Written By - Cynthia S.

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Dixie Brown

It is well known that receiving a degree online or at a regular school is quite helpful. This is because it opens new doors globally and provides excellent employment prospects. As a result, regardless of their circumstances, everyone should attend a higher education school. However, obtaining a high-quality education is usually prohibitively expensive. Many people with varying obligations and objectives may find it difficult to attend and pay for college because they must pay tuition fees and other vital expenses such as housing, food, transportation, etc. As important as a degree is to most students, many frequently decide that the mountain of debt they will graduate with is not worth it, so they settle for less or, in the worst-case scenario, cannot follow their aspirations. 

Fortunately, certain colleges and institutions provide student financial aid programs that cover up to 100 percent of tuition. These colleges (almost) pay students to attend their online programs. Even after graduation, one would not have to bear the numerous tuition debts. These schools not only alleviate the financial stress of paying for college without incurring debt, but they also provide students with income while they learn to ensure their future profession.

Online Colleges that Pay You
to Attend

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

This webpage may mention the possibility of getting paid to attend by the programs offered by various educational institutions. However, please note that the inclusion of any school on this page does not guarantee or imply any payment offer. The availability and terms of payment to students are subject to change and/or may vary between institutions and/or may not exist at all. For the most accurate information, please consult with schools directly.

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

Can You Get Paid to Attend College?

People should recognize that higher education is essential and is a foundation for their future job. However, financing this education is becoming more difficult because of rising tuition and college costs. As a result, financial assistance is almost always required. To that end, some institutions “pay” their students to attend and enroll in their programs. Grants, scholarships, and financial aid compensate students at these colleges. This financial help is critical because it assists students and their families meet higher education costs.

How to Get Paid to Attend Online College?

Being paid to pursue higher education is indeed a strange concept. College attendance has become synonymous with student debt. However, students can look for ways and means to get paid to go to college, such as through:

  1. Corporate Tuition Reimbursement – Several employers offer tuition reimbursement as part of an employee’s benefits package, which they can use to pay for education. The refund or reimbursement policy for tuition is distinct and varies by company. Some firms pay for any program, while others only pay for studies related to their industry. In most cases, the amount of tuition costs that can be reimbursed each year is limited. 
  2. College Financial Aid –Many institutions offer financial aid, which can sometimes pay the entire cost of attendance. Public college tuition is often modest and inexpensive; however, some private schools with higher tuition rates provide more considerable financial assistance. Students must fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA to be eligible for need-based financial aid such as scholarships and grants.
  3. Merit and Minority Scholarships and Grants – Many online colleges offer scholarships to entice prospective students. Scholarships may also be given to athletes or students with exceptional abilities. Students from minority groups may also be eligible for college scholarships and grants. It should be noted that full scholarships (full-ride) are pretty rare. However, this form of support might help prospective students save significant money on college expenses.

What Are the Requirements to Apply to Online Colleges That Pay You to Attend?

The admission requirements for colleges that offer free tuition vary, although they are the same as regular colleges. The following are the general application requirements: 

  1. Online Application & Application Fee – Completing an online application and paying the prescribed application fee. 
  2. Academic Transcripts – An official copy of academic transcripts from each college/university attended.
  3. Grade Point Average – A Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more. 
  4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scores – An official copy of GRE or GMAT scores no older than 5 years for graduate programs. 
  5. Graduate Résumé or Curriculum Vitae – The latest résumé or CV that provides personal information and work experience, usually for Graduate programs. 
  6. Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose – personal statement or statement of purpose outlining how the program relates to the applicant’s career goals.
  7. Letters of Recommendation – At least two letters of recommendation from those who can thoroughly evaluate the applicant’s abilities at the graduate level.  
  8. Proof of English Proficiency – TOEFL or IELTS scores or a document proving proficiency in English (if the native tongue is not or education was not in English).

Note: For further review, the college may administer an internal test and conduct an online interview.

Online Colleges That Pay You to Attend

OMC teams have compiled a list of the 15 best institutions paying students to attend. Note that the list is ordered alphabetically and not by ranking:

1. Athabasca University

Athabasca University (AU), a Canadian university and one of Alberta’s four comprehensive academic and research institutions, was the first Canadian institution to specialize in distance education when founded in 1970. Commonly known as Canada’s Open University, Athabasca University offers over 70 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas, certificate programs, and over 850 courses, providing learning alternatives tailored to students’ goals.

To help fund their online tuition fees, students can apply for scholarships and bursaries, as well as various applications, nominations, and student awards. Although annual rates vary greatly depending on the program, students outside Canada should expect to pay around $15,000 per year to attend classes online.

