The staggering cost of education can prevent many individuals from attending a post-secondary institution. The tuition at some institutions is too much for some aspiring students' budgets — especially when there are inadequate scholarship funds available. However, there are institutions that offer tuition-free education. Students can take charge of their education without financial worry or anxiety. These institutions give associate and bachelor's degrees.

University of the People

The University of the People is a legitimate school with faculty comprised of instructors, former and retired professors and librarians and Master's students. There are two bachelor's degree programs available: business administration and computer science. General studies courses are also available. The institution is currently undergoing accreditation procedure. Since this is an online school, it is accessible to the world. The University of the People is a 501 (c)(3), nonprofit organization. The institution has four core values: opportunity, integrity, community and quality. All classes are in distance-learning format. Also, the students can share ideas in a social-media type community.

Cooper Union

Cooper Union is an institution located in Manhattan, NY. It is named after the man who invented the first locomotive, Peter Cooper — founded 153 years ago. Though there was a 70 percent increase in student applications in 2008, the institution's admission rate is about eight percent. The institution grants four-year, full-scholarships for all students admitted. The total amount of tuition is valued at $130,000 — and increasing. Cooper Union offers programs in architecture, art and engineering.

Cooper Union has been attended and visited by some famous individuals — Abraham Lincoln gave his address on his views of slavery in the Great Hall building. Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt and President Barack Obama have also visited and spoken at locations within Cooper Union. The NAACP's first meeting was held on Cooper Union's campus in the Foundation building.

Alice Lloyd College

Alice Lloyd College, a liberal arts college, is located in Pippa Passes, KY. Of the 1,992 applicants in 2009, 661 individuals were accepted. The minimum ACT score and GPA required for acceptance are 17 and 2.25, respectively. An educational experience valued at $8,000.00, the institution offers an exchange for free tuition. Students must work a minimum of 10 hours a week. Additional hours are available.

Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music is locate in Philadelphia, PA. This institution is for serious, musically inclined applicants. Part of the admission's process is an audition before a special committee. Applicants are accepted based on their musical skill. Though musical skill is the primary determinant, the applicants should score a minimum of 500 on the critical-reasoning section of the SAT exam. Each accepted student receives a full four-year scholarship and the use of a Steinway grand piano. This is an educational value possibly exceeding $36,000.00.

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