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Work Colleges Offer a Unique ROI

Many students graduate with epic amounts of student loan debt -- unless they attend one of seven work colleges in the US. These colleges require students to be employed at the school in any one of a variety of roles, both to earn money for tuition and to gain real-life work experience as they go, thus making college more affordable.

(Photo Credit: BYU-Hawaii/Flickr)

According to the Associated Press, officials say the work experiences teach responsibility and teamwork and include jobs such as landscaping, cooking, and public relations. The seven work colleges are: Sterling College (Vermont), Alice Lloyd College and Berea College (Kentucky), Blackburn College (Illinois), College of the Ozarks (Missouri), Ecclesia College (Arkansas), and Warren Wilson College (North Carolina).

Investing your tuition dollars at a college that pays students and provides them with job skills for their resume could offer a great ROI if more schools, possibly larger ones, develop this model in the future. Only one of the colleges, Missouri’s College of the Ozarks, has a ranking on the 2014 Payscale College ROI Report. The report ranks hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities based on total cost and alumni earnings.

The college is currently ranked at number 1,273 on the list, which puts its ROI in the negative. Regardless of that particular ranking, work schools like College of the Ozarks still offer an ideal concept: graduating with as few debts as possible.

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Should students pay for college by working their way through school? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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