Overseas education becoming a money saving move for US students

Cambridge

Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, can be a less expensive, top quality education. Image: Flickr / wseltzer / CC-BY

The cost of college is steadily rising to a level many students can’t afford. Some families, however, are sending their students overseas because they are finding less expensive tuition. Exactly how good of a deal overseas college may be depends on several factors and the flexibility of the student’s family.

The cost of attending college stateside

Getting a post-secondary education can be very expensive. According to the College Board, public colleges cost between $7,605 and $11,990 per year in tuition. Private nonprofit colleges average $27,293. The cost of college is going up at a rate faster than health insurance, personal income or the consumer price index. The amount of available aid has also been declining. Average student loan debt has jumped to $19,200 per student. The top five most expensive universities in the world are all located in the United States.

Getting a deal overseas

Depending on the type of education a student wants to get, attending school overseas can be a smart financial decision. The exact price of overseas education can rise and fall with the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, but in general, worldwide colleges are less expensive to attend. Top-ranked Cambridge university, for example, charges about $20,000 U.S. dollars for some degrees at current exchange rates. Some U.S. universities are opening campuses in other countries, and students can now attend New York University in Abu Dhabi or a variety of western colleges at Dubai International Academic City. While many college financial aid programs do not offer help to international students, U.S. federal grants can help. Many international programs are also intended to be completed in three years, which immediately cuts 25 percent off the cost of attending school.

Considerations for international students

Studying internationally can be a great way to save money, but there are many considerations that must be taken into account. First, families and students need to decide how to deal with changing exchange rates. Individual countries also have banking requirements that may limit how students operate, financially, in the country. International travel can be expensive, and the costs of flying back and forth should be figured into the cost of attending school. With careful planning, however, attending school internationally can mean getting a world-class education for less.

Sources

Cambridge University International information
Forbes
USA Today
NPR

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(Photo from notionscapital, Flickr.com)

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