There are many adjectives people use to describe college: expensive, affordable, appropriate, valuable – to name a few. But, free is rarely one of them.
Free is one of the many appropriate adjectives used to describe the University of Helsinki, located in Finland, according to an article in The US News & World Report. Another adjective is the 75th-best college in the world, well compound adjective.
The University of Helsinki is tuition-free for American students, meaning students will still have to pay for books, rent and travel expenses. The US News & World Report estimated that a bachelor’s degree at this college would cost an American student $40,000, assuming a student could live on less than $1,000 per month.
Its total cost is significantly less, compared to the-similarly ranked University of California – San Diego, which is ranked 65th on The US News & World Report’s worldwide college rankings. Its tuition has reached $28,000, bumping its cost of attaining a bachelor’s degree over $120,000, assuming the student receives no financial aid.
There are also some top-ranked Scandinavian universities that are tuition-free.
Tuition costs for American, British and Australian colleges are skyrocketing. So, other foreign countries are lowering their tuition costs, offering more courses in English and allowing students to acquire bachelor’s degrees in three years. These efforts are in attempts to attract more American and foreign students.
Most notably, the University of Hong Kong, some of the top Korean universities, the University of Amsterdam, and others are now offering classes in English.
The article estimated that a student’s total cost of acquiring a bachelor’s degree from some of these universities would be about $70,000, including text books, travel expenses, tuition etc.
Also, some of these colleges offer significantly cheaper bachelor’s programs to foreign students who can speak the country’s native language. This could save students around $20,000.
There are still several downsides to attending a foreign college. Typically, colleges reserve most of their financial aid funds for native students. So, an American student is unlikely to receive significant financial aid to a foreign college and could end up paying less by attending an American college.
Although these schools are ranked highly, they may not have the name recognition of American schools. Future employers won’t know the caliber of the foreign school you may attend, and chances are they won’t look into it either. And for those who miss home easily: a foreign college takes homesickness to a completely different level with a different culture and language.