Those looking to save on a college education may want to try their luck in Germany. The country just committed to tuition-free higher education for all students, including international students.
Lower Saxony was the last of seven German states to abolish tuition after the country began charging for it in 2006. Germany has a firm commitment to universal education, so the German states began dropping their tuition fees one by one.
The minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic said in a statement, “We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents.”
Hamburg’s senator for science Dorothee Stapelfeldt shared a similar sentiment, “Tuition fees are unjust. They discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”
Free college education is a well-embraced concept in most of Europe. One notable exception is the United Kingdom, though students still pay markedly less than their American counterparts. In fact, around two thirds of American college students will graduate an average of $26,600 in debt.
However, that may be changing. The state of Tennessee recently voted to grant free tuition to two-year colleges for all high school graduates. Some believe lowering tuition at public universities in the U.S. is not only possible, but could be done with ease.
Until that day comes, students will have to rely on loans, grants, scholarships and maybe now studying in Europe to help offset education costs.