HIGHER ED, LOWER COST
The rising cost of college education is a source of rising concern in the United States. The College Board reports that annual tuition, fees, and room and board at a public four-year school averages $19,548 for in-state residents and $34,031 for out-of-staters; that number climbs to $43,921 for private four-year colleges. With costs rising about 3.5 percent a year, the total tab -- and subsequent debt -- for obtaining a college degree is staggering. Elsewhere in the world, though, tuition at public colleges is far lower and in some places shrinks to zero. Studying abroad for a college degree would seem to be a good idea.
But wait. There are hidden costs for Americans eager to cash in on a cheap education overseas. Four years of college means four years of winter and summer breaks, and airfare to and from home adds up quickly. In most countries foreign students must obtain a special visa (equivalent to nearly $475 for study in the United Kingdom, for example) and prove they have the financial resources to pay for school and living expenses. Scholarships rarely are available to students from outside the home country, and American financial aid, including Pell Grants, often doesn't apply. (There are exceptions, and federal aid may be available for study at some international schools.) The amount of time foreign students can work usually is limited. And language requirements generally are rigorous.
Still, attending college in the following 10 places is popular with American students. Some are cheaper than studying in the U.S., and some are not. Of course, choosing a school shouldn't hinge entirely on cost. Course offerings and experiences accrued from living and studying abroad are at least as important, as is confidence that the degree will be well received by future employers.
Where to buy cheap college textbooks online.
How to get a college degree for less.
7 steps to landing a college scholarship.