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Hard Work U

Nicknamed ‘Hard Work U’, the College of Ozarks was founded on a work-for-education model that allows its students to graduate debt-free.

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What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Academic merit, athletic performance, and artistic talent have helped many students pay their way through college. But what about a student’s work ethic and service to the local community? Many of us juggled the demands of part-time jobs alongside heavy course loads to pay for the cost of college. At the Hard Work U, on-campus work is fully integrated into the school’s curriculum. How the cost of college is paid for is an inseparable part of what students learn from their education. The private four-year university in Missouri has an annual price tag of $18k, but no enrolled student has to pay for it. All students participate in 15 hr/week on-campus work programs and 40 hr/ week summer job placements to earn credit towards tuition. The remaining cost of college not paid for by the work program is covered by the school’s endowment and federal and state grants. How might we adopt work-for-education programs on a larger scale? How might 4-year colleges better allocate endowments to support their students' financial needs?


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Photo of Kellie Marks

Hi Shane - One initiative worth checking out is the Cristo Rey Network's Corporate Work-Study Program, which gives underprivileged US students an opportunity to gain real-world experience while financing a portion of their education:

CC: Elric Martinez (this is highly relevant to your A Great Deal for All Parties, a Party for a Great Deal contribution...)

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