How to Go to College for Free

Instructor: Shelby Golden
You can use this article to find out how to attend college for free. Explore your educational options and learn more about what you can expect from your college experience.

Make the Most of Your Aid

A small income doesn't necessarily mean you can't afford to attend college. Make sure you check out different forms of federal aid, such as Pell grants. These grants offer several thousands of dollars, which won't cover tuition at a huge school, but might be enough to get you through a community college.

Check Out Different Colleges

There are about 60 colleges in the US that offer free rides to students whose families earn under $60,000 a year. While this may sound very appealing, keep in mind that lots of other students will be fighting for these opportunities. You'll need to have excellent grades in order to get a place at schools such as the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt or Stanford.

Get Your Job to Pay

Some employers offer excellent tuition reimbursement packages to their employees, even if you only work part-time! While this often means you will have to take courses that could be useful to their business, or that you may have to complete the courses through online schools, it's still a chance for you to work towards a degree without exhausting your bank account.

Apply for Scholarships

You might find more scholarships than you'd expect in your local area, though these are usually small in monetary amount. You can also check out larger scholarship opportunities if you're an excellent student. These usually provide you with the opportunity to pay your way through college based on your intellectual merits. Check out the How to Apply for College Grants & Scholarship course for further help on finding and applying for educational funding.

Attend a Work College

Work colleges require you to put in hours around campus in return for drastically more affordable tuition. While not all of them will actually afford you the chance to attend college for tree, you can make it happen with the right mix of scholarships and labor.

Sign Up for the Armed Forces

All of the branches of the military offer educational benefits that will allow you to pay for the tuition of many public colleges. However, you are required to complete 3 years of active duty and to earn an honorable discharge in order to take advantage of these benefits.

Preparing for College

Once you've decided how you're going to pay for your education, don't forget to spend some time getting ready for your college experience. You can check out these guides to College Planning and College Success to find the information you need. These courses offer video lessons that cover applying to, preparing for and attending college.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.