Countries With Free College 2022

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The monetary cost of attending a modern college, university, or other institute of higher learning can often be prohibitively high. Tuition fees in the United States, for example, averaged $10,000-$38,000 per year (US$) in 2021-22, with many private universities exceeding $50,000. Housing and living expenses add to that total. Grants and scholarships can help offset tuition costs, but typically fall short. As a result, many students—particularly minorities, who earn a disproportionately low income in many countries—cannot afford to attend college. Those students who do attend must often take out massive student loans, saddling themselves with significant debt that can take decades to repay.

To address these concerns, a number of countries have made college/university tuition free for their citizens. In these systems, higher education is available to most students at little to no cost (often requiring only a small administrative fee) regardless of limiting factors such as income level or social status. Most of these countries are developed nations and many are democratic socialist states in which the government also provides other essential services such as universal or single payer health care.

Countries that offer free college/university to international students

A number of countries further extend the offer of free (or minimal cost) tuition to international students as well. This enables students from the United States and other countries with high college tuition costs to study abroad while also obtaining their education with minimal cost. However, it should be noted that classes in many countries are taught in that country's native language—universities in Greece, for instance, teach most classes in Greek rather than English—which could introduce a language barrier. Also, most of these countries are European, and may require extra fees from students from outside the European Union (EU) and/or European Economic Area (EEA). A full list of countries that offer free tuition to nationals and/or internationals can be seen below.

Countries With Free College 2022

Country Tuition (Nationals) Tuition (Internationals) Details 2022 Population
IndiaFreeNominal feesNominal fees for international students, but students are not allowed to work while attending1,417,173,173
BrazilFreeLanguage dependentFree, but must know Portuguese215,313,498
RussiaFreeLimitedFree to Russians and Belarusians with adequate grades. International slots are limited (15,000). Classes taught in Russian144,713,314
MexicoFreeStandardFull fees127,504,125
PhilippinesFreeStandardFree to Filipinos115,559,009
EgyptFreeStandardFree for citizens, although system is in need of reform110,990,103
IranFreeFree w obligationFree, but grads must serve government for as many years as were needed to get degree88,550,570
TurkeyFreeNominal feesNominal fees85,341,241
GermanyFreeFreeFree for undergrads from any country; may have small fee. Many courses in English, but some German-only83,369,843
FranceFreeEU-dependentFree w minimal fees for EU/EEA. Fees for non-Euros rising, but scholarships available. Many courses only in French64,626,628
ItalyFreeEU-dependentNominal fees (€900 and €4,000) for EU students59,037,474
KenyaFreeFreeFree w high scores on on aptitude exams. Limited availability54,027,487
SpainFreeEU-dependentFree for EU, nominal fees for non-Europeans47,558,630
ArgentinaFreeNominal feesNominal fees45,510,318
PolandFreeNominal feesFree for EU/EAA students, nominal fees for internationals. Many programs in English39,857,145
MoroccoFreeStandardFull fees37,457,971
TaiwanFreeNominal feesNominal fees for internationals. Scholarships available. Classes may be in Mandarin23,893,394
Sri LankaFreeStandardFull fees. Free to nationals who score in top 15%-17% (approximate) on aptitude tests. 21,832,143
BelgiumFreeEU-dependentMinimal fees for EU/EEA. Nominal fees for non-Europeans11,655,930
CubaFreeStandard (med exepted)Full fees, but international medical students with Bachelor's or equivalent may get scholarship11,212,191
SwedenFreeEU-dependentFree for EU/EEA and Switzerland. PhD programs free for all. Many scholarships available10,549,347
Czech RepublicFreeLanguage dependentFree for classes taught in Czech. Courses in English have fees10,493,986
GreeceFreeEU-dependentFree for EU/EEA (most programs), nominal fees for non-Europeans. Must speak Greek10,384,971
AustriaFreeEU-dependentFree for EU/EEA for two semesters. Nominal fees for non-Europeans8,939,617
DenmarkFreeEU-dependentFree for EU/EEA & Switzerland. Notable fees for non-Euro undergrads. PhD programs free for all. Non-PhD classes may be in Danish5,882,261
FinlandFreeEU- & Lang-dep.Free for EU/EEA, Switzerland, & speakers of Finnish or Swedish. PhD programs free for all. Some classes only in Finnish or Swedish5,540,745
LebanonFreeNominal feesNominal fees5,489,739
NorwayFreeFreeFree w/ one year completed or strong placement test score. Minimal fees. Most undergrad courses taught in Norwegian5,434,319
New ZealandFreeStandardFull fees. Slowly phasing in three years' free instruction for New Zealanders as well as Australians with 3+ years residence5,185,288
PanamaFreeFreeFree to all. Spanish proficiency is helpful4,408,581
UruguayFreeStandardFull fees3,422,794
SloveniaFreeEU-dependentFree for EU and many Eastern Europeans, nominal fees for internationals2,119,844
Trinidad And TobagoFreeStandardFull fees1,531,044
EstoniaFreeNominal feesNominal fees for internationals. Scholarships available. PhD programs free. 150+ programs taught in English1,326,062
MauritiusFreeStandardFull fees1,299,469
FijiFreeStandardFull fees929,766
LuxembourgFreeNominal feesNominal fees. Most classes taught in English, German, or French647,599
MaltaFreeEU-dependentFree for EU students and Maltese citizens, nominal fees for non-EU students533,286
IcelandFreeFreeFree for all nationalities except for minor registration fee. Most undergrad classes taught in Icelandic372,899

Countries With Free College 2022