Is the adult education center free? In these 19 states, yes • The College Post (2023)

There are so many wonderful things about college: making new friends, gaining new experiences, learning about the things that really matter to you, and getting out of a lot of debt. wait what was the last one

It's no secret that college is expensive, and fees keep rising. And while many students choose much cheaper community colleges, these often come with costs.

Unless, of course, you live inone of 19 states in the US that offers free community college programs. Are you lucky enough to live in one of these places where you can get an education and save some valuable money? Read on to find out!

What is a tuition-free university?

Free tuition programs mean that students who meet admission requirements can go to certain community colleges for free without paying significant tuition.

However, it is important to note that while the programs do cover tuition, the university does not make it free. There are also fees such as accommodation, food, transportation, and textbooks that still need to be paid out of pocket.

These amounts add up! Heaverage tuitionfor a four-year course at a community college in 2019-20 was $10,440. Including meals and room fees, it increased to $21,950. States that allow students to offset these tuition fees give them a huge advantage in avoiding them.high college debt.

First Dollar Grants vs. Last Dollar Grants

Most of the programs listed below are "last dollar" programs, while only a select few states offer "first dollar" programs. But what is the difference?

last dollar

last dollarScholarships are awarded to students whose aid does not cover the full cost of college tuition. However, this only applies if you take them into contribution, combined with the waistbandfinancial helpthey are entitled to receive.

These programs essentially fill the gap between the total aid provided to a student and the cost of a college education (tuition plus fees).

first dollar

Compared to thisfirst dollarThe scholarship offers students a tuition waiver regardless of additional funding or scholarships for which the student is eligible.

States that offer a free community college

arkansas-Arkansas Future Scholarship

Arkansas Future Grant is a last-dollar scholarship available to students pursuing a two-year program in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or a high-demand regional field of study.

eligibility criteria

Students who have graduated from an Arkansas public school or have received a recognized high school diploma and have lived in the state for three consecutive years are eligible to apply to the program.

Other than that, the recipient must complete eight hours of community service per semester and work full-time with the state for three years after graduation.

california-california promise

Unlike most programs on this list, California Promise is a first-dollar program, meaning it offers students a tuition waiver regardless of additional funding or scholarships students are eligible for.

eligibility criteria

One of the best examples of tuition-free community colleges on this list is open to in-state students attending or planning to attend a two- or four-year degree.

Only full-time students are eligible, which means students must complete 30 semester units within one academic year.

Connecticut –New Haven Promise

The Promise Scholarship provides tuition-free New Haven residents who have graduated from a New Haven public school and are attending two- or four-year Connecticut public colleges and universities.

If you are new to the city in your first year, you can try to qualify for a percentage of the scholarship, but the amount probably depends on the length of your stay in New Haven.

eligibility criteria

The scholarship is exclusive to New Haven residents who have attended local public schools or an accredited New Haven charter school. Students must have a clean disciplinary record and have completed approximately 40 hours of community service during high school.

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Additionally, qualified applicants must have a 3.0 high school diploma and a good attendance record, with no more than 72 days missing from school.

Delaware-SEED (Student Excellence Equal to Grade)

The SEED program includes full-time undergraduate tuition for two-year programs at the University of Delaware for your Associate of Arts degree or any program at Delaware Technical Community College.

eligibility criteria

SEED is available to Delaware students who have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (califications average) on a 4.0 scale, or a combined score of 1350 on the new Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), or an American College Testing (ACT) composite score of at least 19.

Students applying for the program must not have been convicted of a felony and may enroll no later than the fall semester immediately after high school.

Hawai –Hawaii Promise-Stipendium

The Hawaii Promise Scholarship covers tuition for students enrolled in at least six credits in aUniversity of Hawaii Community College. This is a last dollar program, which means it covers financial needs that cannot be met through other forms of financial assistance. Includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, and transportation for eligible students. About 1,500 students received the scholarship in 2017-18, each receiving an average of $1,200.

eligibility criteria

Hawaii residents who have submitted their Free Student Aid Application (FAFSA) application can be applied.

Indiana-21st Century Scholarship Program

This is a unique program that offers in-state residents up to four years of tuition, with the requirement that they commit to the program in 7th or 8th grade.

