College Tuition Around the World

Global Tuition

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College Tuition Around the World

The state of rising college tuition and even higher levels of student loan debt in the U.S. makes the state of higher education in the country seem pretty grim. But how does the U.S. stack up to other countries?

Here at Home

12 million

Number of U.S. college students who borrow to cover their costs (1)

$1 trillion

High-end estimate of total outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. (1)

$24,301

Average amount borrowed per student (1)

Growing costs: There’s a reason students are going into debt to fund their education. Here’s a look at the increase in four-year in-state tuition at public institutions by state (2009-10 to 2013-14): (2)

State: Percentage change

Alabama: 44%

Alaska: 18%

Arizona: 70%

Arkansas: 15%

California: 57%

Colorado: 48%

Connecticut: 20%

Delaware: 28%

District of Columbia: 81%

Florida: 56%

Georgia: 65%

Hawaii: 47%

Idaho: 29%

Illinois: 18%

Indiana: 16%

Iowa: 15%

Kansas: 21%

Kentucky: 20%

Louisiana: 51%

Maine: 9%

Maryland: 8%

Massachusetts: 23%

Michigan: 20%

Minnesota: 19%

Mississippi: 25%

Missouri: 5%

Montana: 10%

Nebraska: 16%

Nevada: 37%

New Hampshire: 34%

New Jersey: 11%

New Mexico: 25%

New York: 27%

North Carolina: 40%

North Dakota: 12%

Ohio: 10%

Oklahoma: 10%

Oregon: 30%

Pennsylvania: 16%

Rhode Island: 33%

South Carolina: 15%

South Dakota: 28%

Tennessee: 33%

Texas: 16%

Utah: 30%

Vermont: 16%

Virginia: 29%

Washington: 58%

West Virginia: 25%

Wisconsin: 21%

Note: Cost in 2013 dollars

How Do They Compare?

Let’s explore the state of college education and cost in the rest of the world.

Who goes? While going to college is the next logical step for a majority of high schoolers in the U.S., higher education isn’t necessarily assumed in many parts of the world. Here’s a look at enrollment in colleges, universities and trade schools in select countries for the most recent data available:

Percentage of total population enrolled in post-secondary education, including college/university or trade school (3)

South Korea: 98%

United States: 94%

Finland: 94%

Australia: 86%

Spain: 85%

Ukraine: 80%

Russian Federation: 76%

Israel: 66%

United Kingdom: 62%

Germany: 62%

Japan: 61%

Saudi Arabia: 51%

World: 32%

China: 27%

India: 25%

Liberia: 12%

Pakistan: 10%

Uganda: 9%

Zimbabwe: 6%

Malawi: 0.8%

Affordability: American college education is, not surprisingly, among the least affordable in the world.

Select countries by median annual individual income as a percentage of annual college cost (the lower the number, the more affordable college is) (4)

Country: Percentage

Denmark: 2%

Norway: 2%

Sweden: 3%

France: 3%

Germany: 4%

Finland: 6%

Netherlands: 11%

New Zealand: 16%

England and Wales: 21%

Canada: 22%

Latvia: 24%

Australia: 33%

Japan: 52%

US: 52%

Mexico: 110%

Students taking out loans to fund education (4)

United Kingdom: 80%

Sweden: 80%

Australia: 77%

New Zealand: 60%

United States: 60%

Finland: 50%

Netherlands: 20%

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Sources:
1. http://www.asa.org
2. https://trends.collegeboard.org
3. http://data.worldbank.org
4. http://www.ireg-observatory.org