It is widely understood and professed that higher education is a solution to the mediocre life; point taken. If we do well and go far in school, we are much more likely to have higher earnings and thus, a life of higher quality. However, there is a major negative factor: the associated high costs of obtaining a higher education degree are more than enough of a deterrent for many.
To the credit of colleges and universities, the costs of a higher education are actually quite necessary. As discussed in the Forbes news article, “Why Does College Cost So Much?”, the nature, technologies, professionals, experience, and other elements behind higher education cost money to provide. In other words, if there were not much substance or reputability behind higher education and its provisions, there would be lower costs associated with providing it, and therefore admission prices would be much lower, and less of a topic of conversation. A school is either accredited sufficiently or it is not. If not, prices and reputation will typically reflect this. If it is so accredited, one should expect a real education with real associated costs.
There is however, one way out of this reality, one other solution. Contrary to typical public understandings, there are a select number of real, accredited, respected universities that can be attended for free. Of course, this depends on what you would consider free. Before getting too excited, reader beware. You may not need money for payment, but there will be probably be another type of payment expected. We offer a few examples for you to consider, all of which were highlighted in a recent New York Times article.
Deep Springs College
This school is actually located on a ranch in the deserts of eastern California. Men seeking a tuition-free education may apply to the school in hopes of being one of the 25 annually selected attendees. The two-year liberal arts curriculum focuses heavily on manual labor, community, and in-depth conversation among students and faculty. Most students go on to complete their education at prestigious 4 year universities.
Webb Institute only accepts 26 students each year for its graduate engineering school. Its tuition-replacing enrollment requirements include stellar grades from a previous school, designing a cargo ship before graduation, and completing a thesis. According to the New York Times article, Webb Institute boasts a very hearty 100% employment rate among its graduates.
This school in Berea, Kentucky, takes yet another approach to tuition payment. Students from financially depraved backgrounds, with good previous grades, and the ability to work 10-hours per week, can attend college here. Interestingly enough, Berea was founded by an abolitionist 158 years ago, with a very similar community vision.
Aside from these three schools, there are a number of others out there that still do offer a monetary-free alternative to paying a traditional tuition. Whether you consider this “free” depends on you. For those who see money as an issue yet strongly desire a higher education, these are probably, most often, close enough.