7 countries where higher education is free
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- There are seven developed nations - including Sweden, Norway, and Ireland - where students attend school for free.
- Sweden does not charge tuition for both public and private colleges.
- Norway pays the most for college subsidies, spending 1.3% of its annual GDP.
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As the US faces a higher education affordability crisis, students from other developed countries don't pay anything for college.
Of the 36 developed, democratic countries that currently make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), seven of them subsidize tuition for public colleges and universities.
The US, in contrast, charges the most money to attend public colleges among OECD countries. The average annual tuition for US public colleges cost more than $6,000, according to a 2011 report from OECD. When you add up the cost of living, books, and other expenses, the average cost of US in-state public university can total $25,290 a year, according to Value Penguin.
Using the OECD's 2011 report, Business Insider analyzed the countries where citizens don't pay tuition fees. (Note that there were some discrepancies between the data in 2011 and the most recent data available in 2019 regarding which countries were included in the dataset. Business Insider has reached out to OECD for more information.)
Here are seven countries where students can pursue higher education for free.