Landscape Department student worker watering flowers in front of C of O gates

Unique Experience at Hard Work U.


At College of the Ozarks, we call ourselves Hard Work U. That's because our work program sets us apart from nearly every other college in the country. Our work education program lets us provide a distinctive education that will help you achieve your life goals and objectives.

At College of the Ozarks, you help pay for your education in a way that truly enriches your learning. As a full-time student, you work 15 hours each week at your assigned campus work station. The work education program will involve you in one of over 80 diverse and fulfilling work areas. You'll find that your on-the-job experience gives you a significant competitive edge when you begin your career after college.

Your participation in the work program might mean spending 15 hours a week working in the Computer Center, Child Development Center, Ralph Foster Museum, McDonald Clinic, or in any of the 80 other work areas on campus. Although your studies and college work program job take priority, many students at Hard Work U find they are also able to earn supplemental income through part time employment with the many employers in nearby Hollister and Branson, Missouri.

Fire Department student worker standing by a fire engine

Cost of Education


Your campus job helps pay for the cost of your education at College of the Ozarks. Combined with scholarships and grants, your work scholarship will cover the cost of your education, making your College of the Ozarks education very affordable. The work education program means freedom from having to pay back large school loans after graduation. Best of all, the on-the-job experience you gain as a College of the Ozarks student will add extra dimension to your learning. There are many benefits to a work college - you’ll be starting your career debt free, well educated, and work experienced!
Unlike the federal "work-study" programs that most colleges offer, our work education program lets you contribute in a very significant way, both to your education and to the betterment of the C of O community. In addition to your normal weekly 15 hours during each semester, you'll work two 40 hour weeks each year chosen from the weeks when classes are not in session. Although the scholarship program is need-based, your room and board may also be covered by working six weeks per term during your summer break. Combined with other scholarships and grants, your work scholarship can cover the entire cost of your education.

Student worker with a plate of bakery pastries standing on the Keeter Center patio

Students work 15 hours a week at over 80 different work stations to help cover the cost of education.

See Work Stations
Media student worker taking pictures

Enriching Your Education


Once you've established yourself at Hard Work U. work assignments may be closely related to the career field you've chosen. From the beginning, you'll see how your work commitment helps you develop personal characteristics like reliability, teamwork and collaboration, initiative and motivation, responsibility/accountability, quality work and communication skills. These qualities will serve you well, no matter what path you take in life. That's one reason we were included in the John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll for Character Building Colleges, an annual listing of schools that "encourage the development of strong moral character among students."
Because the work experiences you'll gain here are so valuable, we include your work performance grades along with your academic grades on your student records. You will have developed an impressive set of credentials to show future employers after you graduate.