Questioning Readers: What was/is the cost of tuition in your country?

All this talk about student loans and tuition made me realize 2 things:

  1. We are all paying different amounts of tuition and getting different subsidies (if any)
  2. Outside of the States and even in Canada, tuition seems to be more affordable (seems being the key word here)

Seeing as I know I have a few international readers, I’d really love it if you could answer a few questions in a very informal, un-structured reader poll:

Assume this is for a regular undergraduate degree just after high/secondary school or even prep school.

What country are you from?

How much do you or in your country does college/university tuition cost per year in today’s dollars? Separate Tuition, Books and Other.

Is it ever subsidized by the government, and if so, in what percentage?

How do you think the cost and/or subsidies have it affected the way students view going to university/college?

If you want to give specifics of your city as well, please feel free to do so!

I’m really just nosy curious and it’d be nice to hear firsthand from other countries.

I’ll start and give you BF’s view too:

What country are you from?

FB: Canada

BF: France

How much do you or in your country does college/university tuition cost per year in today’s dollars?

FB: A regular degree is about $5000/year CAD I think. The number might have risen slightly, but it can’t be by very much because I haven’t been out of university for very long.

I think the cost of books varied as well, but I recall a number of $1000 being thrown out at me on my first day of university. HAH! I only wish it ended up being $1000.

My own tuition was $20,000/year for business school, with books costingย  $5000/year. I also had to buy a laptop (Excel became my BFF) and pay for other minor school fees, probably around $500/year.

BF: A regular university is cheap, perhaps 1000 EUR a year.Business school may be 20,000 EUR by now and Engineering school is cheap too, like 1000 EUR a year. My numbers might be off, I’ve been out of school a while.

Prep schools are free, and we usually go to them right after secondary school to study and try to get into the schools we want. Books are not that expensive for university, but in prep school the books are expensive.

Is it ever subsidized by the government, and if so, in what percentage?

FB: Yes. Somewhat.

I got a scholarship and some bursaries going to school, and it probably paid for 20% of my overall tuition.

BF: Yes, it can be. I got a full-ride scholarship to business school.

A lot of friends I knew had parents who paid as well, but I never paid attention to that.

How do you think the cost and/or subsidies have it affected the way students view going to university/college?

FB: It’s human nature to take free things for granted if you’ve never known otherwise, but it depends on your perspective as well. Many people either see it as very expensive ($20,000 at the end of college) or very cheap ($5000/year).

I have friends who worked extremely hard, even though they had full ride scholarships or parents who were very wealthy to be able to write a cheque on the first day of school instead of having to pay quarterly, but I also have friends who were very rich but scholastically lazy as well.

A lot of us paid for our own tuition with student loans, and some of us were stellar, some weren’t.

For myself, I admit that I was not a very good example of a stellar student. I worked to get in and to get my honours degree, but quite frankly I was too busy working other jobs to pay for tuition to really care about becoming the best student ever in business school.

I just couldn’t put in the same amount of studying and thinking time my other more amazing peers did and my grades in comparison to others, reflected that.

All I wanted was the degree. I really couldn’t care less what my actual grades were, as long as my paper said: Graduated with honours.

I always knew that no one checks your school marks after your first job.

I also wasn’t interested in competing with my peers for jobs in the very hot industries, and was a bit lost career-wise until my last year of college when I realized what I really wanted to do.

As a result, getting better marks than they did to be able to get that coveted job interview in what they were all fighting to be in was very low on my priority list.

I wasn’t and am still not very interested in working 60 – 100 hours a week, even if it means earning a lot of money.

BF: I studied a lot and worked until I got into business school, which was where I relaxed.

Prep school was tough, but once I was in with my full scholarship, we all took it easy because we were all in the same boat, so we worked hard, but we didn’t have to compete very strongly against each other any more.

This is all from my own personal experience, but schooling in France is more based on aptitude tests. Prep schools are there to help you determine what business or engineering school you can apply to, and if you decide to get a general university degree instead, the competition is much less.

There are tiers in rankings of business and engineering schools as well. For example Polytechnique is the top engineering school, and while quite cheap, is the hardest to get into.

It’s not really a question of money, unless you’re talking about business school.

Once you have the degree, that’s all employers will see for the rest of your working career if you stay in France.

Okay, your turn!

NOTE:

As if they read my mind, Mint.com just posted this cost of college infographic yesterday:



About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.