Way to get a free college education

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Star Wars mom, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Star Wars mom

    Star Wars mom Earning My Ears and my Lightsaber

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    This past summer I took a job doing clerical work at a local university. I was immediately given the option of enrolling in classes there tuition-free. Thanks to that benefit I'm now working on my Master's Degree -- FOR FREE! After being employed there five years my spouse and children will also be allowed to take classes there tuition-free. That means my children can get their college degrees from this prestigious college (that costs about $44,000/year in tuition) for free.

    I share this because most colleges offer this benefit. Sometimes you have to work at a college for a year before getting free tuition, and sometimes you have to wait longer than five years to get the free tuition benefit for your kids and spouse. But it may be worth looking into. Colleges hire people will all sorts of backgrounds. The college I work at was recently hiring a mechanic, cleaning people, secretaries, grounds keepers, food servers, etc, as well as the traditional need for professors and administrators. All those folks get the same free tuition benefit that I got. My kids have already toured the college and are excited about getting to go there. The college also has a tuition exchange program. So if my children decide to attend a different college, the university I work for will pay 75% of their tuition at another college.

    Hoping this may help someone else who is thinking long-term about college for themselves or their family.
     
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  3. juliebean

    juliebean Mouseketeer

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    I worked for a public university, administering scholarships, and we could take up to 4 credits a semester for $5 a piece - which was great! Unfortunately, that benefit was not available to spouses or children. But, it's a great benefit if a college near you offers it. I'm not sure how widespread it is, I only worked for the one university. Good luck with your masters!
     
  4. RachaelA

    RachaelA DIS Veteran

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    RIT?

    I went to Boston University and one of my friend's moms got a job there so he could go there tuition free. It was awesome!
     
  5. ExPirateShopGirl

    ExPirateShopGirl <font color=blue>My posts are sanitized for your p

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    You bring up an excellent point. It's a fantastic benefit and keeps employee turn-over low. Certainly something to think about when entering or reentering the workforce, especially for moms who stayed home for a number of years to raise young children.


     
  6. Star Wars mom

    Star Wars mom Earning My Ears and my Lightsaber

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    Yes - RIT!

    And I was a mom who stayed home to raise kids and just re-entered the workforce last year. A lot of my co-workers are in my situation. Several have children enrolled in the college right now or are working on their own degrees.

    RIT is the fourth college I have worked for (I was an academic advisor before taking time off to have kids) and I believe all of them offered some sort of free or drastically reduced tuition benefit to employees. I took some free classes at another college I worked for about 10 years ago to get a travel agent certificate...which helped me learn how to find good vacation deals, of course :)
     
  7. Leader of the Club

    Leader of the Club My Disney Princess only wears BLACK!

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    My hubby works for a University. He gets free tuition and our boys will get free tuition after he is employed there for three years--as long as he is still working there.

    I believe the only thing waived is the tuition. We will still be responsible for fees, books, etc. and this Univ requires all Freshman/Sophomore students to live on campus for the first two years.

    In our case, I think it will actually be cheaper for them to attended the local community college for the first two years and then transfer in for the Bachelor's degree.
     
  8. MickeyManiac

    MickeyManiac Mouseketeer

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    That's a great benefit. I work for a state University and get 50% tuition reduction. After 3 years my spouse and dependents were eligible for the 50% reduction.
     
  9. RangerPooh

    RangerPooh DIS Veteran

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    The university that I attend does this too. Yet I have heard that this perk might be cut/reduced due to the current state of the economy.
     
  10. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    My friends and I have often discussed this - if only there were a college close enough!

    When I was in college I had a friend who was student freshman year (she lived in my dorm) who got married over the summer, dropped out and became a full time cafeteria lady so they could afford for her new dh to keep going there.
     
  11. DIS_MERI

    DIS_MERI Mouseketeer

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    That is an excellent benefit, as long as classes you can use are offered (or it won't impact your family life to take classes you don't *need* but want. There can be many surprising ways to get a college education paid for. My kids are eligible for 124 hours of full tuition remission at any state college/university in Indiana because one of their parents has a service connected disability of at least 10% and wartime service (that would be me, XH was too lazy to get evaluated by the VA to find out if had any service connected disability)....so, I just need to make sure that we can cover room and board (and I live 20 miles from IU and XH lives 20 miles from IUPUI, so shouldn't be too difficult to cover that if they choose one of those 2, lol).
     
  12. MickeyHereWeCome!

    MickeyHereWeCome! DIS Veteran

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    I earned my BA degree tuition free because my mother worked at the college. It was an awesome benefit, especially because it is a rather pricey, private, women's college. I opted to live on campus, so we only had to pay for room and board. Any employee at the college was offered the same benefit (custodians, clerical, professors). I may look into similar options once my kids get older. Can you imagine the savings for four kids!!?? Of course, what are the odds they would all choose to attend that school, but it could be worth a try!
     
  13. js

    js This is my Tag!

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    I work in a private college and my children can both go there for free or there are about 300 other schools on our list that there is a possibility of getting tuition remission from them. While it is not always guaranteed, some schools are more generous than others.

    I have a junior in HS that will not attend the college where I work but we have only looked at colleges where I get the remission (fingers crossed).

    I went from working part time in the city to full time at my current job (only 10 minutes away) for the benefit of college. While we don't get paid nearly as much as I did in the city, I still get paid well for my area but again, I didn't take it for the pay.

