Worldwide College Tuition Comparison

I came across this new infographic that broke down some of the most popular colleges around the world and how much the tuition compares.  I think this is really interesting, especially since we are dealing with exploding tuition prices here in the US.  One of our biggest problems as a nation is the out of control costs associated with higher education.  This massive increase in costs is just passed over the the student and typically in the form of student loans.

There is no mystery that when a student is in massive debt when they graduate, they are already behind the curve.  Yes, they have a degree, but most of their decisions will be based on the debt burden that they carry with them.  Most people are told that they need to have a high class education, but that is not so much the case these days.  Your life goals should dictate where you go for your higher education or even if you get it.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I think a college education is very important. It helped me get where I am today, but my drive also put me here.  I think my degree opened the door and my knowledge and drive to succeed pushed me through the threshold.  It is all in how you look at it.

No matter where you fall on the education debate, I can say that everyone should look at all the alternatives when they are looking to go to college.  I know that my good blogging friend Cat, from Budget Blonde, and her husband have been living in Grenada for a few years.  They did this because her husband was going to medical school there.  This was just an alternative to going to a medical school in the States.  Smart choice!  There are also a large number of online bachelor and online graduate degree programs to choose from.

Ok, now onto the infographic.  I found this one very interesting.  I didn’t know that Japan had a close range to what the average tuition is in the US.  I also didn’t realize how much of a deal can be had in the UK depending on where you go.  If you really want to go all out, then you could go to Germany.  They have four universities in the top 100 and their average tuition rate is $933!  Now that is awesome.

Take a look and let me know what you think.  What sticks about about these numbers?

Worldwide College Tuition Costs


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  1. The figures for “Great Britain” may be a little misleading. Tuition fees in England at £9,000 per year (around $14,500). However, tuition fees as free (as the infographic suggests) in Scotland. However, I’m pretty sure St. Andrews and Edinburgh Universities will be in the Top 100 list.

    Is the “average education cost” annual? Also, is it just tuition fees. This would make a big difference as the cost of living, textbooks, etc will be MUCH greater in Sweden than in Mexico for example.

    1. Are those the tuition fees for all colleges or is that an average you have? I know quite a few people that went to college in England that paid less.

      I believe the average cost is annual and it is just tuition.

  2. Medical courses here in the Philippines have pretty high tuition too. Even my younger sister that’s only a freshman in Nursing has a high tuition fees and as the per school year gets higher the tuition gets twice higher too.

  3. Canada doesn’t look like a bad option either… and a little less expensive for US residents to drive to as well…

  4. I’d be curious to see an additional data point added: how much a country subsidizes higher ed. I know we do to some degree here in the United States, but there are many private colleges that are largely funded through tuition and donors. I’m not opposed to (further) subsidization of college here and would actually support it if we moved around our priorities a bit and freed up additional funding. I’d rather see us subsidize higher ed than give Pakistan $1B+ in aid….

  5. I grew up in Asia and went through my college application process from China while I attended an international school. For the most part, the US is the holy grail of college education and that’s something nationals tend to forget. All the jokes about our stupidity aside, we still have the most prestigious higher education.

    The other factor to consider, even in countries where college tuition may be free or really low, students can still accumulate a lot of debt because they have to pay for college fees and the high cost of living.

    That all being said, our cost of college is certainly out of hand…

    1. I like these points a lot. I look at Germany’s tuition rate and I just have to wonder what the other factors are around it that get them to that point. Taxes? Other fees? I have to imagine that it’s something. I find it very hard to believe that they’re proving something of similar quality for 1/15th of the price.

      Not that there isn’t an issue with the cost of education here, but I feel like there’s more to it than these numbers might indicate. I do 100% agree with your point that people should really evaluate whether higher education would truly benefit them. We’re in an age now where there are so many opportunities available that don’t inherently require a degree. It’s very possible to find a profitable career path without a college degree, and for many that might be a good option. It should at least be a bigger part of the discussion.

      1. Germans pay a higher tax rate, but they are also a country that has some of the best finances in the world. Many countries have a higher tax rate to deal with education, but when you are used to paying a higher tax rate, that means you know what you can live off of. You don’t have to borrow in order to go to school.

    2. I know we have the quality education that many desire. That doesn’t mean that other countries are bad. I know people that went to school abroad and they got great educations and paid very little or much less than we did here in the states.

