15 Tuition-Free Colleges

Some schools don't charge tuition.

Want to go to college but wish you could avoid tuition? It's possible. Schools throughout the country offer free tuition to admitted students. But read the fine print. Students may have to hail from a certain state or region or come from a low-income background. Some schools require on-campus work or service after graduation. Click through this slideshow to learn more about these colleges, which are listed in alphabetical order.

Alice Lloyd College (KY)

This small school in Kentucky guarantees free tuition to students who live in the Central Appalachian service area. Residents of Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia may qualify for Alice Lloyd College's free tuition program. All students take jobs through the student work program. Tasks include working in maintenance, community service and other duties.

U.S. News rank: 21, Regional Colleges (South)

The Apprentice School (VA)

With a 100-year history, The Apprentice School provides students with classes and full-time employment in various shipbuilding trades. There is no tuition; instead students earn $17.34 in the first term of the program and up to $29.73 an hour upon completing the final term of the program. A typical apprenticeship lasts four to five years. Upon completion, students receive a certificate.

Since it is a trade school, U.S. News does not rank The Apprentice School.

Barclay College (KS)

Students at this private Christian college in Kansas attend tuition-free if they live on campus. All students at Barclay College -- including international students -- who live on campus qualify for the college's full-tuition scholarship. "Our goal with the scholarship is for students to be able to graduate without crippling financial burdens," says Casey Roberts, a spokesman for the college.

U.S. News rank: Unranked

Berea College (KY)

At Kentucky's Berea College, students pay no tuition. Each admitted student receives the school's Tuition Promise Scholarship, which amounts to more than $176,000 over four years, according to the school's website. Students must work at least 10 hours per week on campus, and they earn roughly $5.60 to $8.60 hourly, which can be used to pay for room, board and books, though students can use up to $1,000 in outside scholarships to pay for books.

U.S. News rank: 46 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

College of the Ozarks (MO)

Full-time students at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri pay no tuition, but part-time students shell out $310 per credit hour. For those attending full time, the tuition waiver requires they work 15 hours a week, plus two 40-hour weeks during the academic year. Both full-time and part-time students pay a health/technology/services fee. The college uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, called the FAFSA, to determine financial need, an admissions requirement for the majority of freshmen. Plus, students can use Pell Grants -- if they are eligible, as determined by the FAFSA -- to cover additional costs.

U.S. News rank: 3 (tie), Regional Colleges (Midwest)

Curtis Institute of Music (PA)

Prospective students must audition for enrollment into Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, which has offered full-tuition scholarships to its students since 1928. While the music school doesn't charge tuition, Curtis does have annual fees. New and returning students pay a $1,700 comprehensive fee, along with other charges for health services and internet.

U.S. News does not calculate overall rankings for arts schools, including the Curtis Institute.

Deep Springs College (CA)

Students enrolled at California's Deep Springs College don't pay any tuition, although they are expected to provide a small damage deposit and pay for books, travel, health insurance and incidental expenses. At Deep Springs, students receive a two-year liberal arts education while working on the school's cattle ranch and alfalfa farm. The school began to enroll women for the first time in 2018 after a California appeals court ruled that the institution could end its male-only admissions policy. The scholarship covers tuition and, unlike many of these tuition-free schools, includes room and board.

The small school is a two-year liberal arts institution, so it is not included in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.

United States Air Force Academy (CO)

No tuition is charged at the Colorado-based Air Force Academy. After graduation, cadets are required to serve in the military.

U.S. News rank: 39 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

United States Coast Guard Academy (CT)

Students are also known as cadets at the Coast Guard Academy, where tuition is free and postgraduate service is required. Located in Connecticut, the academy overlooks the Thames River.

U.S. News rank: 2, Regional Colleges (North)

United States Merchant Marine Academy (NY)

Students at the Merchant Marine Academy in New York don't pay tuition in exchange for service after graduation. They spend a "Sea Year" during college, visiting many countries aboard commercial vessels.

U.S. News rank: 3, Regional Colleges (North)

United States Military Academy (NY)

Tuition is covered for students, also known as cadets, at West Point in New York. In addition to required military service after graduation, cadets at the United States Military Academy must play on a sports team each semester.

U.S. News rank: 21 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

United States Naval Academy (MD)

By pledging to serve in the U.S. Navy after graduation, enrollees at the Naval Academy receive free tuition. Students at the Annapolis, Maryland, institution are known as midshipmen.

U.S. News rank: 17 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

Warren Wilson College (NC)

Since fall 2018, this North Carolina work college has provided a tuition waiver in the form of a scholarship to all in-state residents who qualify for need-based aid and attend as a first-time, full-time undergraduate. All students at Warren Wilson College are required to work at least 10 hours a week and develop a craft.

U.S. News rank: 160 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

Webb Institute (NY)

Webb Institute, a small engineering school in New York state, gives full-tuition scholarships to all students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. But international students pay tuition and fees. For the 2019-2020 school year, Webb enrolled 106 students. The school offers one course of study: a dual bachelor's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. Students can apply for federal loans and grants to cover their room, board and other expenses.

U.S. News does not calculate overall rankings for specialty engineering schools, including Webb Institute.

Williamson College of the Trades (PA)

This faith-based, all-male career college that grants associate degrees teaches trades like masonry and horticulture. All students who qualify for need-based aid receive the Williamson scholarship, which could be as high as $32,430 in 2018-2019, exceeding the cost of the school's tuition and fees.

As a trade school, Williamson is not included in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.

Other ways to pay less for college

If one of these colleges isn't the school for you, research our 2020 Best Colleges rankings. Follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and stay informed about the latest tips and advice on paying for college.

These institutions provide free college tuition.

-- Alice Lloyd College

-- The Apprentice School

-- Barclay College

-- Berea College

-- College of the Ozarks

-- Curtis Institute of Music

-- 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

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