarships.

Here are some scholarships that provide 100% aid.

A. Fulbright Foreign Student Program in the USA

This scholarship is funded by the U.S. government. You can use this scholarship to pursue your Master’s or Ph.D. in the U.S.

Students from all fields can apply for this scholarship. If you are awarded the scholarship, you will receive grant funds, tuition, airfare, a living stipend, health insurance, and more for the duration of your study.

You can apply through the Fulbright Commission/Foundation, or through the U.S. Embassy in your home country.

B. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Program

You can receive this scholarship if you are pursuing a postgraduate degree. Only students from developing countries are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship is also open to students who are originally from a developing country, but now reside somewhere else. 

You will receive your tuition on a 50% grant and a 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year.

The deadline for submission of applications is 31 March.

C. AAUW International Fellowships in the USA for Women

If you are a woman pursuing a Master’s, Ph.D., or Postdoctoral degree, the American Association of University Women is ready to cover your financial needs.

You can use this scholarship for full-time study or research in the United States. Applicants who have a background in working for the advancement of women and girls through civic, community, or professional work are given the first preference.

For a Master’s degree, you will receive $18,000. The grant is $20,000 for Doctorate Fellowship, and $30,000 for Postdoctoral Fellowship.

4. Get a U.S.-based degree from home

You may not be after the full-fledged experience of studying abroad, and that is perfectly okay. Leaving your home country is a huge hassle, and that shift is just not for everyone.

You can get a U.S.-based degree right from the comfort of your home. There are many online universities that offer higher education tuition-free, or at very low prices.

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A. University of People

If you enroll at the University of People, you don’t have to pay for tuition, course materials, or even an admission fee.

You can study at this American online university at a minimal cost, and under scholars from all over the world. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1.

You can apply for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Here is the approximate cost of each degree.

Associate Degree: $2,460

Bachelor’s Degree: $4,860

MBA: $2,940

M.Ed.: $3,180

The university will also help you find scholarships if you cannot pay this amount.

B. Antioch College

Antioch College believes that money should not be a barrier to education. There are many financial aid packages and scholarships that guarantee low-cost learning.

While the university offers offline degrees spread across campuses in the U.S., there are also various online courses available at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Bachelor’s courses cost $416 per semester credit hour, and graduate courses cost approximately $650 per semester hour.

This list is not exhaustive, but it gives you most of the major avenues to earning a tuition-free degree in the United States. Apply for as many scholarships as you can, and contact your school for more financial aid opportunities.

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