  6. Love how this infographic is laid out so clearly. Looks like those Scandinavian sites got it goin’ on too, cost-wise. After learning about how Cat and her hubby saved so much on medical school, I would definitely consider a foreign country for a college degree. Huge cost savings, and what a fun experience!

  7. Nice infographic Grayson. I’ve been to Germany a number of times and studied it throughout school and have actually considered moving there and cost of college is one of the reasons why. Of course, you’ll likely have a higher tax payment because of it, but they’re one of the few countries out there that isn’t completely messed up financially these days.

    1. I agree John. If you are used to paying that tax rate, then it is normal to you. You don’t have to borrow large amounts of money in order to get an education.

  8. I knew tuition in the States was expensive – but I had no idea it was just about the most expensive in the world! I should have gone to university in Germany 🙂 Thanks for sharing, this was an interesting infographic to check out!

    1. We do have a high tuition rate and the reason why we have the highest student debt amount in the world.

  9. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

    The only misleading part to this infographic is for non-residents, would those costs be the same? As an American, could I pay those great tuition rates in Denmark? I know here in the US all in-state schools always charge out-of-state tuition to students regardless of how long they live in the state. Cool facts though!

    1. It depends on where you go. There are some schools that will give you breaks to come there and others will charge you more. That is always something to consider and great point Tara!

  10. Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle says:

    McGill University is in Montreal, Quebec and the tuition listed is for a Quebec. People from other Canadian provinces pay almost double that and international students pay triple.

    Canadians are heavily taxed to support our colleges and universities but we are only happy to subsidize our own children and not others.

    I attempted to post the link to the McGill page so you could see their table of tuition but your website blocks links. If you enter yourself as a Quebecer, a person from another Canadian province or an international student you will see the difference when all mandatory fees are added.

    1. Thank you for the information. I agree that many places are prices for residents, but there are many schools that will give you breaks to come from another country. It is a marketing point for the university.

  11. I have quite a few friends who went to McGill in Canada and it saved them tons. It’s also close and prestigious enough that it’s recognized by US employers which I think is very important.

  12. That is a great infographic, I never realized how low tuition was in other countries. There is reason why student loan debt in the US is over a Trillion dollars and that is because the tuition prices have skyrocketed over the past 10-15 years!

  13. “I think my degree opened the door and my knowledge and drive to succeed pushed me through the threshold.” I totally agree with that quote and feel like it applies to my education too – my degree got them to read my resume but what I did once I got through the door kept me moving up. I’ve also found though that a lot of people in technical theater and production don’t have degrees and, as long as they manage that initial breach into the theater world, they all seem to be as good, if not better, than college education theater employees.

    As for going to school abroad, I can vouch for it. I got my Master’s degree in England. I also got a Master’s degree in a different subject area in the U.S. The work load felt exactly the same and, honestly, I felt like I gained a much deeper understanding in my British program. It also cost less than half of what tuition costs in the U.S. and it only took 1 year, so I only had to figure out 1 year’s living expenses. Even with the hassle of getting a visa and all my money set ahead of time (to enter on a student visa you need to have X amount of dollars in a bank account already when you apply for the visa), it still worked out much cheaper than it would’ve in the U.S.

    1. I really appreciate your comment Mel. I am glad to hear your experience with higher education and that is lines up with the information in this infographic.

  14. Jack @ Enwealthen says:

    Time to move to Norway.

    Free graduate degree, and get 5 weeks paid vacation a year…

  15. Romona @Monasez says:

    Of course the U.S. would have the most expensive college education. Its amazing to see how there’s such a huge gap between our tuition and the tuition of the other countries. Another great info graphic.

    1. Yep, we have the most prestigious colleges, so we have to charge more, right? People in the US don’t think of education outside of our country and I think that is slowly changing.

  16. Huh, seems the high costs of college education is certainly biting in most places! The US though…someone should prick this education bubble…its stratospherically expensive.
    Post secondary education is free in Kenya is free…wonder where that came from…I can say from being there – it simply ain’t true…if anything most locals are crying about the high costs of education! I think the “free” part comes because part of the tuition is subsidized at most public colleges or loans are provided(which have to be paid back when you start earning), still this programs cover a very small percentage of post-secondary students.

  17. Cool info graphic Grayson, I didn’t know that about Germany, but it makes sense, they are really the only country in the EU who seems to have their finances in order. We should take lessons from them!