It also requires applicants to have a good academic record and good behavior throughout their high school, free of drug use and other illegal activities.

eligibility criteria

Students must enroll in grade 7 or 8, achieve a high school GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, and theSchool Success Program, earn Indiana's Core 40 diploma, and complete at least 30 college credits each year.

Aincome limit also applies to participation in the program.

kentucky-Work First Kentucky Scholarship Program

The Work First Kentucky Scholars program offers free community college tuition to Kentucky students seeking a degree in in-demand job markets, including healthcare, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, business services/IT, and construction.

eligibility criteria

To apply for this program, the student must be a US citizen and a resident of Kentucky.

Must be a senior in high school or enrolled in or have completed a general education scholarship (GED) but have not earned an associate's degree. A student must apply to or be accepted to an appropriate institution accredited by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.

Louisiana –TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students)

TOPS is an affordable scholarship program designed for in-state residents attending one of the public university systems or state college and community schools in Louisiana. These scholarships cover the cost of tuition but no other expenses.

eligibility criteria

Students must be enrolled as a full-time freshman and have a minimum 2.50 GPA in core courses of the TOPS curriculum. In addition, a minimum ACT value equal to the national average of the previous year must be achieved. Additionally, 24 earned hours must be completed within the academic year to continue eligibility.

maryland-Maryland Community College Stipend

The program offers students up to $5,000 to cover two-year community college tuition to enroll in a career course. There is no age limit for recipients.

eligibility criteria

A high school student or GED recipient must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3 and cannot have an annual income of more than $100,000 if the person is unmarried, or $150,000 if the person is married or living in a two-parent household .

Recipients must be working full-time in the state within one year of earning the degree or certificate.

Masachussets —Bostons Studiengebührenfreier Community College-Plan

In this program, the City of Boston provides up to three years of college tuition for qualified low-income students seeking associate degrees at six participating schools.

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The TFCC plan covers tuition or fees remaining after applying for the Pell Grant, and students can expect $250 per semester to be used for other major expenses, such as books or transportation, for up to three years.

eligibility criteria

This program is open to Boston residents who have a GPA of at least 2.0 and who are scheduled to receive their high school diploma (or equivalent) within 18 months of starting the TFCC plan.

Students must also be Pell Grant eligible and come from low-to-middle-income households to continue with their application.

measures -A+ Stipend

This program offers scholarships to eligible state students who wish to attend a community college or trade school or select two-year private trade schools.

eligibility criteria

Applicants must have attended oneA+ Gymfor at least two years prior to graduation with a GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Applicants must have at least 95 percent attendance for grades 9 through 12. You must also provide at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or tutoring, up to one-fourth of which may include job shadowing (on-the-job learning ) before graduation.

mountain-Montana Promise Grant Program

The Montana Promise Scholarship Program is designed for students seeking an associate's degree or professional qualification at any of Montana's biennial, tribal, and community colleges.

eligibility criteria

Students must have been a Montana resident for at least 12 months and have a high school GPA of at least 2.5.Students must not have completed more than 60 credit hours or their equivalent at a post-secondary institution or earned an associate's degree.

NY -Excelsior-campus

The Excelsior Scholarship includes tuition of up to $5,500 for students attending a two- or four-year elementary school in the State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) system.

eligibility criteria

Applicants must have a high school diploma, an advanced technical college entrance qualification, or a state-recognized high school diploma.Proof of ability to benefit.

It is available to students with an adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less and the applicant must be a US citizen and resident of New York for the past year prior to the start of the semester.

The student must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per semester, complete a minimum of 30 credits per year, and reside in the state for the duration of the scholarship.

nevada-Nevada Promise-Stipendium

This program is one of the most flexible options on the list. Provides up to three years of college tuition for students enrolled in one of the four community colleges in the state.

eligibility criteria

There is no minimum GPA or SAT score to receive the scholarship. However, students have to do 20 hours of community service.

oklahoma-The Oklahoma Promise

The Oklahoma Promise program was started in 1992 to help more Oklahoma families send their children to college. Allows students enrolled in grades 8, 9, or 10 in an Oklahoma high school to receive free tuition at a state two-year university or four-year university when they attend.

eligibility criteria

An applicant's household income must be less than $55,000 per year and students must have completed a required list of high school courses.