Location: 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada. Phone: 780.675.6366


2. Barclay College

Barclay College was founded in 1917 as the Kansas Central Bible Training School. It is a Quaker-run free Christian college but welcomes students from all evangelical denominations. The purpose of the school is to prepare students for Christian service and leadership. Online degree programs in business management, criminal justice, biblical studies, psychology, and Christian leadership are available at Barclay College. Undergraduate degrees include bachelor’s degrees in pastoral ministry, youth ministry, and worship arts. Students can also apply to several master’s degree programs.

Through sponsors and supporters who believe that Christian students should be able to obtain a high-quality education without incurring debt, free tuition is given through a complete scholarship program in which all domestic admitted students receive a $15,000 award. Online students at Barclay College are eligible for Barclay’s online scholarships as well as Federal Pell Grants. Dorm occupants can also receive a full tuition subsidy. 

Location: Barclay College, 607 N. Kingman, Haviland, KS 67059. Phone: 800.862.0226


3. Berea College

Berea College is a free Christian institution created by reformers and abolitionists to spread Jesus Christ’s teachings and doctrines. It provides students with programs based on fairness, peace, love, honesty, and equality. Berea College has not charged students tuition since 1892, and it has no plans to change that anytime soon.

Through Berea’s extensive learning program, students can acquire a free online bachelor’s degree in their chosen profession, choosing from over 33 majors or designing their own. African American Studies, Agriculture and Nature Studies, Biology, Business, Journalism, Sociology, and Religion are among its faculties. Owing to an extensive network of contributors, students acquire an education worth around $100,000 throughout a four-year degree. However, they must pay a fee of $1,000 for food, lodging, and taxes. Otherwise, the entire expense of school is covered.

Location: Berea College, Berea, KY 40404. Phone: 859.985.3000


4. Bethel University

Bethel University is a private evangelical Christian liberal arts college founded as a Baptist school in 1871. It is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and is linked with Converge, formerly the Baptist General Conference. Undergraduate, postgraduate, and seminary programs are available to about 5,600 students at the university. Programs include 90 majors in over 100 academic fields, many available online. Around 98% of Bethel University students get financial assistance. It is as simple as entering a few figures into their handy net price calculator to see how much one might qualify for.

Location: 325 Cherry Avenue, McKenzie, TN 38201. Phone: 731.352.4000


5. Central Christian College of the Bible

The Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB) is a public university with a strong Christian tradition and operates based on doctrines such as the root of Bible authority, prayer ministry, and discipleship. Every year, 100 freshmen or transfer students get full scholarships from CCCB. The scholarship pays for up to 17 credits every semester. However, it is not confined to these students; CCCB’s fundamental Christian church reserves the right to grant the prize to other students 

Location: 911 E. Urbandale Drive, Moberly, MO 65270. Phone: 660.263.3900


6. City College of San Francisco

The City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is a community college well-known for offering students the opportunity to attend school for free through collaboration with the city of San Francisco. Liberal arts, humanities, social sciences, physics, and biology are among the most popular programs at this tuition-free college. Students at the City College benefit from free tuition, which gives them access to various activities through resource clubs and academics. Credits earned allow them to be admitted to their preferred undergraduate programs later.

Location: 50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, CA 94112. Phone: 415.239.3000


7. Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the top online colleges that pay students to attend. For individuals seeking a remote experience, Columbia’s Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professional Studies, Social Work, Business, and Arts and Sciences all offer online options through Columbia Online. Students can participate in various online programs ranging from certificates and degrees to non-degree and professional development programs, spanning technology, social work, environmental sustainability, health technologies, leadership, etc.

Columbia University provides financial assistance through sponsorships, AmeriCorps Awards, and a Tuition Exemption program. Given that the average cost of tuition is far over $60,000, the assistance is invaluable. The university has also partnered with Coursera to offer free online courses.

Location: Low Memorial Library, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Phone: 116 Street & Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Phone: 212.854.1754


8. Curtis Institute of Music

This Curtis Institute of Music is a highly competitive university offering undergraduate and graduate students free tuition. Because it only accepts 4% of its applicants yearly, the student population is meager, around 175 students. Curtis students benefit from specialized and intense musical instruction emphasizing practical and hands-on experience. At Curtis, over 200 endeavors in symphonic groups, opera, chamber music, and more are directed by world-renowned singers and instructors. Free tuition includes an annual amount of around $42,000 for undergraduates and over $52,500 for graduate students. However, all students must pay for textbooks. 