    Tuition and dorms come to a little over $42K a year :scared1: We are responsible for the dorms if they stay but not tuition. :banana:
     
  14. SleepyatDVC

    SleepyatDVC DIS Veteran

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    Lol. DH worked at an IVY before we got married. He quit the year we had our first child even though the benefits (besides the future tuition for our kids) was GREAT!!! :confused3

    He really hated that job. He had to deal with the parents of the students daily. :rolleyes1. And the thought of having to stick with that job for the next 20+ years just so our kids could benefit tuition wise would have killed him.

    He's much happier now in a field totally different from what he did at the university. The benefits aren't as good as before but he's making alot more $$$ :goodvibes and happier.
     
  15. collegejunkie

    collegejunkie DIS Veteran

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    really? would you mind sharing which ivy? i can't imagine that parents would be involved, seeing how schools do not release information or even talk to parents without their kid's consent.

    as for free tuition, my question about which school still stands. and, again, that's assuming they get in, right?
     
  16. ExPirateShopGirl

    ExPirateShopGirl <font color=blue>My posts are sanitized for your p

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    The only time I talk to anyone involved with my daughter's college is when they call me to ask for another donation. :lmao:



     
  17. RangerPooh

    RangerPooh DIS Veteran

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    You wouldn't believe how often parents try contacting the teacher of record/department to try to get the instructor to change their policy for their child. A few years ago DH was teaching undergrads in a teacher preparation program, towards the end of each semester he would start getting phone calls and emails form parents regarding their child's grade in the class. Students who complained to their mommy's and daddy's because the teacher would not extend a deadline (that they had a month to work on) or for similar issues.

    The office that I work for on campus experiences this too. We start receiving calls from parents at the end of the semester because their child procrastinated until the very last minute to complete the community service components of their class projects and we have no projects to offer them (this past fall we filled over 4k volunteer positions). They dn't care that their child has had since the first day of class to complete the requirement, as it's in someway our fault.

    And yes, there is the privacy issue to contend with; but parents will still try to solve their child's problem for them regardless.
     
  18. Spacepest

    Spacepest Mouseketeer

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    I've looked into this as well, but there are a few problems.

    Some of the other posters mentioned they didn't want to work at their university for years longer than they had to, because they didn't like their position. Some of the colleges require you to work full time to qualify for waived or reduced tuition. I don't know about some of the other posters, but there is no way I could work a full time food service or janitorial position for years just to get free tuition for my entire family. Ditto for any of the other high stress jobs on campus.

    Second is finding time to go--you can't go to a class when you're scheduled to work. I've know a few people who have gotten full time positions at universities, who could never take the required classes for a wanted degree because it would conflict with their university work schedule.
     
  19. collegejunkie

    collegejunkie DIS Veteran

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    oh, wow! i didn't realize that parents still got involved. for us, it was always once you're in college, you're on your own (in terms of getting your work done, making sure you get enough sleep, etc). i guess i always just thought everyone was like that. so strange, but i can see how/why it happens.
     
  20. SleepyatDVC

    SleepyatDVC DIS Veteran

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    DH is very strict on following the rules. He's just that type of person. He was a supervisor so I know that the squeekiest wheels got bumped up to him. I'm sure he had the privacy issue to deal with.

    All I know is that he use to always complain about the parents that thought their little darlings (and they) were entitled to special treatment because of all the $$$$$$ they pay for tuition, etc. :rolleyes1 "You're just the hired help, here to serve me" attitude. :rolleyes:

    Always reminded me of the irate Disney guests screaming at the front desk of the resorts because they were entitled to an upgrade or to have all their requests met because of all the $$$$ they paid. LOL.

    Yes, the kids would actually have to get in. There were reciprocal deals with other universities like someone else mentioned.

    I "think" they were changing the benefits for new employers when DH was still there (over 10 years ago) where either only the employee was tuition-free or there was a minimum number of years where you had to work, etc. They were making cutbacks even then. Although, DH would probably have been grandfathered into the older policies.

    Details of the exact policies are fuzzy because it was so long ago and we weren't going to take advantage of the benefits.

    I still miss his 3-4 weeks of vacation days plus all school holidays. But his pay would have been limited if he stayed and there was no guarantee the kids would have been able to benefit. It was the right decision to leave for him and our family.
     
  21. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    This isn't quite the same, but the single best thing I did for myself -- financially speaking -- in college was to work as a Resident Adviser.

    My responsibilities:
    - Come to school a week early for training & various physical tasks to open the dorms
    - Work very hard giving out keys, helping new students on move-in days
    - Work very hard first couple weeks getting to know everyone, encouraging new people to go to dinner with a big group . . . just building positive atmosphere on our house
    - Plan/implement two social events each semester for the dorm
    - Be on call for emergencies one night a week and every 5th weekend
    - Work very hard the last week of school (which conflicted with exams) checking students out of their rooms as they left for home

    As you can see, once we did the hard work of opening the dorms, it wasn't tremendously difficult work. It was the kind of thing that suited my personality.

    The benefits:
    - Single dorm room (or room in a suite or apartment) paid
    - 1/2 in-state tuition paid
    - 1/2 meal plan paid
    - Phone paid (this was back when we had phones on the wall)
    - A beach retreat every fall, a mountain retreat every spring, nice outings about once a month (for example, sometimes they'd take us all out to LazerTag)

    And this was big: We never received a direct paycheck, so no taxes on any of it.

    For a kid like me who had NO financial help with college, it was a really great job. Some of my high school friends who went to other schools said it was a terrible job at their schools, so I think the pay /responsibilities vary widely.
     

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