Avoiding College Debt by Studying Overseas

The United States has one of the highest average undergraduate tuition rates in the world. This has created a situation that forces students to make difficult choices. Recent trends are showing American students choosing to attend college overseas, where they can expect to get more for their money.

Why Tuition is Out of Control in the United States

There are several theories that explain why tuition in the United States has risen so rapidly. One theory points to the dwindling amount of money contributed by state governments, shifting the burden from the government to students.

This doesn’t explain why tuition has increased at private universities and colleges, however. Examining things further, the advent of lower endowments and investment revenue explain why private schools have also risen their prices.

Whether these are the true reasons or not, experts expect tuition to continue rising faster than inflation over the foreseeable future.

Problems Caused by Rising Tuition

Rapid increases in college tuition force many young people to wonder whether a degree is worth taking on the mounds of debt necessary to attain it. Even at low interest rates, repaying college loans can make it difficult for graduates to purchase homes and start families.

Most experts argue that college is still worth the expense, since college graduates earn nearly twice as much money as high school graduates. Still, the average college student graduating in 2015 had over $35,000 in student loan debt. That’s a scary way to start a career.

Instead of going into heavy debt, some students find that they can get quality educations without the expense by going to school overseas.

Finding Affordable Opportunities Abroad

Several countries give international students access to free or extremely low-cost programs. Many of these colleges and universities even offer English-speaking classes for students studying abroad.

Germany is the one of the few countries that currently lets students from the U.S. attend school for free. From the country’s perspective, it is investing in its future success. By providing free education, Germany attracts top-ranking students from all over the world. If this approach is successful, Germany hopes that many of the students will stay after they graduate. This would help combat the country’s shrinking population and diminishing tax base.

Like Germany, Norway provides tuition-free college to international students.Norway, however, has a high cost of living that offsets much of the savings.

In France, students from the United States spend about $200 per semester. Sweden charges undergraduate tuition, but Ph.D. students can attend for free. Slovenia only charges a small registration free.

As the cost of college grows and more students realize that they can attend school for less overseas, colleges in the United States may need to find a way to lower tuition or they will lose revenue from young people who feel that they are getting bad deals at home.

Higher Ed, Study Abroad

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