College of the Ozarks

Christened “Hard Work U.” by the Wall Street Journal, College of the Ozarks offers deserving students the advantages of a high caliber, liberal arts education emphasizing Christian values. All students work on campus to defray the cost of education. C of O actively recruits youth found worthy of a higher education but without sufficient financial means.

All students who are admitted must demonstrate financial need, academic ability, sound character and a willingness to work. This creates a student body that is highly motivated and serious about education.

A distinctive campus Work Program provides learning opportunities and helps students set career goals and life objectives. There are more than 80 student job options that range from working in the campus computer center or the College museum to milking dairy cows or serving in the College’s hotel or restaurant.

Upon completion of the Work Program, College of the Ozarks guarantees to meet the entire cost of education. Debt is discouraged and no federal or state loans are made.

Fast Facts: 

  • College of the Ozarks began as a work school for deserving Ozarks youth in 1906.
  • The Work Program has always been an integral part of the institution. All students work an average of 15 hours each week at one of the 100 campus workstations in exchange for full financial assistance for tuition.
  • In 1973, the Wall Street Journal dubbed College of the Ozarks “Hard Work U.” The moniker stuck and is widely known today.
  • College of the Ozarks is the eleventh most selective institution in the nation (acceptance rate is 8-12 percent), ranking just below Yale and Princeton and more selective than MIT.
  • Prospective students must demonstrate financial need, academic ability, and sound character with a willingness to work.
  • Current student enrollment is 1,562.
  • College of the Ozarks was rated No. 1 “Best Value Regional College in the Midwest” and No. 1 “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News and World Report in 2018.

By the numbers

63%
Graduation rate
18
Countries represented
13
Number of Intercollegiate sports
14:1
Student/teacher ratio

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian college located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and nancial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The vision of the College is to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hardworking, and patriotic.

50+
Degree programs

U.S. News and World Report & Accolades

  • No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest
  • No. 1 Most Innovative School
  • No. 5 Best Regional College in the Midwest
  • No. 4 Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • 10 Colleges Where Graduates Have the Least Debt
  • No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck Midwest Colleges - Washington Monthly
  • No. 2 Top 100 Baccalaureate Colleges - Washington Monthly
  • The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition - The Princeton Review
  • 2017, No. 7 in 25 Most-Selective 4-Year Colleges, private institutions - The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • One of 2018 Great Colleges to Work For - The Chronicle of Higher Education