States With Free College Programs

A roundup of state-sponsored, tuition-free college scholarship programs.
Anna HelhoskiApr 29, 2021
States That Offer Residents Tuition-Free College

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Several state programs offer free tuition for two-year and four-year programs. But free tuition doesn’t equal free college.

Students who attend tuition-free schools often still need to cover costs such as fees, room and board and transportation. You can pay using a combination of savings, grants, scholarships and work-study. If needed, student loans can be used for these and as well.


If you plan to take out loans, max out federal loans by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or , before turning to private student loans, since the latter come with higher interest rates and don’t offer certain protections or loan forgiveness opportunities. Always shop around to compare offers before taking out a .

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Here’s a roundup of states with free college programs. These are sponsored by the state and are all tuition-free. Many are "last-dollar" scholarship programs, which means the money covers remaining tuition only after federal and state grant money is applied.

You can also look for tuition-free scholarship programs offered through high schools, colleges and universities nationwide. Typically students will have to reside in a certain location, attend a certain school or have low income. Some examples of programs include:


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