Location: 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Phone: 215.893.5252


9. edX

edX is a groundbreaking online learning platform that provides many real course and program experiences from some of the world’s most prominent colleges. Over 2,270 online courses in roughly 30 different areas are offered by more than 160 member universities, including Harvard, Berkeley, the University of Texas, Rochester Institute of Technology, Australian National University, the University of California, MIT, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and many more universities worldwide. Over a thousand are self-paced, but many instructor-led options are available for those who prefer them. Classes can be sorted by level (introductory, intermediate, or advanced), browsed by subject, and selected from 16 languages. 

While many of edX’s featured courses are entirely free, some of the classes are credit-bearing. Prices for credit-eligible courses range from $49 to $600, with the vast majority falling in the middle. Nevertheless, every edX’s for-credit program offers a lower cost-per-course than traditional education.

Location: 141 Portland Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. Phone: 617.324.4049


10. Lewis University

Lewis University, founded in 1932, is a Catholic university that serves about 7,000 mainstream students and adults pursuing degree programs relevant and practical to their careers. The university provides various campus and online degree programs, which bring convenience and comfort to a growing student body. Online students at Lewis University are assigned a coordinator who provides guidance. 97% of Lewis students receive financial assistance. Individuals meeting the eligibility requirements are urged to apply for FAFSA.

Location: 141 Portland Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. Phone: 617.324.4049


11. Lipscomb University

Lipscomb University is a private Christian liberal arts university enthusiastically committed to educating students whose academic achievement, beliefs, and actions represent the values of its citizenry. Lipscomb Online provides intellectually stimulating online undergraduate and graduate programs in business, entertainment, technology, social science, etc. that can be customized to one’s professional goals and busy schedule. The academically demanding online degree programs can assist students in identifying and developing the abilities required for their present and future professions.

Although a private institution, a degree at Lipscomb University can be affordable. 99% of first-year students receive financial help, with the average package totaling $24,000. This is astounding, considering tuition for a four-month academic session can be as low as $4,800.

Location: 1 University Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37204. Phone:  615.966.1000


12. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private university, one of the fastest-growing institutions in the United States, thanks to the expansion of its online offerings. SNHU provides a robust online curriculum for their associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. It also offers generous financial aid to keep students from falling behind on their payments or accumulating debt. 

SNHU’s tuition is among the lowest in the country, at $320 per credit. Furthermore, the school allows students to transfer up to 90 credits from other colleges, saving them time and money. Working with a school’s Student Financial Services team member can help a prospective student figure out how to pay for it all. SNHU also assists students with applying for grants, bursaries, and financial aid.

Location: 2500 N River Rd, Manchester, NH 03106. Phone: 800.668.1249


13. The University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge, the world’s fourth-oldest university, founded in 1209 and based in the United Kingdom, has over 110 Nobel laureates, 47 heads of state, and 190 Olympic medalists among its distinguished alums. The university offers over 300 free online audio and video courses to download for free through software to use on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Students can access their lectures, short films, and interviews completely free, allowing them to learn what they want when they want.

Location: The Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK. Phone: +44.1223.337733


14. University of Arizona (Global Campus)

The University of Arizona Global Campus, formerly Ashford University, offers several associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees that students can pursue from anywhere in the world. Formerly known as Ashford University, the University of Arizona Global Campus provides expedited courses, allowing students to transfer up to 90 approved credits. It also awards credit for work/life experiences and does not require standardized testing or an application fee. Although undergraduate credits cost an average of $510, students can significantly reduce their costs through scholarships, grants, financial aid, and employer tuition assistance.

Location: 180 S Arizona Ave Suite #301, Chandler, AZ 85225. Phone: 866.711.1700


15. University of the People

The University of the People is an entirely online institution that compensates students for their attendance. It claims to be the world’s first non-profit, American-accredited online university with no tuition. Since its inception in 2009, the university has enrolled over 9,000 students from 194 countries. Health Science, Computer Science, Business Administration, and Education are among the online degree programs available. 

Although the university does not charge tuition, there are specific fees that students must pay, which are, fortunately, reasonably priced. These include a non-refundable application cost of $60, an assessment fee of $120 for undergraduate courses, a fee of $240 for undergraduate courses, and $17 for each accepted transfer credit. The University of the People has numerous scholarships if students require assistance paying these costs. 

Location: 595 E Colorado Blvd Suite 623, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone: 626.264.8880


Wrap up

Online colleges do not exactly pay students to attend; instead, they provide education at no cost or with scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options. Prospective students should see this as a win-win situation because they can pursue their preferred academic degree from the comfort of their homes without paying much or anything.

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