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Free College Benefit

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has teamed up with two colleges to offer our members a Free College Benefit. Yes, you read that correctly: free college!

Because of your UFCW membership, you and your family members can earn degrees online from public, accredited colleges with no out-of-pocket costs to you. The Free College Benefit covers any amount for tuition, fees, or books that is not covered by federal or employer education grants. The process is simple and can save you thousands of dollars!

Need to earn your GED first?

Online learning

Who can take advantage of this benefit?

All active UFCW Local 152 members who are paying dues and in good standing

Retired UFCW Local 152 members

Family members, including children (or stepchildren), grandchildren (or step-grandchildren), spouses, domestic partners, and financial dependents of UFCW members

Why should I get my degree online?


Online classes allow you to balance life’s demands, making it possible to go to school while you continue to work and live your life.


You can choose either 8 weeks or 16-week classes, and 24/7 access means you can work on assignments any time of day, any day of the week!


Both Eastern Gateway Community College and Central State University are respected, regionally-accredited academic institutions.


EGCC is transfer-friendly. The school strives to ensure you get as much credit as possible toward your degree for previous work, and the credits and degree you earn at EGCC are transferable to colleges all over the country!

Get Your Associate Degree

Important Update

Eastern Gateway Community College disputes the charges previously brought against them by the Department of Education, but the litigation is ongoing. You can read their response as well as answers to frequently asked questions directly on their website: https://egcc.edu/press-release/

Students interested in enrolling should work with EGCC to determine their enrollment options and be sure they fully understand potential future enrollment status and financial liability. The result of the investigation may impact the Free College Benefit as we know it. Ultimately, EGCC is responsible for determining whether the Free College Benefit program is Title IV compliant.

Eastern Gateway Community College logo

Eastern Gateway Community College

UFCW has partnered with Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC), a public, open-access community college in Steubenville, Ohio as a way for our members to get their associate degree completely online!

You can choose either 8 weeks or 16-week classes, and 24/7 access means you can work on assignments any time of day, anytime during the week.

To get started, you must:

  • apply to EGCC;
  • complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit any required verification;
    Note: Any grant award must be applied to the tuition, fees, and e-book charges at EGCC. That being said, the Free College Benefit will cover the rest- even if you aren’t eligible for any other aid.
  • provide proof of high school or GED completion by having official transcripts sent to EGCC.

Degree Programs:

  • Accounting
  • Associate of Arts
  • Business Management
    • with certificate programs like Cannabis Business Fundamentals, Labor Studies, Cyber Security, and more!
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health Services
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Paralegal
  • Patient Health Navigator
  • Professional Office Management
  • Social Work
  • Teacher Education
  • and adding more every year!

Get Your Bachelor’s Degree

Central State University logo

Central State University

Get your Bachelor’s degree for free! If you have earned an Associate Degree or have 60 or more transferable credits, you can enroll in the Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio at no cost.

Getting started with the Bachelor’s degree program requires similar credentials to the Associate degree program.

  1. Choose your enrollment level. Note that you may choose full or part-time, but continuous enrollment from semester to semester is required.
  2. Complete FAFSA and the financial aid process.
  3. Complete an interest form.

Degree Programs:

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Interdisciplinary Studies-Humanities
  • Teacher Education
  • More programs coming soon!
Franklin University logo

Franklin University

A second option for the Bachelor Completion Program is to attend Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Like CSU, Franklin University is an accredited non-profit university where you will be able to complete your bachelor’s degree completely online with no out-of-pocket costs!

Getting started with the Bachelor’s degree program requires similar credentials to the Associate degree program.

Degree Programs:

  • B.S. in Management and Leadership
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Social Science
  • More programs coming soon!

Start now, your Free College Benefit awaits!