How to Go to College with No Money

How to go to college with no money

We are going to look at 10 ways to attend college without having money.

Yes, it is possible and there are many students who use the alternatives suggested in the article to pay their way through college. If you are looking at attending college soon then the following money methods can be an eye-opener and possibly be a great help in you finding funding for your education.

1. Attend Tuition-Free Colleges

There are colleges that actually allow you to study for free. In the United States the following 8 colleges are known to provide students with tuition-free education:

Webb Institute – This is a marine engineering and naval architecture school which offers a full scholarship for all its students.

US Service Academies – All United States services academies have free education, but the selection processes are stringent, and you will have to serve for a minimum of 5 years of active service and 3 years reserve after you finish college. There are 5 academies in the naval, air force, military, coast guard and merchant navy.

Barclay College – All Christian studies are offered here to those interested in leading a Christian faith and lifestyle. The scholarship is available for those who live on campus.

Curtis Institute of Music – Once a year the Curtis Institute of Music selects 165 talented students and provides specialized training in Music.

Berea College – This college allows students who are willing to work at least 10 hours per week for free tuition. Full tuition of $24,500 per year along with a $4000 Labor grant allows students to attend college free.

Alice Lloyd College – If you would like to get a bachelor’s degree in science arts or minors in accounting or social sciences, Alice Lloyd will help you get free tuition but with a 10 hr. per week of work commitment. If boarding is also desired, then 15 hrs. per week work will help you obtain that as well

Deep Springs College – This college offers a 2-year degree in liberal arts. The entire tuition and boarding are free but there is a work commitment of 20hrs per week.

College of Ozarks – For a work commitment of 15 hrs. per week and two 40 hr. workweeks will help students obtain free tuition and boarding. There are numerous bachelor’s programs to choose from and up to 1400 students receive financial support each year.

2. Apply for Grants

There are numerous grants available from Federal as well as private entities. There are also grants available by subject or student groups. Online research is required to find grants that are available in your area of study or for the community you belong to.

A good place to start will be Student Aid and another online resource is college scholarships.

I used the Pell and OIG grants to pay for my college when I went to school. These grants were from the government and I had to meet certain criteria to get the grants plus maintain them. I was lucky both grants were just enough to pay for all my schooling at The Ohio State University.

3. Get a Scholarship

Scholarships are usually based on merit. There are also scholarships for specific groups of people for example-scholarships for women or specific religious communities.

You can find numerous scholarships online through the websites listed below.

Gathering information can be done:

• Look online

• College financial aid services

• A career counselor at school

• Federal and State Scholarship agencies

You can search for federal scholarships on:

Career One Stop


4. Get Financial Aid

Financial Aid can be based on need or merit. To obtain financial aid you will have to apply for it.

Colleges have financial aid that you can get so try asking them for more aid. Aid is usually based on many factors that you can check out on the website StudentAid. You will have to go to to start the application process.

5. Take out Student Loans

Another way is to take out a student loan which is payable after you graduate. Many students take out student loans for college. The loan can help pay tuition, boarding expenses and books, and supplies.

There are private as well as federal student loans. Most take out federal loans as they are equally available to all students regardless of credit score or possibility of future income or parent’s income.

Repayment starts after 6 months from the date of graduation.

The Federal Loans are issued by the US Government through the Federal Direct Loans program from the US Department of Education.

Private loans are through private lenders like banks, financial institutions, state government agencies, and colleges. The student loans are repayable and are charged interest as well.

Federal loans are cheaper and usually have better repayment terms.

Before taking out loans for your college you need to be clear on the terms and conditions and the commitments that come with it. While it is certainly money that you can use to pay for college the repayment of the loan can turn out to be a huge burden and it would be better to avoid loans.

Use loans strictly as a last resort. If you have to take out a loan please get as much information as possible and know what you are getting. You can start by visiting StudentAid .

6. Get Military Service Fee Waivers

Military service can get you a free college education. If you are Military service personnel or a veteran, you can be eligible for fee waivers.

You can receive a full waiver of the tuition fees that fall within the program criteria.

According to the Montgomery GI bill, with as little as 2 years of military service makes one eligible to receive aid. Military aid is extended to both classroom and distance education programs. To find participating institutions you can visit the Department of Defense.

7. Tuition Waivers

Tuition waivers are where the college waives off your tuition partially or completely. This can be based on the strengths of your application or your special status which could be any of the following:

● You belong to a minority group

● Ex-military

● Ex-Peace corps

● or any other privileged category

Unlike loans, these have no strings attached. They are simply awarded for certain special causes. Whether you get a full waiver or a partial waiver you will still need to pay other miscellaneous fees that the program charges.

This may not be a huge amount, but some payment would still be required. It might just be around a few hundred dollars.

To obtain a waiver you need to approach the college to ask what the criteria are for a tuition waiver.

Masters programs usually have some form of teaching and research assistantship programs that come with tuition waivers. You will have to do your due diligence by approaching the college you are interested in and enquire about these waivers.

8. Get your Employers to Sponsor

Some employers offer their employees money for furthering their studies. The employer would pay in full or in part for the education of their employees. They provide such programs to generate more loyalty and employee retention.

This will also help improve their employees’ qualifications and so it is seen as an investment that pays out in the long term.

The employer may also provide funding for expenses such as books, supplies, etc.

Employers usually also allow you to keep your employment while pursuing a college degree. Usually, payment of college comes with some strings attached such as committing to stay a fixed number of years with the employer once the course work is complete.

They may also fund job-related courses.

You will have to get in touch with the HR department of the company you work in to see if they offer tuition assistance and the terms for the assistance.

9. Parents Pay for College

Well, it might be difficult to ask your parents to fund your college education. Yet, they are the ones who are most concerned about your future and may be able to contribute towards your education.

Whether they fund the college entirely or in part will depend on the financial stability of the parents. Many times, the parents will take out a loan to help his or her child to attend college.

There is a debate out there on whether parents should help their child through college or if they should let the child bear the burden for their own education.

If your parents are wealthy, then you could approach them about funding your studies partially or fully. Parents will generally have some strings attached but it is certainly better than taking a loan.

10. Save up Money to Pay your own Way

You can also work while you take classes to pay your way through college. Many students must pay their own way through college. Many students must work for a few years and put aside enough money to go to college.

This requires a lot of effort and discipline, but many students are doing it as it makes them self-reliant and responsible.

I used to work 10 to 30 hours a week and take 12 to 15 credit hours when I went to college. Tons of students must work a job to make ends meet when at college.

They may also use this in combination with other alternatives such as tuition waivers or parental help.

How you pay for school will depend on the amount of tuition and the course flexibility. Usually, students who opt for this route become adept at living frugally and are highly motivated with targeted goals for their lives. This is certainly an excellent way to build character and build confidence for the life ahead.


You can go to college with no money in your bank account. It is not the most ideal plan when preparing for college but can be done. Hopefully, you take the ideas we have given and use them to finance your college path. Visit all the websites we have listed to find out the best way to finance your college education.

This website MyScholly is a great source to find free money for college and we recommend you use it.

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