Calculating College

Maria and Ryan Connelly are pictured here. Both went to university in Ireland, but Ryan, a native of Ireland, paid a much different rate than Maria, an American citizen. (Photo by courtesy of Maria and Ryan Connelly)

The cost of college is something many parents think and worry about even before their child is born. The cost can keep people from attending school in the first place, so imagine paying nothing for your college education—leaving school with no student loan debt. In Germany that’s a reality, not just a fairy tale. In the United States where, according to CNN Money, the average student owes more than $30,000 by the time they graduate, there are few fairy tale endings.

Most students and their families in the United States believe attaining a college degree is the best investment they can make for their future. However, that knowledge comes with the burden of college debt. Sometimes school loan debt can even keep graduates from buying a house, starting a business or continuing their education.

The price of college increases every year and in the United States more and more students are priced out of a college education—but that’s not true in the rest of the world. For example, students in Ireland incur less debt than many U.S. students.

Ryan and Maria Connelly are a young couple living in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Both attended school in Ireland but paid very different rates. Ryan Connelly is a native of Ireland and was eligible to use Ireland’s Free Fees Initiative, a government program which helps cover the cost of college. Ryan went to Trinity College, a well-respected university in Dublin, and completed…

To read the full story, please pick up a copy of this months Marquette Monthly at one of our distribution outlets.

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