• Deep Springs College, Big Pine, Calif.: This two-year school only enrolls about 25 students at a time. Those students work on the school's cattle ranch and alfalfa farm to supplement their studies and receive scholarships to cover tuition and room and board for two years. Most students transfer to a four-year college to complete their degree. An all-male school, Deep Springs planned to admit female students in 2013, but a judge barred the school from doing so after alumni sued the institution. The school is appealing the court's decision. As a two-year institution, Deep Springs is not included in the U.S. News rankings.
•Webb Institute, Glen Cove, N.Y.: Students pay no tuition or fees at this school, which bills itself as "the only college in the country devoted to ship design engineering." The school is very small, enrolling fewer than 80 students. U.S. News rank: Unranked
• Service academies: Pledging to serve the country can mean major educational benefits. The five institutions below tend to have rigorous application processes – all but the Coast Guard Academy require a congressional nomination for acceptance – and require students to serve after graduation. Tuition and room and board are free.
• United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. U.S. News rank: 25, National Liberal Arts Colleges
• United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn. U.S. News rank: 2, Regional Colleges (North)
• United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y. U.S. News rank: 3, Regional Colleges (North)
• United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. U.S. News rank: 17, National Liberal Arts Colleges
• United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. U.S. News rank: 12, National Liberal Arts Colleges
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