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Jun 6

Written by: kmurphy
Sunday, June 6, 2010 

Everyone loves a great bargain, especially when it comes to college tuition. It is a little known secret that there is a small group of colleges in the U.S. that offer a free education. There is one caveat though; some do charge for room and board, while others have some fees or requirements associated with attending. For example, Berea College in Kentucky offers a wonderful liberal arts education to its students, but it does have a mandatory 10 hour a week work-study requirement. While this work-study does cover the 23K cost of tuition, students must pay for room and board. College of the Ozarks, also known as "Hard Work U" has a similar approach to offering free tuition – students must demonstrate a certain level of financial need and are expected to work 15 hours per week on campus. Cooper Union in Manhattan offers degree programs in art, architecture, and engineering, and every admitted student receives four years of free tuition valued at $130,000. Students are responsible for living expenses and fees.

Keep in mind that while a bargain, all of these colleges have very specific admissions policies and are actually some of the hardest schools to get into in the country. For example, Cooper Union generally admits less than 10% that apply each year.

Check out the rest rounding out the list:

*Alice Lloyd College - KY
Curtis Institute of Music - PA
Deep Springs College - CA
*Franklin Olin College of Engineering – MA
U.S. Air Force Academy – CO
U.S. Coast Guard Academy – CT
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – NY
U.S. Military Academy – NY
U.S. Naval Academy – MD
Webb Institute – NY

* Alice Lloyd College offers free tuition to those students who are from certain Appalachian counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia.

* While Franklin Olin College of Engineering has offered full tuition scholarships since inception 8 years ago, due to the economy they will only be able to offer half tuition scholarships starting with the 2010/11 year.

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