10 Amazing Colleges With Free Applications

It’s no secret; college is expensive.

Seeking higher education is a worthy undertaking, but sometimes it can feel as if every step of the process is designed to be more of a financially induced headache than the last. 

The burden can be overwhelming for someone from a less-fortunate background, from tuition to books. 

Nevertheless, a college education remains one of the most successful ways to build a sustainable income, climb the ladder of success, and escape the cycle of poverty that seems to ensnare so many families! 

The research speaks for itself. On average, a college graduate is expected to earn around $33,000 per year over an employee with only a high school diploma. 

While financial aid opportunities abound, helping eliminate this pain point and make that life-changing educational experience more accessible than ever, this may still feel like a minor point for those struggling to scrape up the funds for the application fee itself. 

Luckily, there is a solution.

By taking advantage of any of these ten amazing colleges with no application fees, prospective students can leap over this roadblock and sail onto their future prospects with ease!

Read on to learn more about what each of these ten outstanding colleges has to offer.

Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)

Wellesley College
John Phelan, Alumnae Hall, Wellesley College, Wellesley MA, CC BY-SA 3.0

As one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States, Wellesley College offers more than just no application fees; it provides a chance at a truly remarkable educational experience. 

Since its founding in 1870, Wellesley College has fostered a nurturing, intimate educational environment. 

The faculty-to-student ratio stands at one teacher for every eight students, ensuring that class sizes remain small and each student can rest easy feeling that their individual needs are seen and met. 

Even with off-campus housing available, over ninety percent of students choose to remain on-campus for the duration of their college experience, taking advantage of the safety of this elite school. Though not exclusively a girls’ school, Wellesley is primarily female, with only one percent of its student body identifying as male.

In addition to taking a holistic approach towards application– not requiring students to submit any standardized test scores– this college also requires no application fees, no questions asked!

Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)

Colorado College
Xnatedawgx, William L Spencer Center, Colorado College, CC BY-SA 4.0

Nestled in the center of the hip, growing city of Colorado Springs, Colorado College offers students boundless opportunities to get involved in everything their thriving student life has to offer.

Before school even begins, students can look forward to enjoying CC Fest, a free, on-campus event featuring food trucks, games, and plenty of chances to meet incoming students.

Later, Llammapalooza offers an even more exciting chance to bond over a shared love of music. This annual music festival pulls talent from all over the country, providing a big musical experience within the safe, comforting environment of the intimate campus.

Though this college offers a chance of a free application process, hopeful students should be warned this doesn’t mean the admissions committee isn’t committed to finding the best and brightest. 

The process begins with a preliminary application, as well as a supplemental essay in which the student should describe what draws them to this college. 

Colby College (Waterville, ME)

Colby College
Public domain photo by Nick Kline via Wikimedia Commons

Colby College may be somewhat small, but that tiny size does not reflect the level of education possible on this campus. In fact, it remains one of the most elite in the nation, accepting only nine percent of applicants

In particular, this liberal arts college has developed a reputation for its progressive teaching methods, earning it a spot among the top twenty most innovative colleges in America. 

Rather than simply teaching students the necessary lessons to gain academic credit, this college leads students into the future, connecting them with internships, research opportunities, and any of 200 study abroad experiences. 

What’s more, Colby College remains dedicated to leveling the financial playing field. This educational institution looks at every student’s financial needs individually, ensuring that no student needs to take unnecessary risks with pricey student loans while seeking their education.

St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN)

St Olaf College
Elkman, St Olaf Old Main 1, CC BY-SA 4.0

St. Olaf College got its start in 1874 when a group of Norwegian immigrants founded it. 

Since then, it has only gone on to spread this worldwide education to as many students as possible, opening doors to financially successful futures!

Located only forty-five minutes from the Twin Cities, this college offers students the best of both worlds: access to a bustling, thriving economic center only a short distance from the intimate safety of their college home.

Spreading across 300 acres, this campus offers a diverse range of settings, with protected wetlands just a brief walk from native tallgrass prairies and wooded groves. 

In the confines of this intimate campus, students may feel as if they have stepped into a fairy tale!

In their drive to turn out as many “Oles” as possible, St. Olaf College requires no application fees and offers excellent financial aid opportunities

Currently, 98% of its student body benefits from some form of financial assistance, and the average first-year needs-based financial aid award falls just under $50,000.

