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Want to escape the high cost of tertiary education?

These seven countries will educate you for free – Zaid Jilani

And you wouldn’t even need to learn a new language!

The cost of U.S. college and university tuition has skyrocketed, with huge increases over the past five years as education aid has been reduced by state budgets. In Arizona, for example, this increase in tuition has been 77%.

Two-thirds of American tertiary students graduate with education debt, and that collective debt now tops $1.2 trillion. By every indication, U.S. colleges are now more expensive than ever, and out of reach of not only poor Americans, but even middle class ones. While various reforms made in the past few years may have helped slow the growth of these costs, they continue to outpace Americans’ ability to pay.

Although this is happening in the U.S., there are many places abroad where tertiary education is virtually free. The Washington Post’s Rick Noack points out seven places where one can study for free or at very low cost – and in English! Students just have to be willing to leave the country:

  1. Brazil: Brazil’s universities charge registration fees, Noack notes, but they do not require regular tuition payments. Many also offer courses in English.

  2. Germany: Germany has 900 programs in English, and is eager to attract foreign students to tuition-free universities owing to the country’s shortage of skilled workers.

  3. Finland: Finland doesn’t have tuition fees but the government does warn foreigners that they have to cover living expenses. Imagine going to college and only worrying about room and board.

  4. France: France does charge tuition – but normally around 200 dollars at public universities. A far cry from what you’d pay in the United States, even in a state funded institution.

  5. Norway: Norwegian students, including foreigners studying in the country, do not have to pay for any tuition. Be forewarned, however, of the harsh winters and high cost of living.

  6. Slovenia: If Eastern Europe is more your thing, Noack notes that Slovenia has 150 English-language programs, and only charges a registration fee – no tuition fees.

  7. Sweden: Sweden, a country which has so successfully solved so many of its social problems that there are now

U.S. Sitcoms about the glories of moving there, has over 300 English- language programs. Although tertiary education is free, the cost of living may be pricey for foreigners.

Although Noack’s article focuses largely on countries where English speakers can easily gain access to low-cost or no-cost classes, it’s worth pointing out that even some of the poorest countries offer tuition-free tertiary education when a very-rich society like the U.S. doesn’t.

In one country south of the U.S. border – Mexico – public tertiary education is nearly free. If a country in the midst of a deadly drug war that has killed thousands of people can still afford to provide an education to all of its citizens, why can’t the United States?

Source: Alternet, 31 Oct 2014

Zaid Jilani is the investigative blogger and campaigner for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. He is formerly the senior reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress.

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