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American Students Moving To Europe For Free College

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Replies to: American Students Moving To Europe For Free College

  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    @prezbucky SS is actually 15% - it's just that 1/2 is paid by your employer (therefore lowering your wages) -- unless you're self-employed in which case you pay the full 15%. In Cal you can be easily paying 15% federal + 10% state + 9% sales + 15% SS = 49%. Not far below Norway. Once you add on health care costs, Californians are paying more than Norwegians (and don't tell me Americans are healthier than Norwegians). And besides healthcare, Norway gives you higher education and other benefits which Californians don't have. Just look at what discretionary US Federal taxes are spent on compared to Norway, and it's clear why there's little available to benefit citizens (hint: defense). (Cal spends nearly as much on corrections as higher education, if you can believe it.) Anyway, I don't want to turn this into a political debate, so I'll stop here!
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,451 Senior Member
    - Sales tax shouldn't count though. We're talking about taxes levied against income.

    - Factoring in the price of goods would be interesting.

    And 10% state income tax... yikes. Where I live it's something like 4.5% and I spent a decade in TN, where it's (or was) 0%.

    Regarding "free" college, we pay a lot for our schools, and we get what we pay for: the best higher education in the world, overall. (with all due respect to the Brits, who have two of the top ten... we have most of the top schools in the world.)

    I would argue that no spending is more important than defense, since we can't enjoy Liberty or Property if we're dead, but that's an argument for another day and another forum. hehe

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited April 6
    In Europe, taxes tend to be higher (though if you are upper-middle-class in the US in a high-tax state with Federal income tax close to 30%, state/local income tax around 10%, the SS and Medicare taxes adding to about 18% yet no free college or healthcare, it may not be better than being in Europe), but Europe also has a stronger social safety net.

    The idea that a middle-class family could be thrown in to poverty and have their savings wiped out because of a medical emergency or layoff (which happens fairly often in the US) must sound third-worldish or Dickensanian to Europeans.
  • WhewLadWhewLad Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited April 6
    lol what I don't get is how can anyone in America who isn't a total idiot not afford college? If you applied yourself even the least bit in highschool there are plenty of scholarship and financial aid opportunities available, and tons public schools are reasonably priced. JFC just join the national guard if its really that impossible, free tuition for a few weekends out for your year!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,443 Senior Member
    edited April 6
    Whewlad, hoping you're not a forbiddenword:
    No there aren't tons of scholarships that significantly impact costs; only about 80 colleges out of 3,700 meet financial need; if you're lucky and you live in states such as Florida or California, public universities are affordable, but if you're unlucky and you live in Pennsylvania or Illinois, forget it; you can't just 'join the National Guard ' and ROTC now has fewer scholarships for freshmen because joining the military should be a vocation not a scholarship program.
    The average American family makes 56k a year. The typical public university costs 24-30k. The system is simply unaffordable for a vast majority of people.
    Even ten to fifteen years ago people would have been aghast at the thought getting into debt for undergrad should be considered 'normal '.
  • alcibiadealcibiade Registered User Posts: 585 Member
    Our experience more or less bears this out. My daughter had the choice between a SLAC (for $250K) and U Cambridge for about 1/4 that. My son got French citizenship in order to get Canadian tuition rates in Quebec, about $5K per year.

    My advice is, forget about tax hypotheticals and investigate whether there are options that would work better for you.
  • alcibiadealcibiade Registered User Posts: 585 Member
    @WhewLad you are spewing callow nonsense. There isn't enough scholarship money to go around, given US tuition rates.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @WhewLad: Joining the National Guard doesn't get you a full ride and only in 2 states (that I know of) does joining the National Guard take care of all tuition costs at that state's publics (NJ and IL).
  • cdndukealumcdndukealum Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Be careful what you wish for. Whenever I hear Americans pining for everything European or Canadian, it is often without a real understanding of the underlying fundamentals. In Canada the taxation on alcohol and gas is excessive, income taxes are high and sales tax is 13% (at least in Ontario). Cost of living is higher (food costs are substantially higher - due to some co-operatives that act as monopolies) and competition is generally less (thus prices are higher). And the weak currency kills us when we travel (and all products are inherently more expensive).

    So we do have less expensive college (relative to private US schools), but the resources are substantially less as well. So there is an element of you get what you pay for. It is no accident that Canadians will send their kids to US colleges if they can afford it.
  • elguapo1elguapo1 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    I just come back from 10 days in the UK. The only items which if found more expensive were gasoline and car hire. Food and drink about the same (as in the Mid West) hotels I would say were cheaper. My daughters college tuition is substantial cheaper than an equivalent US institution.
  • cdndukealumcdndukealum Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @elguapo1 - have you looked at the cost of housing in London? Whether purchasing or renting. It is nothing like the Midwest.
  • MahindraMahindra Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    edited April 6
    When it comes to higher taxes, in Europe, they get more social services. In the US, the Federal government receives a lot of revenue but more than half goes to the military industrial complex. While Defense is our number one priority, we spend TOO MUCH on defense. More than half of our discretionary spending goes to the military, and our defense budget is greater than those of the next top 8 countries, and most of those countries are our allies.

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @elguapo1: Well, Brexit has really weakened the pound.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited April 6
    @cdndukealum: Well, the Canadian unis are publics and many Americans who can afford it send their kids to privates as well. Though in Canada, all publics are reasonably priced for Canadians while in the US, only residents in a handful of states get to attend publics as good as McGill/Toronto at prices close to what Canadians pay for their publics.

    And there's no deal like CS@Waterloo for Americans unless you qualify for substantial fin aid.
  • cdndukealumcdndukealum Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Yes, in Canada we have no private colleges. The collegiate system is dramatically different than in the US - no massive focus on athletics and, due to a population one tenth the size, less choice among schools. The level of competition to get in schools (at least for undergrad) is not comparable. If you are a good high school student, you get in every college that you apply.

    Colleges in Canada are like everything in Canada relative to the US - we do not have the extremes. Nothing great like Yale, Stanford, Amherst, etc., but nothing terrible (well, clearly some are worse than others - but not to the same extreme as you can find in the US).

    If money is not an issue, clearly American colleges are better. But for most people, money is an issue and in those circumstances Canadian colleges are a good choice. I get the impression that there is sizeable financial aid available for US colleges, but it is not clear how many students get aid and how much.
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