In America, it’s entirely common for people to go into serious debt to pay for college. The numbers are striking: Americans have a whopping $1.4 trillion in student debt, while the average college tuition at a private university is $34,740.
Here’s the thing, this isn’t the case in many countries around the world, where college ranges from affordable to entirely free.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looked at the cost of higher education around the world to see how countries stacked up against each other.
What they found is pretty striking–college in the U.S. is much more expensive than anywhere else in the world. By far.
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And here’s how much tuition people pay on average in 25 countries around the world per year.
Per OECD, Australians pay on average $4,763 per year for college.
In Canada, students pay on average $4,939 for a year of college according to OECD.
According to OECD, in Chile students pay on average $7,654 for a year of college.
While tuition is free for those living in Denmark, tuition fees for students from other countries range from $7,000 to $19,000.
If you are a native of Estonia, you study for free. Courses taught in English, though, run between $1,900 per $8,700 per year.
If you are from the EU, you study for free in Finland. American students, meanwhile, can expect to pay between $4,600 to $16,000 per year.
There are no tuition fees in Germany, though students can expect to pay fees ranging from $175 to $300 per semester.
Per OECD, tuition fees in Israel average $3,095 per year.
Students studying in Italy pay an average of $1,658 a year in tuition fees per OECD.
According to OECD, the average college tuition in Japan is $5,229 a year.
In South Korea, students pay, on average $4,578 a year for college.
Luxembourg: $454 to $907
Tuition fees typically range from $454 to $907 in Luxembourg per year for students.
Students at public universities in Mexico pay $527 a year on average.
On average, students in the Netherlands pay $2,420 in tuition per year. If you are studying in the Netherlands and are from outside of the EU, expect to pay at least $7,000 per year.
New Zealand: $4,295
Per OECD, students in New Zealand pay an average of $4,295 for college per year.
It’s great to be a student in Norway. Both EU and foreign students don’t pay tuition.
It’s free to go to college in Poland if you are from Poland or the EU. International students have to typically pay more than $2,300 per year.
Portugal: $1,124 to $1,821
In Portugal, students pay between $1,124 to $1,821 in tuition fees each year.
Slovak Republic: $0
College tuition is free in the Slovak Republic. If students take classes in other languages, it should be noted, they can expect to pay some fees.
If you are studying in Slovenia and are from the EU, you can expect not to pay any tuition. If you are from outside the EU, you can expect to pay $2,300 and up in tuition.
In Spain, students pay $1,830 a year on average for their college tuition at public universities.
There are no tuition fees in Sweden if that is your home base, or if you live in the EU. For non-EU students, the tuition starts at $9,000 per year.
On average, students can expect to pay $1,168 per year for college in Switzerland.
In Turkey, tuition if entirely free for students.
United States: $8,202
The OECD found that the United States has the highest average tuition, coming in, on average, at $8,202 a year for students. It’s important to note that the cost of private universities is markedly higher.
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