According to a survey conducted by Citigroup and Seventeen Magazine, nearly 4 out of 5 college students work part-time jobs, but only 18% pay their own tuition. But what if an on-campus job could pay for your degree?
This is exactly the case at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. Every student at the university works 15 hours a week on campus, with jobs ranging from campus security to tending cattle, operating the school's power plant to cleaning hotel rooms (the university operates a 4-star hotel, museum, and dairy farm, among other facilities). Every student graduates debt-free, and lower income students can even work at the school during the summer to cover room and board. Even the university itself is debt-free; operating expenses come out of a $400 million endowment.
This operating model begs the question: in a country where university endowments frequently top $1 billion, what can universities do with these endowments, or their model as a whole, to make higher ed more affordable for their students?