Most people get their first bit of financial stress from their college debt. They did what society told them to do; they got good grades, went to college, and graduated with a degree. They were promised a great middle class life on completion, but they were not told how to do this the correct way without running up 6 figures in debt. I got my bachelor’s degree for free with a basketball scholarship and worked hard to finish with a 3.6 on a 4-point scale. I paid with my blood, sweat, tears, and one reconstructive knee surgery. I paid in cash for my master’s degree while working as a teacher, and have never once felt this pressure, but most of my friends and colleagues have told me how they work hard and have no money at the end because of their student loans. I preach to all my students that you go to the college you can afford to pay cash for, and never borrow money for college. Most just laugh and take out loans, and a few (like 2 of them) came back and said I was right and they should have listened to me better. I have had a couple of my students put their pride aside and follow my debt free plan and go to community college, living at home, and working 30 hours a week saving as much as possible. Then going to a local 4 year school and working their way through there, living at home to complete their degree. No one asks what college you got your degree from, because no one cares where you went. They hire qualified people for the job, not your pedigree (Sorry Harvard).
So you are asking how do you get free college if I don’t want to work? Do I wait for the government to just give it to me for free, or do I wait for my Mommy and Daddy to give me free school? No, you research, put a plan together and achieve your free college all on your own. I was told at a young age that if I wanted to go to college I was paying for the bill. Since my father is 6’9,” I decided in about 4th grade I needed to learn to be good at basketball so I could go to Duke for free. So, I got good grades, since I researched the grades and SAT scores needed to go to any school in the USA, and dribbled and shot a lot of hours. I was the top of my class and I spent 40 plus hours a week practicing basketball all through high school. I was offered about 5 options for free college, and all were great academic schools all for free.
You can do this with any subject in school. You can become a great chemistry student and win competitions, or robotics, or agriculture, or band, or choir, or whatever! There are bowling scholarships, rising star scholarships for kids with bad grades who showed improvement, daughter of the revolutions, various handicapped scholarships (being over 6’6” is one too!), first generation college students scholarships, the list is endless. Free college already exists for almost everyone who is willing to work for it and research out how to find it. Six billion dollars a year goes unused every year because no one does research and finds it.
There are also just straight up free colleges out there such as the Air Force Academy, or any military college that the government supports. There are liberal arts colleges such as College of the Ozarks where you can get your free degree by working for the college saving them money in staffing, and getting you job training on your resume. There are specialty colleges for engineers, maritime architects and for religious folks trying to get into ministry, such as Barclay College in Kansas.
The bottom line is that free college is a real thing and that no one should have to take out a loan for college. Stop being lazy and put a plan together for yourself. If you are a parent, help your child put a plan together, and keep them motivated by not offering help for their college dreams. Make people achieve their own dreams. My 6th grade daughter knows because her father is 6’10” she is working toward a volleyball scholarship, she also knows how a GPA works and that she will need great scores on her SAT’s to help open all her options. She already puts in about 10 hours a week on practicing her volleyball, and she also knows that if volleyball doesn’t work out then she has great grades and can apply for many scholarships to help her pay her way all by herself. She knows and understands it is her job to get herself into college, and she knows and understands that I am here to help guide her, but it is her life and her consequences if she goes off the path. We need to all grow up and take responsibility for our actions and make sure our children don’t make the same mistakes we make by not going to a free college. Teach the next generation that free already exists and guide them to achieve it for themselves. The world will be better and have created stronger people if we make them achieve their own dreams and take control of their own future debt free.