Free & Low-Cost College Degree Programs

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FRANKLIN UNIVERSITY: The application cut-off date for Spring & Summer class starts for Franklin University has passed. To better control the influx of applications for this period that has passed, you will no longer find Franklin University information on the Free & Low-Cost Co-branded website at this time. Franklin University will be added back to the site when applications are being accepted for Fall class starts.

You may still enroll for March starts at Paul Quinn College and Central State University.

PLEASE NOTE: As a direct result of the COVID pandemic, online college inquiries and enrollments have skyrocketed. Due to this increase, response time to your inquiry or enrollment process may be slightly delayed. If you apply, or have applied, to Eastern Gateway Community College or it’s affiliates, Central State University or Franklin University, rest assured that they are processing applications as quickly as possible. If you are considering applying, it is recommended that you start early (1-2 semesters in advance), so there is plenty of time to process your application prior to your desired semester start time.

If you need to follow-up on your inquiry or your application, please do not contact the college directly. As a direct result of the COVID pandemic, colleges cannot maintain a call center because, just like many other businesses, they are struggling to reach maximum staffing levels. Instead, please reach out to the Student Resource Center by calling (888) 590-9009 or emailing the Student Resource Center. Typical response time is 24 hours.

Expected time frame from admission to class registration:

  1. For Eastern Gateway Community College: Once you have been admitted and completed your FAFSA, you can expect to be registered for classes in approximately 7-10 days.
  2. For Central State University: Official transcripts must be received and evaluated before admission and class registration. This process can take 6-8 weeks.

If you contact the Student Resource Center and do not receive a response to your inquiry in 48 hours, please feel free to reach out to PEF MBP at (800) 785-1900, ext. 243 or email.

Save Money on Your College Education

The PEF Membership Benefits Program, in partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College, Central State University, Franklin University, and Paul Quinn College, provides all active, dues-paying PEF members, retirees, and their families, the opportunity to save money on an associate degree, certificate degree program, and a bachelor’s degree. The degree programs are delivered online, providing convenience in terms of accessibility, flexibility, and balancing home, family, and work commitments.

Eligibility

This benefit is available to all active, dues-paying PEF members, retirees, and family members including children (or step-children), grandchildren (or step-grandchildren), spouses, domestic partners, financial dependents, children-in-law, siblings, and parents. Potential students’ association to a PEF member, will be verified by the PEF Membership Benefits Program. Individuals must apply to determine eligibility.

Free Online Associate Degree Program

Eastern Gateway Community College, an accredited college located in Steubenville and Youngstown, Ohio, makes available a “last dollar scholarship” for an associate degree program. The “last-dollar scholarship” is intended to fill the gap between any federal, state, or employer education grants received, and the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for certain online degree programs at Eastern Gateway Community College. Two (2) online degree program options are available.

To take advantage of this no cost educational opportunity, you must determine if you are eligible. The process requires the investment of your time to complete the application process and submit the necessary supporting documents.

Associate degree subject areas:

  • Accounting
  • Associate of Arts (general studies & transfers)
  • Business Management—with short term certificate options including Cyber Security • Programming and Development • Digital and Social Media • Data Analytics • Project Management • Operations and Logistics • Human Resources • IT Help Desk • Labor Studies and more!
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Health Services
  • Paralegal
  • Professional Office Management
  • Social Work
  • Teacher Education (Associate of Arts)

Certificate subject areas:

  • Paralegal
  • Patient Health Navigator
  • Business Management

Certificate of completion subject areas:

  • Advertising
  • Cannabis Fundamentals
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Analytics
  • Digital & Social Media Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Science
  • Finance
  • Hospitality: Food & Beverage Management
  • Hospitality: Hotel & Event Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • IT Help Desk
  • Labor Studies
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Programming & Development
  • Project Management Fundamentals
  • Sustainable Environments
  • Waste Management

Program OverviewAbout Degree Programs

To get started, click the get started link below, or call (888) 590-9009.

Get Started

Discounted Online Associate Degree or Certificate (Content Fees Apply)

To take advantage of this discounted educational opportunity (discounted courses or courses offered at no cost, but content fees for e-books, etc., may apply), you must determine if you are eligible. The process requires the investment of your time to complete the application process and submit the necessary supporting documents.

