8 ways you can go to college for (almost) free

by Grace

“Free” sounds too good to be true, right?  Admittedly most students will not qualify for a free ride, but it’s still worth knowing what special deals are out there.  Just in case.

You attend an ‘automatic scholarship’ school
There are a handful of schools that offer automatic scholarships covering all costs for students who meet their qualifications.  One example is Macaulay Honors College, part of the CUNY system.  Other schools like Truman State Universty offer partial automatic scholarships, also a good deal for the high-achieving students who can make the cut.

Your family financially qualifies
About 62 colleges pledge to meet the full financial need of students who are accepted for admission.  Most of these are very selective schools such as the Ivy Leagues, so high stats are needed

You have native roots
Native American students qualify for various tuition waivers and scholarships.   In addition to looking at what states and individual colleges offer, students can check the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the American Indian College Fund.

You survived hardship
Natural disasters and unusually high medical bills are some of the hardships that can qualify a student for special financial assistance.  Medicaid recipients may also be eligible in some instances.

You have the right job
College employees often receive tuition waivers, with many also extending to their dependents.  Some government employees are eligible for similar benefits.

You have no job
State retraining programs pay for college costs in certain cases.  Qualifying for “dislocated worker” status often triggers eligibility.

You were adopted or were a foster child
The Foster Care to Success and the National Foster Parent Association are two sources of financial aid for qualifying students.  Adoptive parent organizations can be another resource for learning about various scholarships offered by colleges, state governments, or other groups.

You’re heading back
Older students heading to college can receive grants and waivers targeted to that demographic.  Some schools even have special discounts for senior citizens aged 60 and over.

Go to this link for more details on pursuing these college deals:  8 Ways You Can Go to College for Free (CNBC.com)

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