We’ve said it before and there’s no doubt we’ll say it again: it can be expensive to study abroad.
But with free (or pretty cheap) tuition in some countries, scholarships and student discounts in the mix, your international education pursuit doesn’t have to break the bank.
And in case you weren’t already aware: some universities don’t even charge for application, so that’s one cost-saving hack for those heading abroad.
Some universities, however, charge huge application fees, upwards of US$100 in many cases. This can place a huge financial strain on international students, particularly those who wish – as many do – to apply to multiple institutions.
Below is a list compiled by Naij of many universities in the top countries for higher education in the world where your application will cost you zilch.
Universities in the US
If you want to apply to a university in the US, home to one of the world’s most prestigious education systems, but are looking to avoid the extra costs, then look no further.
The good news is there are quite a few institutions in the US which don’t charge any application fees at all.
The University of Vermont accepts applications for free and even offers partial scholarships of 20 percent for its undergraduate programs. However, bear in mind tuition costs are approximately US$43,650 for a three-year program.
Universities in Canada
Fancy the US’ friendly neighbour Canada for your education but want to skip the pricey application fee?
The bad news is, there are very few institutions here that offer no application costs. The good news, on the other hand, is that many are willing to grant a waiver if you have financial difficulties.
However, bear in mind that getting a waiver is no easy feat. You will have to search through the application fee policies of the individual universities and then send out emails or make phone calls to them directly and they will inform you what you need to do to obtain the fee waiver.
Determined to obtain a foreign degree but willing to try distance learning?
You could try applying to an institution which is a member of the Canadian Virtual University. Many Canadian institutions allow you to gain an international qualification from the comfort of your own home. With relatively low fees and often free application fees, going virtual could be your answer.
Other than that, you’re out of luck in Canada with the majority of institutions charging application fees, so either you’ll have to pay up or look elsewhere.
Universities in the UK
While it isn’t free to apply to any universities in the UK, it comes at a fraction of the cost of applications in the majority of other popular study abroad countries.
In the UK, you don’t apply directly to the university but, instead, everything goes through an online portal called UCAS.
You pay a single application fee of £13 (US$18) if you are applying to one course at one university and £30 (US$41) if you are applying to two to five (the maximum in one application cycle) universities or courses.
Universities in Australia
Got your heart set on Australia? Good news – there are a few universities in the country which offer no fees at all for applications, usually, if you apply online.
If you apply to Charles Darwin University online, you will pay no fees. The application process is relatively simple and can be done easily online for courses in many subjects.
Not convinced by Charles Darwin?
Your final option for free applications in Australia is Bond University, again offering no application fee online. You can also choose to defer your entry instead of accepting your offer immediately.
Never be afraid to ask for a fee waiver because if you never try, you’ll never know. Be polite, explain your situation and be patient – you might just get an offer which surprises you.