Hurry Up and Send Your Kids to College — for Free

College graduationTime to hire Junior a private tutor or get Sally Sue some extra after-school lessons. Whatever you gotta do to get them through high school within the next few years, while the giving is still good. In an attempt to bounce back from bad management and financial ruin, Antioch College — a private, liberal arts school in Yellow Springs, Ohio — is waiving the cost of tuition for all students who enroll in the next three years.

You aren’t moving fast enough. Free tuition. Three years. Time’s a-wastin’.

If you’re brave enough to even attempt to look at the price of college tuition, you’re probably still peeking through a semi-open hand, like the way I watch The Walking Dead. After all, it’s about the same level of scary — maybe even scarier. In 2011, the average cost of life and learning at a typical private school hiked to $42,224. That’s per year

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So you figure by the time all is said and done, your kid is walking across that stage with a mortgage’s worth in book learnin’. All to tell you they need to take a year to find themselves by plucking their acoustic guitar at some tiny corner bistro or traipsing off to some far-flung part of the world to do absolutely nothing to do with the major you spent four years of blood, sweat, and lint-filled pockets to pay for. But Antioch says struggle no more, faithful parents. At least for the next three years.

The value of the free tuition for the current year is $26,500. That means the full scholarship, based on that price, is worth at least $106,000. Room and board isn’t included in the discounted rate but students who file financial aid applications may also qualify to have those fees waived as well, which pans out to about $8,628 in free living. Hell, I might pack my Samsonite roller bag and go back to being a blushing co-ed for that price.

What brought on his stretch of generosity, you ask? After a string of fledging years, alumni resurrected their alma mater. Now the college wants to make an investment in hard-working, engaged students who can help restart the 162-year-old school, which was originally founded by abolitionists, and get it back to its glory days. Last year, 35 students made up the freshman class following a temporary shut-down of the campus in 2008 and the school hopes to attract another 65-75 students in the fall with the ultimate goal of having 300 by 2015.

Man, if Teen Girl was at least a sophomore, I’d be putting her through the Albert Einstein Accelerated Learning Program to skip grades and capitalize on this opportunity. Alas, this gift is not for us. But if your kid is a high school senior, you’ve still got time. The admission deadline is Feb. 15. Make haste and save yourself a couple hundred grand in tuition dollars and buy yourself a boat, a vacation — or a new condo.

Would you send your child to a college just because they were offering free or reduced tuition to all students?


Image via ralph and jenny/Flickr

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