Is It Better to Go to College in The U.S. or in the U.K.?

Barry Lenson

Is It Better to Go to College in The U.S. or in the U.K.?

Go to College in The U.S. or in the U.K.Do college students in the United States have it better than college students do in the United Kingdom?

That’s a good question. The short answer is, it depends on what you mean by “better.” Let’s take a closer look . . .

A university education usually costs less in the United Kingdom. That’s because the government is not squeamish about funding institutions of higher learning.  Tuition for U.K. students tops off at roughly what in-state American students pay to attend their state universities.  But there’s another reason why students generally pay less in the U.K. It’s because the government offers grants to students, based on family income, with lower-earning families eligible for the biggest sums.

  • Both countries have lots of educational opportunities for students. There was a time when the U.S., with its many smaller colleges and community colleges, led in this area. But the U.K. has been catching up. For example, many technical and trade schools now train students who do not want to enter traditional four-year institutions.  So which is better? It depends on what you want to study.
  • The quality of education can be great in both cases. The U.K. has a long tradition of taking education very seriously, and of overseeing training for professionals of all kinds.  The U.S. also has advantages, such as a growing use of computerized distance learning.
  • In the U.K., educational opportunities and costs vary from country to country. In Scotland, for example, students can expect to attend universities without paying tuition at all. This seems to have created an interesting situation, with students from other U.K. and even European Union countries trying to qualify to study in Scotland tuition-free. Also, many American students are now attending Scottish universities such as Saint Andrews, where they pay tuition fees that are similar to what they would pay as in-state students at American state colleges and universities.

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