For many students, earning a college degree has one big drawback: you are more than likely to graduate owing several thousand dollars in debt on student loans that you had to use to pay for your education. However, there is one school in the nation where not a single student has to worry about this problem. It’s not because the school has a ridiculously low tuition price or that it is free. Instead, students at the College of the Ozarks are expected to trade working hours for their education.
Students at the College of the Ozarks, or “Hard Work U,” as the Wall Street Journal nicknamed it in 1906, work for 15-hours each week during the semester and then work two 40-hour weeks during breaks. In return, they graduate without owing a single penny.
“We want to give you an opportunity to pay for your education as you go, rather than carry large debts into your future,” the school’s ‘Welcome’ materials tell new students. “Your 15-hour-per-week campus job will help you develop professional working skills in areas like agriculture, computers, business, child development, construction, and more.”
Students have a variety of places they can work on campus, including the post office, bookstore, power plant, meat processing plant, fire station, hospital, and even a luxury hotel. So instead of just scooping out food and slapping it on plates in the school cafeteria, these students are ideally learning skills that will help them in their careers after graduation.
Personally, I think this is a great way for students to get an education without breaking the bank. Most students have a part-time job in college no matter where they go to school, but I’ve never heard of any other part-time jobs that essentially “pay” enough for students to graduate debt-free after four-years of higher education.
Read more about other tuition free colleges.
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