College of the Ozarks aka “Hard Work U”

One of the main reasons we are in Branson is the recommendations of Dr. Larry Isitt, a good friend from church. For fourteen years Larry was a professor at College of the Ozarks, which happily embraces the moniker of “Hard Work U.” Why? Because College of the Ozarks has no tuition. Instead, every student must work 15 hours per week (and 40 hours one week a semester), much of it at vocationally related jobs that create income for the school. It has its own hotel, high-end restaurant, dairy, pig farm, mill, and bakery.

The non-denominational Christian school is located in Hollister, a community adjacent to Branson. Limited to 1500 students from the Ozarks, it focuses on providing needy students with a solid liberal arts education and practical experience. Most students have jobs when they graduate.

We came away terrifically impressed with the rich mixture of heritage, scholarship, natural beauty, and hard work. And yes, we had lunch in the restaurant (reservations required). The food and service were both excellent. And every job, from hostess to servers to cooks, belongs to a student. Well done.