Colleges with Free Tuition: Get Zero Cost College Education

Parents of incoming college students these days are looking not only for top-quality academic institutions but also affordable ones–only to discover, along with rising prices, skyrocketing college fees. This prompts them to find a free college to earn a degree without breaking the bank.

Research from CollegeBoard reveals that, within a span of thirteen years to today, the costs associated with attending college have increased by 213%. Similarly, USA Today College has reported that college tuition is, in fact, rising much faster than inflation.

chart showing inflation of colleege tuition - college cliffs

Consider this fact: college tuition rates grew by more than 4% for the 2017-2018 school year while the inflation rate was at 2.2%. This means that college tuition rise was nearly twice the inflation rate!

But that’s not all.

Student Loan Hero reported that collectively, the graduating class for 2016 had student loan debt amounting to $37,172. This amount is 6% higher than 2015. As of January 24, 2018, the student loan debt has ballooned to $1.48 trillion owed by over 44 million Americans.

Massive student loans can be crushing not only to most young people’s spirits but also their pockets! Add that to the clamor for job security brought about by the limited employment options that many people (including college graduates) deal with. The PEW Research Center reveals that the middle class is “shrinking”, which would have been ideal if not for the disproportionate number of high- and low-income earners.

Families see education as the ultimate key to getting ahead in life, both financially and professionally. However, colleges are getting more out of reach due to rising costs. The good news is that colleges with free tuition are available, you only need to find a college that offers a free tuition program.

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How to Find A College that Offers Free Tuition

Thinking about going to college at zero cost? You’re in the right place! College Cliffs is here to help you find that college.

Here are a few interesting tidbits that may help you.

New York: Excelsior Free College Program for CUNY and SUNY

In April 2017, the legislative body of New York approved a scholarship program. The program was created to give deserving students a chance to complete their college education by attending City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY).

To be eligible, the candidate for scholarship must be a resident whose family earnings fall below the annual income cap. The cap is $100k in 2017, $110k in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. Taking these figures into account, roughly 80% of students can be considered eligible.

The Excelsior Program is also treated as a “last dollar scholarship”. This means that the scholarship is applied after Federal grants and aids.

Students are required to earn least 30 class credits every year. As the Excelsior Scholarship does not set an age limit for its scholars, adults are encouraged to take advantage of it.

The scholarship under the Excelsior Program covers college tuition only, the scholar will have to find the means to pay for boarding and other miscellaneous fees.

The scholarship also requires graduates to reside in New York for a specific number of years. The length of stay in the state should be equal to the number of years spent attending college as Excelsior Program scholars.

Should the student or graduate fail to fulfill the work, income, or GPA requirements, the scholarship fund is change into a loaned amount.

Michigan: the Kalamazoo Promise for MSU, WMU and UM

The Kalamazoo Promise is a program for the city of Kalamazoo in Southern Michigan. This is a pledge made by anonymous donors for the benefit of graduates from the public schools of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Most of the scholarship funds go to the University of Michigan (UM), Michigan State University (MSU), and (WMU) Western Michigan University.

To qualify for the 100% tuition Kalamazoo Promise, the student must have attended a Kalamazoo Public school since kindergarten. The minimum 65% tuition promise is available for those who have attended a public high school for at least 4 years within the Kalamazoo School District and graduated from a Kalamazoo public school.

The Kalamazoo Promise takes pride in its almost 5,000 graduates in the last 10 years. Indeed, the Kalamazoo Promise has given numerous Michigan families the chance to move up the income class. The funding has also helped increase enrollment in schools by 3% in 2010 alone and with an accumulated 16% increase for the entire 10-year stretch.

If you are not a resident of Michigan, there is still hope. PromiseNet is a group of organizations replicating the Kalamazoo Promise. You can check the College Promise Program for more in-depth information. Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania are some of the states that have taken an active part in the PromiseNet program.

California: Transfer Tax to Help Make City College of San Francisco Free of Tuition

In November 2016, a new real estate transfer tax was approved. The City has then appropriated proceeds to the College amounting to approximately $5.4 million a year. The City College of San Francisco will then be totally free of tuition, as a CNBC report confirms.

The good news is that this real estate transfer tax also has other educational purposes than merely covering tuition fees. The City will also give a $250 funding per full-time low-income student. Anyone can qualify for this funding program, including those who are from high-income families. The only requirement is that the student must have resided in the city for at least a year.

With the expected budget of $5.4 million, roughly 28,000 students will benefit from the free tuition program by the City of San Francisco. Around $2.1 million of the $5.4 million budget will go to the payment of tuition, while $3.3 million will go to miscellaneous expenses like procurement of books, supplies and even health fees for the low-income students.

The College of San Francisco is a 2-year Community College. It has more than 50 academic programs and also offers free courses without any credits like English as a Second Language.

There are also other means of procuring a college degree, like joining the military service or enrolling in the Military Academy. There are also other Foundations and Federal Grants that can help you earn your degree.

Already enrolled in a good free college? You may want to know more about how to succeed in college and learn the best ways to conquer your college fears and successfully overcome college hurdles.