There’s no doubt that the cost of college continues to rise and it is a major factor when deciding where to earn your higher education degree. As such, more than 75% of families in America say that they consider the cost of college when weighing their decision where to attend school. Of course, the cost of college is an important factor to take into account, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor for where you earn your degree. Luckily, there are countries with free college, options to study abroad and the option to attend online and tuition-free university so that the cost of college doesn’t deny you the right or hinder your ability to get your degree.
What is Free College?
There are different types of free college. Firstly, it’s important to know that tuition is the cost of enrollment, but there are other costs associated with school, such as housing costs, food, supplies and the like. Here’s the various types of free colleges:
This is the type of education that University of the People offers. There are no annual enrollment fees or cost for course material. But, there is a one-time application fee of $60 and an assessment fee per course that support the operation of the university. Since it is a university that is 100% online, there is no cost associated with housing on campus. Of course, you will need to cover the costs for your living expenses wherever you choose to reside.
Free for citizens:
There are other universities in which the government funds the costs so that the country’s residents can attend for free.
Free for EU residents:
In the same vein as free for citizens, some universities within the EU offer college that is free for any student who is a citizen in the EU.
Typical Cost of College Around the World
You can’t mention the costs of college around the world without discussing universities in America, the leading nation with the most college debt. For those attending a public, four-year university, the average cost is $20,090 per year for tuition, fees, room and board. Over 44 million students rely on loans to cover such costs, which is why the national student debt has reached over $1.4 trillion, and continues to grow. This debt works out to about $37,172 per student.
On the other hand, the average per-student debt in other countries is lower than in America because the costs of tuition is lower, too. For example, on average, the student debt in the U.K is $30,800, Australia sits at $22,000 and Germany is just $2,400.
To help offset the cost of education, students can apply for scholarships or attend tuition-free online universities like University of the People.
Countries with Free Tuition
Rather than going into debt, there are options to study in countries that offer free education. Here’s a look at 5 of them.
Germany does not charge tuition fees, so the cost of education is free other than administration fees that range from $175-$300. Germany is a particularly common country for American students to study abroad for this reason, as well as the fact that English is spoken.
With relatively lower living costs compared to Europe, Brazil also offers tuition-free higher education that attracts students from around the world.
EU residents can study for free in Finland. For those who are not members of the EU, they’ll be expected to pay between $4,600-$16,000 in fees per annum.
Similar to Finland, students with passports from the EU can study for free, but international students will have to pay fees. In Sweden, it is very common for those looking to earn a research-based doctoral degree to select Sweden for its high-quality education.
Because of the free education system, most of the country of Denmark is literate and many of the classes are offered in English, making the system a highly sought-after destination for those looking to earn their degree for free.
Cheapest Countries for Students Studying Abroad
If you’ve decided you want to move abroad to earn your degree, here’s a look at the average costs for a non-citizen student per year in various countries around the world.
- Slovenia – $2,300
- Spain – $1,830
- Switzerland – $1,168
- Poland – $2,300
- Latvia – $1,745- $5,200
- Japan – $5,229
- Italy – $1,568
- Israel – $3,095
- Austria – $914
- Anywhere in the world with University of the People – $0 tuition, $60 application fee, $100-$200 per course assessment
Tips for Saving for College
It’s never too early to start saving for college. Whether you plan to attend an online or on-campus university, or study abroad, you can start putting away funds to help pay for school.
Open a Savings Account:
Separate your checkings and savings accounts. Savings accounts generally offer higher interest rates than checking accounts. If you have a savings account, you can consider it as money that is supposed to go untouched until you’re ready to use it, so you can budget your checkings account towards expenses separately.
While attending school, you can work part-time to begin saving.
Apply for scholarships. Here are some tips!
Online universities are generally much cheaper alternatives to traditional on-campus institutions because they have less overhead costs, students can study from anywhere and materials are digital. There are various benefits to studying online at a school like University of the People, such as the flexibility, accessibility and affordability.
Students are able to enroll from anywhere in the world and attend courses through the internet. The quality of education matches that of a traditional university because the advisory and academic boards are made up of some of the best professors and researchers from institutions around the world who design the curriculum geared towards employability.
At University of the People, students can choose to earn their degree across four disciplines, namely Health Science, Business Administration, Computer Science and Education. Regardless of where you access the courses, the education is intended to breed an environment of collaboration through its peer-to-peer model of learning.
The Bottom Line
The truth is that college can be expensive and overwhelmingly so. But it doesn’t have to be! With the option to study abroad in countries that can be more affordable, the opportunity to apply for scholarships and financial aid, or the choice to earn your degree online, you can pursue your dreams in an affordable manner.