For graduate students, apart from completing their online degrees successfully, there is always a deep desire to graduate debt-free. Unfortunately, for many, this may be a distant dream. A college that offers completely free tuition, or for that matter a bachelor’s degree or completely tuition-free graduate programs, are generally hard to come by, which is why students look for financial aid and take out student loans, often resulting in student loan debt.

Forty years ago, the cost of attending a private college was the modern equivalent of $17,680 per year, and for a public college, it was $8,250. In thirty years, it grew to $38,720 for private colleges and $16,460 for public colleges. Fast forward to 2018-19, and those costs have risen to $48,510 for private and $ 21,370 for public colleges. So, if one is to look at the cost of education over the years, it is very obvious that it has gone up by leaps and bounds.

According to Fred’s data, in 2020, college graduates’ weekly wages were approximately 84 percent more than those of high school graduates. Hence, higher education remains a very smart investment. In this environment where education is such a big business, it is very difficult to find free online degree programs, r free education in general.

This guide digs deep into the area of free tuition to see if there are any free masters degree online, walks students through how to do a school search and find free master’s programs, along with finding ways to reduce the cost of online degrees.

Types of Free College Education

There are several variants of ‘free college education’ that are available for students to explore. Many of these can either make degree programs almost completely tuition-free or at least bring down the overall costs of education. Here are a few:

  1. Tuition-Free Programs
  2. Free Online Courses
  3. Trusted Partner Programs with Free Tuition
  4. Full Tuition Scholarships

Alternatively or additionally, some universities may offer a rebate program for military service and naval academy students, while others may run an on-campus work program for a professional studies certificate or an online master’s degree.

Factors Affecting Free Tuition

Free college tuition is relatively hard to come by. This is because several factors influence and affect tuition fees, and most colleges find it nearly impossible to mitigate costs and offer free tuition. Here are some key factors that affect free college tuition:

  • School Rankings
  • Student Support Services
  • Availability of Financial Aid for Degree Programs
  • Type of Accreditation
  • Quality and Experience of Faculty Members
  • Student to Faculty Ratio
  • Size and Influence of the Student Body
  • Medium and Format of Instruction for online courses (whether or not online learning is through an advertising supported site)

Checklist for Free Tuition Seekers

Prospective students looking for free post-secondary education should:

  • Look for a school where they will not need to apply for financial aid each year. (scholarships are automatically renewed.)
  • Check if they qualify for financial assistance like Pell Grants, student loans, and work-study.
  • Check to see if a school that offers free tuition based on work hours is available to online students.
  • Make sure they read program details of selected schools carefully and zero in on one that offers free classes specifically for online students.

What are the Master’s Degrees with Free Tuition?

  1. Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies
  2. Business Analytics
  3. MBA Program
  4. Education
  5. Public Service and Administration

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

FAQs about Free Masters Degree Online

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the free master’s degree online programs valued by employers?

In generic terms, most employers do not care about where the bachelor’s degree or master’s degree is from, as long as the candidate shows the necessary skills required for the job. If the candidate has attended some Ivy league school and not a tuition-free college, those degrees will stand out and be of more value.

How to get a master’s degree for free?

There are a few ways one can get a tuition-free master’s:

  • Some universities provide a full grant for a master’s program.
  • Some universities run tuition-free master’s courses.
  • Some universities offer a tuition rebate to students who work for the university.
  • Some employers reimburse tuition fees for deserving candidates.

How to get a tuition-free degree?

Do universities that offer tuition-free online master’s degrees maintain a high standard in their programs?

Are there any free accredited online colleges?

What are the admission requirements for the tuition-free online master’s degree programs?

Are free degrees completely free, or will I require some sort of financial aid?

Free Masters Degree Online – Details

When prospective students do a school search for free online master’s degrees, they may or may not come across free offerings so easily. This is because programs in some disciplines, such as computer science, liberal arts, or business administration, may have more free programs, while other disciplines may not. Moreover, colleges providing flexible degree programs, trusted partner programs, and online courses, are bound to have a wider selection of free offerings, than those that do not.

When looking for a free online master’s degree, students should check for academic excellence and school rankings. Additionally, it is always recommended to choose an accredited college or program to qualify for better jobs and higher pay, after graduation.

Here are some universities that offer accredited free masters degree online programs:

Since the School’s founding in 1917, Stanford University’s faculty, students, and alumni have solved education’s greatest challenges and improved lives through learning, discovery, and driving change in practice and policy. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education offers free master’s degrees online for qualifying candidates with a Master’s Degree in Policy, Organization, and Leadership (POLS) studies that can be completed for free in several ways. POLS is a nine-month, cohort-based master’s program. A diverse cohort of students gains the knowledge, theory, and hands-on experience necessary for effective leadership in a wide range of education enterprises. Through online classes, graduate coursework, and capstone field projects with partner sites, students hone critical analysis, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Stanford takes advantage of its strategic position as a global hub of innovation to develop mission-driven professionals. Here are a few ways that qualifying students can make this into a free master’s degree online.

  • The Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS) program aims to prepare the next generation of global leaders to address the world’s increasingly complex challenges. The program selects up to 100 students each year and provides financial support for the full cost of attendance for master’s studies at Stanford. Check eligibility here.
  • There are other ways where veterans can fund the master’s program through the Yellow Ribbon Provision. Details are available here.

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Other Free Masters Degrees Online or Ways to Lower Tuition Fee

Free Graduate Programs – Wrap Up

Resources for Students looking for Free Masters Degrees Online

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