College of the Ozarks, which was rated the best education value among Midwestern regional colleges by U.S. News and World Report, no longer cooperates with students or banks in covering costs of attending college with a loan, Davis said.
For instance, a bank may contact the school to certify that a student is enrolled there, he said.
School officials said 99 current students would be affected by the change because they received private loans to help offset boarding or other costs.
“This college has a very low percentage of students graduating with debt, but it has come up a little and we just don’t think that is a good idea,” Davis said. “This a work college, not a debt college.” The school years ago stopped taking students who wanted to get public loans.
At College of the Ozarks, nicknamed Hard Work U, students work across campus in cafeteria, housing, maintenance, landscaping, agricultural and other jobs. The school has working hog and cattle farms, gardens, lodging and a restaurant.
Students work part-time during the school year and most hold 40-hour per week jobs during summers to cover the cost of room and board. Some also work in nearby Branson, a major tourism draw that specializes in music and theatrical shows.