I have good news and bad news…
*Policies and programs are subject to change at any time.
If you followed the most recent presidential election, the topic of student loans and making college more affordable was a hot topic of discussion. Since then, more announcements about making college costs more affordable have been made—including schools offering free tuition. But is it really true? If so, what’s the catch?
I gave good news and bad news…
People typically want the bad news first, so here it is:
While tuition isn’t the only expense we have to pay for college, it is a major one. In fact, over the past 30 years, the price of tuition at a 4-year public college has increased 213 percent.
But the good news is that loan-free and tuition-free schools do exist! So let’s dive-in and discuss the difference between a loan-free school and a tuition-free school and steps you can take:
A loan free school is a school that typically has a policy in place that does not offer loans or does not have a loan expectation for their students. Some schools do this by eliminating loans from financial aid packages and others schools offer school-paid grants in substitute of loans, etc.
I navigate students towards funding college debt-free through my step-by-step proven system.
For example, Amherst College states, “In our financial aid packages, we’ve replaced all loans with scholarship grants, making Amherst one of the few colleges and universities in the country that do not require students to take on student loans in order to pay for their undergraduate educations.”
Keep in mind, not all schools operate the same; therefore their definition of being “loan-free” may vary. In addition, while some schools offer loan-free packages to all of their students, others have eligibility criteria such your household income, for example. If you make more than the national average, do not be discouraged because some schools, such as Brown University has an income threshold as high as $100,000 per year.
Tuition-free schools are schools that offer programs/packages where the student does not have to pay tuition. Some schools go further and not only eliminate the cost of tuition, but also fees and even room and board! Keep in mind, just like with loan-free schools, not all tuition-free schools operate the same and may have different requirements to receive free tuition, such as a student’s income level.
I encourage you not to simply read this post and go back to scrolling on the internet. It’s time to take action! Here’s what you need to do:
If you have received an acceptance letter from multiple schools and cannot decide which school to attend, research if any of them are loan-free or tuition-free.
If you haven’t made your list of ideal schools yet, make sure to include loan-free and tuition-free schools on your list. Why not? If you find a tuition-free/loan-free school that happens to be a small college, don’t automatically swipe left. You may find that school is for you.
Not only are some schools offering tuition-free programs but states are as well! When considering a school, research if its state offers any tuition-free programs that you are eligible for.
The FAFSA form stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a FREE form that determines your eligibility for federal financial aid. While completing the form is not required to attend college, it is required if you want to receive federal grants, participate in work study, etc.
Speaking from experience as a student who graduated college debt-free, I encourage you to complete this form not only to make yourself eligible for federal financial aid, but also because many private scholarships, for example, will only consider students who completed the FAFSA form. Don’t leave any money on the table!
5. Get Plugged-In About Funding College Debt-Free
I am hosting a FREE webinar where I talk about what it takes to fund college debt-free, scholarships, and more! This is a great intro with the basics and fundamentals towards funding college debt-free. Space is limited, so secure your spot here while it’s open. See you there!
To learn more about the FAFSA form, read this recent blog post.
Tuition-Free & Loan-Free Schools
To get you started, below is a list of 30+ schools/states that appear to offer tuition-free or loan-free programs/policies. I have included direct links to their pages that describe their loan-free/tuition-free policy at their school. Keep in mind that these are not the only schools, so if you see a school that is not on this list, make sure to ask if they offer any loan-free or tuition-free programs.
*This is not an endorsement. Please view program details carefully. Policies and programs are subject to change at any time.
32. Yale University
You’ve got this!
Until next time!
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