Foreign Universities Are Viable Alternatives to High U.S. Tuitions

| 10/29/2014 3:28:00 PM

Since 1985, college tuition fees in the U.S. have skyrocketed 500 percent, and, with high school diplomas no longer guaranteeing livable wages, students have little option but to oblige to the impractical costs of American college.

Tennessee and Oregon have both passed legislation allowing their high school graduates to attend community college for free. This reformative step failed to pass in previous years in Mississippi and Massachusetts, but it’s nothing new in several other countries.

While Germany’s tuition rates were always low, the government now fully funds the education of both its citizens and foreigners. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator of Hamburg, explained that tuition fees “discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”

Offering about 900 courses exclusively in English, Germany encourages foreigners to enroll, as its country seeks more skilled workers and hopes to prepare its German students to communicate in a foreign language.

Germany isn’t alone in offering free/low-cost, English-speaking programs: Finland covers all educational expenses, as well. Public universities in France charge about $200 a program, and their elite institutions—which, for citizens of the European Union, have fees based on family income—still average cheaper tuition fees than American colleges, at $14,000 a year. Norway doesn’t charge international students, though it has one of the world’s highest costs of living. Both Slovenia and Brazil only charge registration fees for foreign nationals, although knowing some Portuguese in Brazil might be necessary for day-to-day living.

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