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"Harvard's a Bargain - If You're From the UK"

Logan's picture

What do you guys think about this? I'm still trying to decide whether to attend university in the UK or the US...

"It hasn't always been this way. Ten years ago, few students were interested in applying to the U.S., and those who did were left to navigate the gauntlet of GPA's, SAT's, personal essays and financial aid forms by themselves. Today, top schools like Westminster and St. Paul's have special U.S. advisers to help students deal with the process. (See the 24 most and least affordable public colleges.)

What's sparked the interest? Tuition costs, for one thing. Until recently, England's elite universities offered an unbeatable combination of world-class curricula at a nanny state price. That was before Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government slashed education budgets in the name of austerity. As a result, tuition at many U.K. institutions will almost triple to £9,000 ($14,700) per year next fall.

That might seem like a bargain compared to the more than $40,000 in annual tuition costs now common at U.S. private colleges. But the truth is that at some elite schools with generous financial aid, the majority of students pay less than sticker price. (At Princeton, 60% of students receive aid and many of that school's scholarship packages cover 100% of tuition.) And thanks to a "citizenship-blind" aid policy at six U.S. colleges - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Amherst and Dartmouth - British citizens in need can access the same grants as their American counterparts. Why? Harvard's philosophy, shared by other top U.S. institutions, is that "students benefit greatly and learn much from living and studying with others from a wide diversity of backgrounds, including geographic and economic. We also seek to admit the most talented, able and diverse student body possible, regardless of citizenship," says university spokesman Jeff Neal. That means that for some U.K. students, the real bargain is stateside.

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Tuition Fees Increase

Foreign Students's picture

With many universities increasing their yearly fees to £9,000 for EU students starting in 2012, will that put any of you off coming to study in the UK? 

What do non-EU students think of it all considering you already have to pay more than that?

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