Can you really go to college for free?
The answer is yes — and these 75 colleges offer free or reduced tuition.
Here’s what you need to know.
Colleges With Free Or Reduced Tuition
With college tuition costs reaching an all-time high and student loan debt continuing to climb, many colleges and universities now offer free or reduced tuition for students.
For example, Michael Bloomberg announced a $1.8 billion gift to Johns Hopkins, which will ensure that any student can attend the university regardless of their financial profile.
According to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion of student loans. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. The average student in the Class of 2017 has almost $40,000 in student loan debt. In addition to free or reduced tuition, many colleges have instituted “no student loans” financial aid policies.
“No student loans” financial aid packages generally seek to replace student loans with grants or scholarships that do not have to be repaid. “No student loans” does not necessarily mean that a college eliminates student loans from financial aid packages. For example, some universities require a minimum student contribution or part-time employment while others require a parental contribution. That minimum student or parental contribution can be met through loans.
If you need to borrow a student loan, make sure you understand the “true cost” of your student loans. This student loan payment calculator can help you calculate your monthly and total cost of your student loans.
75 Colleges With Free Or Reduced Tuition
While this list is not comprehensive, here are 75 colleges (in alphabetical order) that offer free tuition, reduced tuition or “no student loans” financial aid policies for undergraduates. For more information, you can visit the financial aid website of each college:
- Students at Alice Lloyd attend tuition-free
- Founded “as a college for Appalachia,” students are required to work at least 160 hours per semester in an on-campus job or in the local community.
- This year, Amherst is providing more than $50 million in scholarship aid to 55% of the student body.
- In its financial aid packages, Amherst replaced all loans with scholarship grants.
3. Appalachian State University
4. Arizona State University
- Every student can receive a four-year tuition scholarship
- Each student must work 10 hours per week
6. Boston University
- More than 50% of the Class of 2021 received a Bowdoin Grant.
- For all Brown-packaged financial aid awards, starting in the 2018-2019 academic year, Brown replaced student loans with scholarship funds (that do not have to be repaid) for all returning and incoming undergraduates.
9. Bryan College
10. California Institute of Technology
11. Colby College
12. College of Holy Cross
- Students attend tuition-free at the College of the Ozarks.
- Each student must work 15 hours per week.
14. College of William and Mary
15. Colorado State University – Pueblo
- For students with family income of less than $60,000 annually and typical assets, parents are not expected to contribute to the cost of attendance.
- 50% of Columbia students receive grants from Columbia.
17. Connecticut College
- Students with a family income less than $60,000 and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity) will have no parent contribution.
- Students from families with total income of $100,000 or less and possessing typical assets receive free tuition.
20. Davidson College
21. Duke University
- Students with a family income of $60,000 or less and typical assets will have no expected parent contribution.
22. Grinnell College
23. Emory University
24. Fairfield University
25. Georgia Institute of Technology
- Most students graduate debt-free, and Harvard does not expect its students to take out loans as part of financial aid packages.
- Students with a family income from $65,000 to $150,000 will typically contribute from 0-10% of their income.
- For students with a family income less than $60,000, Haverford will not include a loan expectation as a resource before determining eligibility for Haverford Grant funds.
28. Indiana University – Bloomington
29. Johns Hopkins University
30. Kenyon University
31. Lafayette College
32. Lamar University
33. Lehigh University
- Each student receives a merit-based, tuition-free scholarship to attend this liberal arts college.
- Students also receive a laptop computer, Cultural Passport and access to the Opportunities Fund.
36. Miami University
37. Michigan State University
38. North Carolina State University
39. Northern Illinois University
- The University awarded $144 million to undergraduate students in 2016-17, and approximately 45% of undergraduates received a Northwestern University Scholarship.
41. Oberlin College
42. Pomona College
- Students are not required to borrow a loan to meet the cost of attending Pomona.
- Students with a family income less than $65,000 qualify for a grant to cover full tuition, residential college fee, room and board
44. Rice University
- For students with a family income between $65,000 and $130,000, Rice will provide full scholarships.
- For students with a family income below $65,000, Rice will cover tuition and room and board, plus any other fees
- For students with a family income between $130,000 and $200,000, Rice will provide grants covering at least 50% of tuition
45. Sacred Heart University
- Stanford does not expect students to borrow student loans to meet college costs.
- Scholarship from Stanford is the primary source of funding used to assist students with meeting their educational costs.
- Nearly 60% of the entering class received need-based Swarthmore Scholarship aid.
48. Texas A&M
- Through the Aggie Assurance, students whose family earn less than $60,000 receive scholarships and grants to cover at least tuition costs.
49. Texas State University – San Marcos
50. Tufts University
- Students with a family income less than $60,000 will typically receive a financial aid package that includes no student loans.
- Tufts Grants exceeded $70 million in 2015-16 and were by far the largest source of grant aid received by Tufts undergraduates.
51. University of Arizona
52. University of California at Berkeley
- Need-based financial aid involves no loans
- Financial aid is awarded as grants, which do not need to be repaid.
54. University of Florida
55. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
56. University of Louisville
57. University of Maryland, College Park
59. University of Minnesota
- Students with a family income below 200% of the federal poverty line (about $48,500 for a family of four) may be eligible for The Carolina Covenant.
- Penn’s Grant-Based Program provides students with a financial aid award (up to financial need) that includes grants and work-study, but not loans.
62. University of Tennessee
63. University of Texas at El Paso
64. University of Toledo
65. University of Vermont
66. University of Virginia
67. University of Washington
- Vanderbilt offers additional grant assistance instead of need-based student loans.
- Vanderbilt’s grant assistance does not involve income bands or “cut-offs” that impact or limit eligibility.
69. Vassar College
70. Washington and Lee University
- Students with a family income less than $75,000 receive grants (instead of student loans) that will not have to be repaid.
- Wellesley students with the greatest financial need do not receive student loans.
- Wellesley lowers loan packages by one-third for many other students.
- Most students with a family income less than $60,000 will receive a financial aid package without loans.
- Most students with a family income between $60,000 and $80,000 will receive a reduced loan package.
74. Williams College
- Students with a family income less than $75,000 and typical assets receive no-loan financial aid packages.
75. Yale University
- Yale does not expect students to take out student loans.
- Yale financial aid awards include a Yale Scholarship, a parent contribution and a small student contribution.