If a student is also suspended for more than one semester during their studies for behavior related reasons, they will lose the scholarship permanently.

Oregon –Oregon Promise

This program covers tuition of up to $4,000 per year for high school seniors enrolled in two-year and four-year community colleges in the state.

eligibility criteria

Have at least a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or a score of at least 145 on all GED tests.

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Applicants must have been residents of Oregon for the last 12 months and must not have completed or attempted more than 90 college credits.

Rhode Island -Rhode Island Promise

The program allows state high school seniors to earn tuition-free associate degrees at Community College of Rhode Island, regardless of income level.

eligibility criteria

Applicants must have had at least a 2.5 GPA in high school and must be under the age of 19.

Those seeking an education beyond an associate's degree may transfer the scholarship to the University of Rhode Island or Rhode Island College through the Joint Admissions Agreement program.

tennessee-Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise offers qualifying high school students free education at the state's 13 community colleges and 27 technical schools or at qualifying public and private two-year universities.

Another highlight of the program is that it provides students with guidance in navigating the college admissions process in the form of a mentor.

eligibility criteria

residents of tennessee Applications for the program must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and complete eight hours of community service per semester.

virginia-Get Qualified, Get a Job, Give Back (G3)

This Virginia initiative makes community college tuition-free for low- and middle-income students seeking degrees in high-demand fields like health care, information technology, and computer science.

Students who qualify for a Pell Grant are eligible for Student Support Grants of $900 per semester and $450 per summer semester.

eligibility criteria

Initial eligibility for the program is determined by submitting federal and state student financial aid applications, including the FAFSA. Each participating institution will have more specific information on how to apply to the program.

Washington-Scholarship for Washington Universityand theseattle promise

Washington has two main initiatives for free community colleges.

The College Bound Scholarship is a last-dollar scholarship that covers tuition, some fees, and a small allowance for books. 7th or 8th grade students from low-income families may apply.

Meanwhile, Seattle Promise is a last-dollar program that allows local public school graduates to apply for a tuition scholarship that covers up to two years of remaining tuition at a Seattle public university. If low-income students still need financial assistance for expenses beyond tuition, such as books, meals, or room and board, they can apply for the Seattle Promise Equity Scholarship.

eligibility criteria

To qualify for the College Bound Washington Scholarship, students must meet the followingFAFSA Income Eligibility Criteria.

Seattle Promise Scholars must have a good academic reputation, excellent attendance records, and meet with their advisor quarterly to remain qualified.

Tuition Free College FAQs

Is Community College in the USA Free?

Community colleges are not usually free in the United States. However,19 states currently offer programsthat balance or eliminate tuition for eligible students at certain universities. These programs generally do not cover associated expenses, such as books, rooms, or transportation.

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Das Coffeyville Community College in Kansasallegedly it has the lowest average tuition in the US at $1,120 per year.

Meanwhile,California has the honor of being the state with the most affordable public schools in the country. The Golden State has a 2020 median tuition of $3,088 for in-state public universities and $11,992 for out-of-state public schools.

There are 20 US states that offer thistuition-free community programsfor eligible students. These are Arkansas, Boston, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Seattle, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

Choosing to attend a community college over a four-year university depends on your overall plan for higher education. Community colleges cost much less than a traditional four-year university and also offer the flexibility of working while studying.

The average annual cost of tuition and fees for a public two-year university is $3,440 for district students. However, the average annual cost of a four-year public university is $9,410 for resident students and $23,890 for international students.Higher Education Council.

Another important reason to choose community colleges over four-year university programs is their less stringent admission criteria, many of which have open admission policies. This means that, in principle, anyone who completes their Abitur and applies will be accepted.

On the other hand, if you want a fuller, more comprehensive learning experience with on-campus living and dining facilities, sports programs, and student clubs/organizations, a four-year college education may be a better option for you.

Yes. In the US,23 statesAllow community colleges to offer a bachelor's degree. The list includes Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Virginia. Western and Wisconsin.


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