For most families, affordability is one of, if not the biggest deciding factors for higher education — two-thirds of today’s college students use some form of financial aid.
Given the pressures of paying for school, students and parents will be happy to learn there are a handful of schools offering complete financial aid packages in exchange for student work. Tuition may be totally or partially covered by these programs, depending on the school. Most require at least 15 hours of work each week in addition to a full load of classes, and student workers generally serve essential functions in the operation of the school.
Working your way through school is not for every student. Options are limited and often only available to specific student populations. Taking a heavy class load and working part-time can be challenging, particularly to college students who are unused to managing their own time. Even older students may struggle with this requirement when faced with more advanced class work and out-of-class demands like internships and practicums.
Our list details eight institutions that offer four-year degrees at reduced or free tuition in exchange for work. Military schools have been omitted, and graduation rates reflect those who completed their degree within four years of their start date. Acceptance, enrollment and graduation data were reported by the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator.