Education As A Smart Investment

I was over on the East Coast much of last week. No, I wasn’t goofing around – at least not the whole time… Several days were spent touring and learning about Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Typically, when I hear, “College of Art and Design” I steer my clients away from the program. SCAD is the exception. There are two reasons why I encourage a look at SCAD if it is a good fit for the student. The first is that they can earn an actual college degree on both the bachelors and master’s levels. The second is that SCAD does not believe in producing starving artists. Their programs are designed, no pun intended, to introduce the student to their industry of interest early on and make sure they have the complimentary resources to thrive while pursuing their passion. Check out their placement statistics. They are surprisingly high. The other campus sites where students can visit and study for a quarter or more will also get your attention.

If you have a child determined to pursue a major in the arts or if you are that child, don’t change directions until you have talked with a SCAD representative and/or visited the campus. Savannah was described by a long-time businessman that I met as sanitized version of New Orleans. I think that was pretty accurate. It has a New Orleans feel without the Mardi Gras, party atmosphere. Oh, and take your stretchy pants when you visit. The food is incredible which makes weight gain inevitable.

Now, attending SCAD costs more than going to a state institution in Texas, but they do have funding that can bring the cost of attendance more in line with what the typical family can afford. My message is to take a close look before passing it by.

In the interest of keeping my messages short, I will not include my other thoughts in this post but encourage you to read them on my blog page if you are interested. After visiting SCAD and mulling over the affordability of colleges, a little research was conducted that revealed three colleges that are tuition-free – more if you can get into an Ivy school. Those three reachable colleges as well as the lowest cost colleges in and boarding Texas are listed Below. Give it a look and contact me if you have question about SCAD or any of the colleges on that list.


Low priced colleges:

Oklahoma Panhandle State University – Goodwell

Northwestern Oklahoma State University – Alva

Southwestern Oklahoma State University – Weatherford

Southeastern Oklahoma State University – Durant

Langston University – Langston, Oklahoma

East Central University – Ada, Oklahoma

Cameron University – Lawton, OK

Northeastern State University – Tahlequah, OK

Rogers State University – Claremore, OK

New Mexico Highlands University – Las Vegas

Eastern New Mexico University – Portales


West Texas A&M University – Canyon

Midwestern State University – Wichita Falls, TX

University of Texas at Brownsville


Southern University at New Orleans

Louisiana State University – Alexandria

Southern University and A&M College – Baton Rouge, LA


Southern Arkansas University Tech – Camden

Arkansas Tech University – Russellville

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

University of Central Arkansas – Conway, AR

Henderson State University – Arkadelphia, AR


Colleges Providing Free Tuition

 Alice Lloyd College

Established in 1923, Alice Lloyd College, a four-year, Christian-centered, liberal arts, offers pre-professional and bachelor’ degree programs. The college enrollment includes around 600 students. Alice Lloyd College has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio and accepts, on average, 18% of its applicants.

* Alice Lloyd College ranked #40 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Colleges (South).

* SAT test scores (25th/75th percentile) are as follows: Critical reading: 460/590; math: 420/520; and writing: 440/480.

Students at the tuition-free college are required to work at least 160 hours per semester in an on-campus job or in the local community in the Student Work Program. The cost of living in a dormitory is about $1,900 annually.

Each of Alice Lloyd’s 2009 graduates carried an average debt of $6,500, which is well below the statewide average of $19,112 and the national average of $24,000.


Berea College

Established in 1855, Berea College located in Berea Kentucky, a private liberal arts college, provides degrees in 28 fields. The college encompasses about 1,500 undergraduate students from all 50 states and about 60 countries; however, the majority of the students are from Appalachia.

* Berea College has an 11:1 student/faculty ratio.

* The Princeton Review named the college as one of the best colleges in the Southeast.

* Berea College Ranked #76 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Liberal Arts Colleges.

* The college has an 11% acceptance rate, and a 79.5% average freshman retention rate.

Berea College does not charge tuition and awards a four-year tuition scholarship to every admitted student (amounts to nearly $100,000). However, every student is required to work at least 10 hours per week in campus-approved jobs.

This scholarship also works in accordance with any other grants or scholarships students receive. The college may cover other costs such as room/board and fees; most students receive additional aid for these costs. About one in four students at the college are able to graduate debt-free.


College of the Ozarks

Founded in 1906, College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian liberal arts college located in Point Lookout, Missouri. The college has an enrollment of 1,500, a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio and over 30 academic majors.

College of the Ozarks offers pre-professional programs and credentials and certificates as well as degrees in both Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Science.

* The college ranked #10 in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report edition of the Best Colleges in Regional Colleges (Midwest).

* Forbes ranked the school #21 in the Midwest.

College of the Ozarks is a tuition-free college for full-time students. About ninety percent of applicants are required to show financial need to get accepted. Students are required to work 15 hours a week at an on-campus work station and a 40-hour work week during breaks. The school provides a summer work program to cover the cost of room and board.

Phone: (713) 858-4325
Fax: (713) 858-4325
Richmond, TX 77406
1860 FM 359 #229