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Top 10 Tuition-Free Online Universities for 2024

Tuition-Free Online Universities

If you are struggling to afford your higher education, there are many top tuition-free online universities to study for you! By paying your tuition fees, these universities will make it easier for you to obtain a bachelor’s degree online.

The average cost of college has increased by more than 1,000 percent over the past thirty years. As a result, pursuing higher education has become a crisis for many students. In an unstable economy, students who are graduating from college with debt seek out universities that offer free tuition to simplify their debt-free educational journey. 

The use of distance learning has increased in popularity since COVID-19. Because of this, reputed universities are increasingly offering the option of online education in addition to on-campus education. Several top institutions offer tuition-free online degree courses.

In this article, we will give information about the top tuition-free online universities to study, which are contributing to making higher education accessible to all by offering tuition-free education.

What are Tuition-free universities?

An online universities that offers free tuition allows students to learn without paying tuition, which is the cost of attending an educational institution. But, free tuition does not equate to zero cost for students. Students may still have to pay for their books, accommodation and application, and assessment fees. 

Some may argue that since educational institutions depend on these sources of funding to run, college should not be free. However, some educational institutions may ask students to work to pay for these expenses. Some universities do not charge tuition because they are dedicated to providing access to education for all, regardless of ability or need.  

Furthermore, some colleges may charge a nominal price for an exam or course. Some organizations offer financial aid packages or full scholarships so that students can attend college at no cost. Also, some institutions call for work-study programs in which students perform work on campus in exchange for a free education.

List of the 10 Best Tuition-Free Online Universities to Study

1. University of California, Irvine

Location: Irvine, California, US

One of the top tuition-free online universities to study is the University of California, Irvine, which offers a huge selection of courses across many disciplines. This institution offers tuition-free education, so you can stop worrying about how much it will cost to attend online college.

If you’re interested, there are several free courses you can take. You’ll be able to practice writing across a range of business communications with the Better Business Writing in English course, which aims to help you find your writing voice. 

The fundamentals of electronics, such as diode, transistor, and op-amp, are covered in the Introduction to Electronics course offered by this tuition-free online university to study. This course is ideal for individuals who are interested in learning more about electrical engineering. This university offers a large number of other free online courses. You can choose any tuition-free course as per your requirements.

2. Arizona State University

Arizona State University
Arizona State University

Location: Tempe, Arizona, US

Arizona State University with campuses throughout the Phoenix metro area, stands as a leading public research institution, offering more than 300 diverse online degree programs. This is another top tuition-free online university to study.

You can choose between full-time, part-time, and accelerated online options. Among the myriad of professions covered, some programs are even tuition-free. 

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan offers a unique opportunity to provide 100% tuition coverage to eligible Starbucks employees. It involves a select group of students pursuing an online program, which only covers the incidental costs of books and class fees. ASU’s commitment to accessible education and strategic partnerships underscores its role in empowering learners and fostering a dynamic learning environment across a variety of disciplines.

3. University of the People

Location: Pasadena, California, US

Founded in 2009, the University of the People is a non-profit institution dedicated to providing tuition-free higher education globally. Using an innovative model, it aims to make quality education accessible across the world. This tuition-free online university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various fields, including business administration, computer science, and health sciences.  

UoPeople employs online learning and peer-to-peer learning to foster a collaborative educational environment. Despite its tuition-free status, this tuition-free online university study maintains rigorous academic standards and accreditation. Students are required to pay a nominal fee for the assessment, and scholarships are available to assist those facing financial constraints. 

4. WorldQuant University

WorldQuant University
WorldQuant University

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, US

WorldQuant Foundation sponsors WorldQuant University, which was established in 2005. The institution is committed to global educational inclusion. While tuition is waived, a nominal fee covers specific services, exams, and materials. The University’s virtual platform enables students from around the world to pursue master’s degree programs and certificates, with an emphasis on flexibility.  

Focused on practical skills and real-world relevance, this tuition-free online university to study prepares students for data-driven industries. By removing financial barriers, the University empowers learners globally to acquire valuable knowledge and skills and foster professional success.

5. Brown University

Location: Providence, Rhode Island, US

Founded in 1764, Brown University is accredited by NEASC. Fostering a close-knit learning environment with a remarkable student-faculty ratio of 7:1, the university has an extremely competitive 9% admissions rate and an exceptional 98% first-year retention rate. Specifically, Brown pledges to guarantee financial access that fully satisfies each student’s proven need. 

Families with a net worth of less than $100,000 and gross parental income of less than $60,000 are exempted from making financial contributions. Summer income helps cover tuition, but work-study or on-campus employment during the academic year is required for federal financial aid recipients. This financial inclusion is consistent with Brown’s commitment to providing every student with access to a broad and inspiring educational experience.

6. Harvard University

Harvard University
Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, US

This tuition-free online university to study offers 600 free online courses. You can avail of tuition-free education at this prestigious university. Harvard University is dedicated to meeting the needs of all students, so financial aid is awarded only on the basis of need.  

