The recent rankings form U.S. News and World Report again feature Work Colleges as an effective way to pay down debt while attending college.  

A handful of colleges and universities don't add tuition to students' bills, which can add up to major cost savings for those who qualify or who are willing to work in return for their education. 

Some of the schools that don't charge tuition are quite small, many require some form of service, and a few have strict eligibility guidelines. Most still charge room, board, and other fees, so they're not completely free, notes Pamela Rambo, founder of the education-focused Rambo Research and Consulting firm. 

College of the Ozarks, Blackburn College and Alice Lloyd College were all recognized in the Top 40 Colleges in their respective regions.