Yes! University of the People is the most well-known school at which students can get a free degree; however, there are a few costs associated with it such as registration and also paying for exams. It turns out that a degree at this free university can cost a student a few thousand dollars. While that may be the case, most other schools provide their tuition-free degrees by granting students with full-ride scholarships (that could be merit- or need-based), which will cover the full cost of tuition and fees a student would be charged otherwise. These scholarships also include books, supplies, and in some cases, they will even cover your living expenses – making your degree completely free.
Even though it sounds unbelievable, especially with the going rate at some of the universities that offer these tuition-free online degree programs, you truly can receive an online degree at no cost to you.
University of the People is one of the most well-known and thoroughly advertised tuition-free schools. University of the People is the first university that came out and claimed itself to be free, and it is the first non-profit online accredited institution in America. The school has its headquarters in California but reaches distance learning students around the globe. Founder Shai Reshef declares his vision “to open the gates to higher education and to give an opportunity to all qualified students who don’t have it, regardless of financial, geographical, political, cultural or personal constraints.” It sounds amazing.
Upon further investigation, you will find that there is no tuition, but that doesn’t mean zero costs. Students are responsible for a registration fee of $60 and have to pay $100-200 per exam that they need to get credit for a course. A degree from the UofPeople can cost up to $4000. Learning that, it isn’t a shock that you find yourself still asking: Are any online colleges free?
Even though the University of the People isn’t exactly what it advertises, the answer is yes! Reputable schools all over the United States, including every single Ivy League university, offers at least one full ride scholarship, or free tuition program to their students based on financial need. If your family makes less than $60,000 per year, providing you’re accepted, there is no financial barrier between you and a degree from Cornell, Brown, Yale, or even the most esteemed university in the world, Harvard.
Many people aren’t aware, but Harvard offers hundreds of online courses for- and non-credit for all of their students; allowing you to pursue your degree from wherever you are. To be eligible for the free tuition at Harvard University, your family would have to have an annual income of less than $65,000. If you meet that requirement, Harvard’s financial aid office will get you set up to earn your degree at no cost to you If you are just missing the mark for the free program but still couldn’t afford the tuition on your own, students whose families earn between $65,000 and $150,000 will pay between 0% and 10% of their full tuition costs with grants from the university.