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The cost of education: What financing solutions are available?

Be it tuition, living costs, or studying abroad, education is becoming increasingly expensive in many countries. Today, banks can play a key role in empowering students to continue their education in the best conditions. BNP Paribas is committed to supporting young people through offers tailored to their individual career plans.

From tuition fees to living abroad, the cost of education is rising 

In recent years, students in many countries have dealt with continuously rising tuition costs. According to an OECD report, the United Kingdom tops the list of countries with the highest public university tuition fees. Currently, the average British student spends £7,000 (€7,800) per year on a bachelor’s curriculum, while non-European students pay twice that amount. 

For private schools, the United States and Australia have the highest fees. For a year of undergraduate study, students can expect to pay between $25,000 and $40,000 (€22,000 and €35,000) in the United States, and between AUD 15,000 and AUD 33,000 (€10,000 and €22,000) in Australia. In the United States, tuition costs have even climbed 440 % in 25 years.

In France, despite an increase in living costs per resident, its universities charge some of the world’s lowest tuition fees (€170, on average, for a bachelor year). However, tuition at some private schools has increased in recent years—business schools raised tuition fees by an average of 64.1 % between 2009 and 2018.

Costly academic exchange programs

Costs rise even higher when students choose to participate in a study abroad program. On top of tuition fees, students must also add the cost of living in the host country.

BNP Paribas—a student’s best friend? 

Whether students need to cover the cost of tuition, a study abroad program or a new computer, financing solutions adapted to each need are available. For students in France, BNP Paribas offers: 
  1. The Student Loan, for amounts ranging from €760 to €75,000 over a period ranging from 4 to 144 months. The loan applies a fixed national interest rate, but certain BNP Paribas partner schools and universities receive an advantageous rate
  2. The Prélib Campus loan, which enables students to borrow up to €1,000 in a 12-month interest-free loan. 
  3. "Driver’s license for €1 a day", a French government initiative supported by BNP Paribas, aiming to help young people between 15 and 25 years of age finance the cost of obtaining their driver’s license. The loan must be repaid at a rate of €1 per day, while all interest is subsidized by the French government.
  4. International student offer: the Visa Premier card, offered at no cost for one year to students planning to study abroad. The card includes travel insurance and assistance, free withdrawals at 52,000 partner ATMs in nearly 50 countries, a free international money transfer to maintain one’s bank account on the spot and the possibility of subscribing to Crystal Studies, an international health insurance that offers excellent coverage in many countries. 

Since student life varies enormously from one country to the next, it is crucial to tailor these financial support programs to the local context, challenges and cultures. For this reason, Group subsidiaries have developed specific initiatives: 

  • In the United States, the BNP Paribas subsidiary Bank of the West has formed partnerships with American universities, including Berkeley in California, and offers special student bank accounts, scholarships and internships.
  • In Belgium, the BNP Paribas subsidiary Fortis created Focus Youth (unavailable link), a site to help local students with everyday challenges, from living with roommates to finding a student job and financing a first car.
  • In Italy, BNL, a bank in the BNP Paribas Group, designed a program to support Italian high school students aged 17 and 18 to guide their future career choices and transition to higher education. 

From helping students to enroll in a business school or university, to offering assistance to those studying abroad or developing an entrepreneurial project, BNP Paribas adapts to the individual situation and needs of each student, everywhere around the world. The goal is to help students finance their education while maintaining peace of mind, so they can pursue their passions and follow through on their projects.

Supporting students who love tennis 

Apart from studies, BNP Paribas is committed to helping young people follow their passions. As the world’s leading tennis partner, the bank encourages this sport at universities—the Group is the official sponsor of several university tennis competitions, including the BNP Paribas Master’U (unavailable link) international tournament. 

Photos : header ©Monkey Business

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