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American Students Moving To Europe For Free College


Replies to: American Students Moving To Europe For Free College

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,773 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    "The relative transparency of admissions in European and Canadian universities (academics based) make them attractive to the students that don't want to play the holistic admissions game at American universities."

    I agree. We live in the US, but my youngest only applied in Canada. The Transparency of Admissions was a significant factor. With only A's, and >1400 on the (two part) SAT, admissions in Canada becomes almost a non-event. This makes the whole thing a lot less stressful. In her case the same probably could have been said of our local state university, but our local state university is much larger than what she was looking for.

    Two advantages that Canada has over Europe for an American student: It is physically closer, and the education system is very similar to the US.
  • QuadCFreshieQuadCFreshie Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I think compared to US taxes, European taxes are outrageous. In the US, the taxes are only at 50% for the 1%, which is a bit unfair but they find their own ways out of it. And, if you move to a state like Texas or Washington (I live in the first and want to move to the latter), you avoid state income tax on top of federal income tax. So, in comparison, you save loads by getting a US degree and getting a US job (especially considering the fact that we pay more for most jobs as far as i'm aware).
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,626 Senior Member
    edited May 2017
    @QuadCFreshie: to be exact, it's not 50% on total income, but on marginal income. In the US, it used to be 91% on the highest margin (in the 1960's). To make things simpler imagine your income is divided into slices. In the US, there is no "slice zero" so even if you make only $9,000 a year you pay taxes. In other countries, there's a "slice zero", so that the first slice is not taxed (poverty-level income), the second slice is 10%, third slice is 15%, fourth slice is 25%, fifth slice is 28%, sixth slice is taxed 33%, seventh slice is 35%, and eighth slice is 39.6%... That's called progressivity of taxation and it's an essential part of modern democracy. In the US there's no slice zero so if you're at the poverty level you pay 10%, then on top of that if you're working class/middle income you pay 15% on the second slice, then if you're at the national median you pay 25% on top of that on that third slice.
    In France, one of the most taxed countries, you don't pay taxes at all if you earn less than $12,000; you only pay for any earning over that for the next level, which is 14% up to incomes representing the median income.
    So, the middle class actually pays fewer taxes in France.
    In the US, the really weird thing is that there's no difference between $191,000 and $416,000 - not long ago, there used to be an extra "slice" distinguishing between top 5% and top 1%... So, the US system really mostly benefits the top 5% (and perhaps really only the top 2% earners.)
    So, sure, in Europe, their slices are different from those here and go higher, but would it be so terrible if people in the top 1% in the US had to pay a 50% marginal tax on their "top slice" of income? And their sacrifice allowed everyone to have affordable college, for instance?
    (I really don't like to pay taxes, but there has to be a balance - Once you've worked and lived in different states with different tax policies, you start seeing benefits to moderate taxation over low taxes. It's all a matter of ROI.)
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 2,393 Senior Member

    There are few things I wanted to comment about re your post:

    1. While there was a 91% income tax rate at one time, the reality was that only a handful of people ever paid it, nationwide. During those high tax rate years, there were a large number of deductions that dramatically reduced the effective tax rate for the vast majority of high income earners, most of which disappeared in conjunction with tax reform in the 1980s. Because very high tax rates incent people towards unproductive tax shelters, the realized taxes are relatively invariant between high tax rates and moderate tax rates.

    2. The standard deduction provides a zero tax rate on the first $6,350 - $12,700 of income depending upon filing status. Some families are also eligible to receive the earned income tax credit, and their effective tax rate on their initial income is actually negative.

    3. There are a number of deductions that phase out or disappear as income increases, while at the same time the tax rate rises. The combination of the two, in conjunction with state taxes, can and does push up marginal tax rates on income above 50%.

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