US Military Academy at West Point (West Point, NY)

West Point
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

For centuries, the United States military has offered people from all walks of life the opportunity to rise above their circumstances through acts of dedicated service to their nation. 

The US Military Academy at West Point continues that grand tradition, offering amazing educational opportunities to any student dedicated enough to seize them!

Aimed directly toward students hoping to find success in the United States Army, West Point strives to teach young cadets the values of duty, honor, and country as they prepare them to serve as officers and leaders. 

In addition to being ranked among the top five public universities in the nation, this academy also hosts one of the top five engineering colleges in the United States.  

With this level of rigorous education, it should come as no surprise the median starting salary of graduates stands at over $80,000 per year.

Baldwin Wallace University (Berea, OH)

Any student hoping to access one of the top-quality educations in the Midwest is guaranteed to feel at home on the Baldwin Wallace University campus. 

Through a system of esteemed traditions that perfectly balance the sophisticated history of this campus with a level of fun, Baldwin Wallace University brings life and joy to every student, helping spark their curiosity about the world around them. 

By offering the oldest collegiate Bach festival in the United States, this university brings history to life, allowing students to perform and enjoy listening to classical music. 

In so doing, these students keep the arts alive and remind younger generations about what this musical form still has to offer the world. 

Similarly, the Bold and Gold festival binds this university to the surrounding community, serving as both a homecoming and a “community day” all in one.  

Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI)

Johnson & Wales University
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Johnson and Wales Culinary building, Harborside campus, Providence RI, CC BY-SA 4.0

As one of the most progressive universities on this list,  Johnson & Wales offers students the chance to tailor their education to their personal needs, all with no application fees.

This college takes pride in allowing students to choose from a diverse host of online classes, helping them have the flexibility they need to work around their college schedule as they need. 

Unlike other colleges, these courses are designed to maintain the highest level of rigor, bypassing the busy work in exchange for thorough, effective teaching practices.

The results speak for themselves! Johnson and Wales University boasts some of the best career outcomes in the country, with over ninety-six percent of students graduating with job offers in their chosen profession. 

Rhodes College (Memphis, TN)

Rhodes College
Washnockm, Ashner Gateway, CC BY-SA 4.0

Any student hoping for a thriving career in the music industry will be happy to find that Rhodes College– one of the best music schools in the nation– requires absolutely no application fees!

With a cozy placement in the historically musical town of Memphis, Tennessee, it comes as no surprise that Rhodes College continues to make news every year for its thriving, highly-effective program.

Just this year, Billboard Magazine named Rhodes College among the top music business schools in the nation. Though it does not have a dedicated music business major, the alumni from this holistic program graduate with all the tools they could possibly need to make their way into this competitive industry. 

Home to none other than Priscilla Presley herself, Rhodes College continues to provide the same level of high-quality education to musical icons throughout time!

Baylor University (Waco, TX)

Baylor University
Michael Barera, Baylor University (Founders Mall and Pat Neff Hall), CC BY-SA 4.0

Nestled comfortably in Waco, Texas, Baylor University has risen to fame as one of the most successful Christian colleges in the nation.  

Driven by dedication towards faith and knowledge, the staff at Baylor University take pride in showcasing how religion and higher education can not only coexist but work together to produce the best outcomes of both worlds.

The recent Baylor Symposium on faith and culture opened the floor to discussion on the ways in which art– both religiously based and otherwise– plays a role in how mankind happily grows and flourishes on a global scale. 

Over ten speakers gathered to share their thoughts on this valuable topic, helping the students think more critically about their own opinions on the matter.

All students, faith-based or otherwise, find themselves at home on this campus, which has recently been ranked among the top ten for positive first-year experiences

Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, WI)

The Milwaukee School of Engineering may fall last on this list, but they are far from the bottom. With amazing financial aid opportunities and a focus on high-quality STEM education, this engineering school stands among the best value schools in America

Engineering schools occasionally have a reputation for being cold, unwelcoming places; nothing could be further from the truth of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. 

This university takes immense pride in building a close-knit community of learners, encouraging the inclusion necessary in this traditionally male-dominated career.

On Tuesdays, students are welcome to enjoy Tuesday Tea in the Multicultural center.  

While there, they can unwind, destress, and take the time to learn more about teas from all over the world, studying mindfulness methods derived from other cultures.

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