Ireland vs US: University Prices

Education is valued very differently in the United States and the European Union, but especially Ireland. In an earlier article, it was noted that Ireland in 2018 spent €10.8 billion, or 14.16pc of their entire government expenditure on education. The United States allocated a whopping 6pc of the entire government budget to education, or $68.5 billion, which was down 14pc from the previous year. 

This huge difference in the government’s focus on education gives students in Ireland, and all across the EU, the chance to gain upper level education for an affordable price. In general, students who are striving to get a degree in a higher education institution are very likely within their four year to take out at least one student loan in order to pay tuition for part of, if not all of their educational experience. 

In Ireland, the tuition fees that are associated with which program you choose to pursue as well as if you are from in or outside of the European Union. These differentiations also occur in the United States, but in a different degree. For all universities there are slight differences, but my particular university does not differentiate much based on certain major. There are slight differences in the prices of colleges, such as the business college versus the arts and science college.

As far as tuition itself goes, University College of Dublin for example has different rates for students coming from inside of the EU and those coming from outside of it. For example, a student from inside of the European Union who is interested in pursuing a degree in Animal Science would pay €7,574 per year whereas a student from outside of the EU would pay €24,800 per year. This difference is huge, showing Ireland is focusing on putting it’s education and monetary resources back into its people.  

Tuition in the US is broken into three categories: in-state, out-of-state, and international. In state tuition is the lowest for most students, depending on their states. State schools are partially funded by the federal government, and therefore can provide tax-payers a discounted rate for their education. At my university, in-state tuition averages $10,037 per year, excluding the price of housing. Out-of-state students pay $28,229 per year, which is almost triple what the in-state students would pay. 

International students pay the most out of all three of these categories, with the lowest cost equaling out of state costs. These costs differ dramatically also based on each international student’s personal situation and country that they are coming from. 

Overall, the difference is clear; Ireland puts a much larger emphasis on higher education affordability and accessibility than the US does. With this type of accessibility, workers are generally more educated in any of their specific fields without the weight of thousands of debt on their shoulders.

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