Associate degree subject areas offered, with some content fees:

  • Fire Science
  • Health Information Management
  • Information Technology

Certificate subject areas offered, some with content fees:

  • IT–Essentials
  • IT–Networking
  • IT–Linux and Security
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Medical Scribe Specialist

Program OverviewAbout Degree ProgramsCourse Flyer

To get started, click the get started link below, or call (888) 590-9009.

Get Started

Free Online Bachelor’s Degree Program

The PEF MBP Free College Benefit offers a free bachelor’s degree available through accredited colleges—Central State University, Franklin University, and Paul Quinn College. You must have earned an associate degree or have earned 45 or more credits in the chosen field of study, to be eligible to participate in courses through Central State University, Franklin University, and Paul Quinn College.

To determine if you are eligible for this program and the Student Success Grant, you must complete the application process and submit the necessary supporting documents.

Bachelor’s degree subject areas:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management & Leadership
  • Communications
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education Intervention Specialist
  • Education Studies
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fundraising and Philanthropy
  • Health and Wellness (Coming Summer 2022)
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Liberal Arts-General
  • Math (Coming Summer 2022)
  • Management and Leadership
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Science

Bachelor’s Degree Programs By College

Central State University Bachelor Program Overview Franklin University Bachelor Program Overview Paul Quinn College Bachelor Program Overview

Discounted Bachelor’s Degree Program

To take advantage of this discounted educational opportunity, you must determine if you are eligible. The process requires the investment of your time to complete the application process and submit the necessary documents.

Bachelor’s degree subject areas:

  • RN to BSN Degree ($200 per credit hour)
About Degree Program

To get started, click on the get started link below, or call an advisor at (888) 897-9671.

Get Started

Learn More About These Programs

Visit the PEF MBP Free and Low-Cost Degree Program promotional website to learn more about this exciting opportunity for you and your family members, including:

  • FAQs about the benefit, step-by-step process, and class starts.
  • Using the “Get Started” link (specific to each program) to get you started with this great education opportunity. You will need to have your PEF Membership Identification Number (MIN) handy to access the “Get Started” information and process.
  • How to register or sign in to apply.
  • For the associate degree or certificate, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit any required verification. Any grant award must be applied to tuition, fees, and e-book charges.
    • Agree to use any employer-provided educational assistance.
    • Verify high school or GED completion by having official transcripts sent to Eastern Gateway Community College.
  • For the bachelor’s degree, applicants who have earned an associate degree or have earned 45 or more credits in the chosen field of study can apply to participate in online courses available through Central State University, Franklin University, and Paul Quinn College. All required documents must be submitted to be considered.
View all programs

About The Partnering Colleges

Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC): One of the fastest growing community colleges in the country. It is a public, open-access college and part of the University System of Ohio, governed by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accreditor of most public and private institutions in the Midwest. EGCC is a national Achieving the Dream College, an American Association of Community Colleges School of Excellence, and is recognized nationally for its efforts to prepare a diverse student population for career services.

Central State University (CSU): Located in Wilberforce, OH, is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, an institution accrediting agency recognized by the the U.S. Dept. of Education. This federally recognized body provides assurance to students, parents, and all stakeholders that CSU meets clear quality standards for educational and financial performance. CSU’s Business Program is also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs recognizes CSU’s Business Management Program.

Franklin University: Franklin University was founded in 1902 in Columbus, OH, Franklin University has become a leader in helping busy adult learners earn a college degree conveniently. Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is part of the University System of Ohio.

Paul Quinn College: One of the most innovative colleges in America, is a private, four-year, liberal arts-inspired historically Black college (HBCU) that was founded on April 4, 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas, with the original purpose to educate freed slaves and their families. Paul Quinn College is accredited by the Transnational Associate of Christian Colleges and Schools (TACCS). Today, Paul Quinn has become a model for higher education by focusing on academic rigor, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship. Paul Quinn College is a national leader in its efforts to remake higher education in order to serve the needs of under-resources students and communities.

Brochure

Take advantage of the PEF MBP Free College Benefit and put a college degree within your reach!