Financial aid does not cover loans, and parents earning less than $60,000 are not required to pay for their children’s higher education. However, at all income levels, those with substantial assets are expected to contribute proportionately more. Retirement accounts and home equity are not considered resources.

7. City College Of San Francisco

Location:  San Francisco, US

California’s residents can enroll in online classes without paying tuition at City College Of San Francisco is a public community institution. Thanks to the Free City Scholarship, students living in San Francisco can graduate without paying for tuition. After 1 year of residence, students transferring to California are eligible to apply for the Free City Scholarship. 

By investing in community engagement and skills enhancement, this tuition-free online university to study underlines its commitment to inclusivity. The tuition-free approach is in line with the institution’s belief in the transformative impact of education, which significantly contributes to educational attainment and the overall well-being of the local community.

8. Berea College

Location: Berea, Kentucky, US

Berea College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1855. Although the college enrolls more than 1,500 students nationwide and offers degrees in 28 disciplines, its primary focus is on educating Appalachian students. One of America’s best universities, Berea guarantees $0 tuition to all enrolled students. With the help of the Tuition Promise Scholarship offered by this tuition-free online university to study, students can graduate debt-free. 

The Tuition Promise Scholarship offered covers approximately $100,000 over four years for most Berea students. Even if students take out loans to cover their entire family contributions or pursue exceptional learning opportunities, they will still have less debt than the national average.

9. Deep Springs College

Location: Deep Springs, California, US

Full scholarships covering tuition, housing, and board worth over $50,000 are available from this tuition-free online university to study. The university pays substantial tuition fees. Students need to bear their books, health insurance, and other expenses. In situations of severe financial hardship, additional scholarship money can be used to pay small bills. 

Since most students enroll full-time on campus, many online courses are not offered by Deep Springs College, but they do exist given recent post-pandemic improvements in educational infrastructure.

10. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California, US

Stanford University, a prestigious research institution, prioritizes accessibility by providing affordable education to lower and middle-class students. Their strong financial aid program ensures that parents earning less than $125,000 pay no tuition, while families earning less than $65,000 pay no costs for tuition, fees, room, or board.

Notably, approximately 70% of graduates benefit from various types of support, enhancing inclusivity at this tuition-free online university to study. This commitment reflects Stanford’s dedication to fostering a diverse and talented student body, strengthening its position as a leading academic institution that values equal educational opportunities for all.

4 Ways to Attend Universities for Free

The following 4 steps will help you enroll in tuition-free universities:

  • Apply for financial aid: To get a tuition-free education, you can apply for grants and scholarships at the federal and school level. Various universities provide financial aid to make education affordable for students. Grants usually depend on financial need, while scholarships are awarded based on academic and athletic merit.
  • Work for the school: Many schools offer free or discounted tuition to staff members and employees. So, if a student’s parents are employed at a college, the student may be eligible for a full or partial exemption.
  • Choose a demanding career: Choosing a high-need major of study is another excellent way to go to college for free. If you’re trying to reduce college expenses, you can think about it before enrolling. Teaching, social work, science, maths, and nursing are among the disciplines for which universities can offer scholarships.
  • Attend a work college: Another option for obtaining a free or significantly reduced college education is through a work college. These universities, which are often four-year liberal arts colleges, provide both useful professional experience and educational opportunities.


1. Are there any tuition-free online universities available?

Yes, some online colleges offer tuition-free courses. To provide affordable education, the University of the People, Arizona State University, and other universities use a variety of funding strategies. However, before enrolling in these programs, be sure to verify any possible additional fees for accreditation and books or exams.

2. Can International Students Enroll in Tuition-Free Online Universities?

The inclusion of international students varies across tuition-free online university programs. Some universities welcome international students, while others may impose restrictions or additional criteria.

Prospective students should carefully review each institution’s policies to understand the eligibility and requirements applicable to international enrollment.

3. How is an online university different from a traditional university?

Students can study remotely thanks to the courses that online universities offer over the Internet. Traditional institutions have physical premises that encourage face-to-face communication. The primary differences between traditional universities and online universities relate to time and location.

There are no specific days or hours when you have to visit a campus. You can complete your coursework from the convenience of your home, work, or other location.

4. Is the University of the People completely free?

At the University of the People, education comes without the burden of tuition, books, or typical campus expenses. The institution aims to democratize higher education by offering a tuition-free model, eliminating barriers to access.

Through this innovative approach, University of the People has made attending university more affordable and accessible for students around the world.


Tuition-free online universities studies represent an unprecedented approach to education, removing financial barriers and opening the doors to learning on a global scale. This visionary model promotes inclusivity, democratizes education, and enables individuals to achieve educational goals without the burden of tuition costs.

As technology advances, these online universities play a vital role in creating a more equitable and interconnected educational landscape. 

Embodying the belief that knowledge should be universally accessible, tuition-free online universities signal a transformational shift in education. They envision a future where learning crosses boundaries, offering abundant opportunities for those willing to embrace the limitless possibilities of the digital age.

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