Thursday, February 2, 2023

Enriching Education: European "Twins" to US Colleges

 New research reveals that University of Kansas, Lawrence is the overall best college for US students, but that same experience could be had at The University of Ghent, Belgium with a 96% saving on tuition fees.

Using Google Search data Beyond The States gathered the most talked about US and European universities and ranked them based on social scene, quality of courses, top tuition and tuition fees, eventually proving that US students can benefit more financially and culturally by studying overseas in the European equivalents of the top 25 US colleges. 

Acceptance rates for US colleges continue to drop year after year. Between 2017-2022, Boston College’s acceptance rate dropped from 32% to 16% and New York University's from 27.66% to 12.20%. Additionally, the high cost of college tuition in the US means that many families are unable to afford to support their children through further education. 

Using a range of sources including Numbeo’s cost of living database, individual school websites, US News, Google search results, InterNations Expat Insider and World Population Reviews, the study compared each school against four factors; college tuition, cost of living, quality of courses available and social life.

Overall winner: University of Kansas and Ghent University  

The study revealed that University of Kansas in the US was the overall category winner, with an average cost of living at $1,905.03, tuition at $26,960.00, and a social life rating of 21. Meanwhile, Ghent University in Europe had similar cost of living ($1,774.42) and social rating (22) to the US college, but a significant difference in tuition costs, with Ghent costing only $3,850.00, a whopping $23,110 savings per year. 

Winners for Top Cost of Living: Iowa State University ($1821.20) and University of Pecs ($889.21)

Although both universities topped their respective country for the winner of cost of living, the cost at University of Pecs is almost half of that at Iowa State University (49%). Additionally, the cost of living between these two universities isn’t the only astronomical difference. Iowa State University tuition fees come in at over 25 thousand dollars ($25,446.00) per year while University of Pecs will set students back just $4,400 per annum. . 

Winners for Top Tuition: Florida State University ($21,683.00) and University College Leuven-Limburg ($980.00)

Even as the United States’ lowest ranking university based on tuition, the cost of Florida State University tuition fees are extortionate compared to. University College Leuven-Limburg, where students could attend university for over 22 years before a Florida State University student has even paid for one. With both colleges coming out on top for quality of tuition, the only real difference is the price you pay for the privilege..

Winners for Top Course: University of Michigan (25) and Charles University, Prague (25)

The most obvious similarity between these two universities is the quality of courses they offer students meaning no matter the price you pay, you are assured a good quality education. However, even with a higher than average European tuition cost at Charles University ($6,117.82), University of Michigan is 9 times more expensive at $55,334.00 per year. 

Winners for Best Social Scene: The University of Texas (25) and Carlos III University of Madrid (25)

Both universities ranked side by side in terms of the social scene of the city, with both options being a good choice if partying is top of the priority list. Texas in this case came out on top with the courses they offer however depending on what the student is interested in studying, choosing the latter could save an upwards of $30,000 in tuition alone, not to mention the 50% drop in the cost of living in Madrid compared to Texas. 

This research illustrates to students and parents that contrary to US common belief, there are alternative options for higher education and the benefits of studying abroad in Europe.

Jennifer Viemont, Founder and chief college advisor at Beyond The States, says

“As the cost of education in the US continues to skyrocket alongside the admissions game becoming more ruthless for students, we call on more parents and their teens to consider options beyond the traditional norm, saving thousands of dollars and exploring the world outside of what they already know. “

A full breakdown of the data is available here 


Using Google search results we gathered data to reveal the top 25 college cities in the US and Europe. 

We gave each city a score for four key factors; cost of living, price of tuition, quality of courses and social life. 

To reveal the best city overall gave each city an overall average score based on each factor.

Once all the cities were ranked, we began pairing off the US with the European equivalent. This happened by first matching cities that ranked top of their factor, then cities that ranked similarly on two or more factors, followed by one factor and finally that ranked similarly overall. 

About Beyond The States 

Beyond The States was founded in 2017 by Jennifer Viemont who as a parent herself was worried about the US college admissions process for her son. After reading an article about a US student studying in Germany for free she was inspired to explore further the opportunities for US students studying in Europe. 

Since the establishment of Beyond The States, Jennifer and her team have helped 1000’s of families in the USA apply and secure admission to some of the top universities in Europe in both undergraduate and postgraduate level, consider career choices and go beyond the norm of the US higher education system. 

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