Take one look at the ridiculous cost of attending a four-year college in America – where total costs can range from $25,000 annually to more than $65,000 a year – and you might be tempted to say: “forget it!”
But before you give up on your college dreams or mistakenly think that paying for college for your child is impossible, consider another option: studying overseas as a much, much cheaper way to take classes and earn a college degree.
In a previous article on AskTheMoneyCoach.com, I revealed a list of tuition free schools, including an online international option.
Needless to say, online schools aren’t the only way to attend a tuition-free international school. In some countries, such as Germany, tuition is free for all college students, including those coming from America.
That’s why if you do decide to study overseas, you certainly won’t be alone.
More U.S. Students Study Abroad For Financial, Educational Reasons
About 46,000 U.S. students are enrolled in full-degree programs outside the country, according to a data from the Institute of International Education’s Project Atlas. Many of these students are no doubt enticed by lower tuition costs or even free tuition abroad in various countries.
Since tuition around the globe is either free or low-cost compared to the U.S., students often find that they still spend less for a degree overseas, even after factoring in housing, travel and other college costs.
Even if you have to pay slightly higher tuition rates at an out-of-country college or university than your peers abroad must pay, that tuition will still be much lower than college prices in America.
Financial Aid Available to Study Abroad
For those who need monetary help, in many instances you can even still access U.S. financial aid programs while you study overseas.
As I explained in my book, College Secrets, the U.S. Department of Education has approved some 400 colleges and universities overseas to participate in its Title IV federal student aid programs.
To find out if a school you’re interested in is eligible, just use the FAFSA’s Federal School Code Search tool to locate the school’s federal code. (In the menu of this tool, change the setting from “state” to “foreign country.”)
Another bonus: many overseas programs last just three years, instead of four years as is the case in America. A three-year program lets you save money all around and get to work a lot faster if you’re eager to start a career.
Where U.S. Students Are Earning Overseas Degrees
So how can you explore this option and how can you get started?
Not all foreign universities accept the Common Application, so you may need to apply directly with an academic department in a school you’re considering.
It’s also important to know that you don’t have to always speak another language fluently in order to study internationally.
About 75% of American students who choose to study outside the U.S. are doing so within English-speaking countries, like Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Also gaining in popularity: studying in China, India, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
So what are you waiting for? If you’re truly interested in lowering college costs or getting some relief from paying for high tuition expenses in America, start looking into studying overseas. It could save you a bundle on higher education expenses.