Special Funding Alternatives for a Debt-Free Education

Jan 02, 2019

College can be an expensive venture for any student, but options are available that can help grads leave college debt free. Aspiring college students familiar with the common financial aid options of scholarships, loans and grants might also want to consider these special funding alternatives to reduce the cost of tuition or help them avoid debt after graduation.

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Service Organizations

Service organizations, like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and National Health Service Corps, will help students repay student loans or pay for education costs at qualified colleges and universities. In exchange, students must donate time to the organizations offering monetary awards. This typically entails completing a year or two of service before or after earning a college degree.

Tuition Waivers

Tuition waivers are similar to scholarships or grants. College students who receive tuition waivers have all or a portion of their tuition waived.A number of well-known colleges and universities waive tuition for low income students. Tuition waivers may also be available from state governments for students who are foster children, orphans, dependents of veterans, or government employees. Students can learn more about tuition waiver eligibility by speaking to the appropriate state agency or their school's financial aid office.

Work Study Programs

Work study programs are another financial aid option for students who are able to work part-time while they complete their undergraduate or graduate education. Work study jobs are available both on and off campus. The average work study program encourages students to find a job that is related to their major or serves the community in some way. Work study programs are available through the federal government and a number of colleges and universities.

Alternative Credit

Students can reduce the total cost of their college education by testing out of some of the general education courses required by most colleges and universities. Exams like Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP and Excelsior are available to students who want to skip some of their freshmen-level courses and graduate faster. To test out, students will need to check with their school to make sure it accepts alternative credit. They can either take college-prep courses in high school or choose from the variety of low-cost courses available online that prepare students for these exams. Successfully passing one of these exams can result in real college credit that students can apply to the school of their choice.

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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