I found myself at this intersection earlier today, literally, on the campus of a university in Point Lookout, Missouri called The College of the Ozarks, otherwise known as Hard Work U.
Hard Work U has been around for over a hundred years, and they’ve educated thousands of successful men and women in over fifty different fields of study. But that doesn’t make them unusual. What makes them unusual, is that no one graduates from Hard Work U in debt. Ever. This is a four-year, fully accredited liberal arts university that charges zero tuition.
That’s not to say a degree from Hard Work U is free – it isn’t. Every student at this college works a minimum of 15-hours a week at one of a hundred different practical workstations located on the campus. They also work at least two, 40-hour work weeks every year, when classes are not in session. There’s a dairy, a printing press, multiple restaurants, a fruitcake and jelly kitchen, machine shops, and so forth. Every student at Hard Work U works for their degree, in every sense of the word. There’s also financial support from alumni and other citizens who love the model that Hard Work U has perfected, but the bottom line is simple – no one leaves this remarkably successful college in debt.
I was invited to speak last night at their annual Work Ethic Forum. It was a privilege. I also visited a few of the aforementioned workstations, met a few thousand students, along with their new president, and the Governor of Missouri, and a former guest of the Hanoi Hilton and genuine war hero named Colonel John Clark, and 3,500 other guests who gathered in the gymnasium to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of work ethic in these United States.
Speaking of which, the deadline for a work ethic scholarship from mikeroweWORKS is April 12th. We’ve got a million dollars up for grabs at mikeroweWORKS.org. Apply today. As for Hard Work U, it’s probably not for everybody, but that’s part of what I admire about them. This is a Christian university, and they’re not on a mission to win everyone’s approval. In fact, their mission hasn’t changed in over a hundred years – “to provide the advantages of a Christian education for the youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training.”
Something to consider, perhaps, if you or someone you know fits the bill, and would prefer to graduate without one…