College of the Ozarks isn’t like most colleges or universities in the United States — all students work, rather than pay, for their education.

“Yes, we are a college, but we are the most unique visitor experience in Branson,” said Valorie Coleman, public relations director at College of the Ozarks. “Step back in time with us — a more peaceful, patriotic and respectful time — and you will leave not only with happy tummies, but full hearts as well. We look forward to welcoming you to the College of the Ozarks campus.”

Located in Point Lookout — just minutes away from Branson, Missouri — College of the Ozarks, or “Hard Work U,” offers free guided tours for visiting groups. The one-hour tours can be customized to meet each group’s needs; however, stops include the Williams Memorial Chapel, Edwards Mill, the Stained Glass and Candle Shop, the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, and the Hoge Greenhouses.

The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri
The Keeter Center, College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo.
Credit: College of the Ozarks

Edwards Mill is a water-powered grist mill where students grind corn and create delicious mixes to bake at home. In the Stained Glass and Candle Shop, students diligently select, grind and solder beautiful stained-glass pieces and hand-poured candles. The Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen sells more than 20,000 fruitcakes per year, a long-lived and valued tradition for the college. There, students also produce more than 45,000 fruit spreads per year, including the famous apple butter served at The Keeter Center.

At the Williams Memorial Chapel, guests can see the beautiful architectural work of students who built this neo-Gothic focal point of campus in the 1950s.

A four-year liberal arts college, College of the Ozarks is constantly in the spotlight. It has been featured as a top college by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Washington Monthly.

What people may not realize is the campus is a sought-after tour destination by hundreds of thousands of guests annually. Students offset the cost of their education as they serve in student industries, places that double as sights worth visiting.

For more information, call 417-690-3241 or visit