Theo’s Cost Comparison

We’ve already written one cost comparison post showing a college in Europe with low tuition is much more affordable than a public university or venice a private university in the US. This caused us to ask another question: does it still make financial sense when the tuition is not the incredibly low €1000 per year that Jared will be paying? We think the answer is “Yes” for a number of reasons, but let’s look at the numbers.

Theo is a strong student from a good high school in Venice, California. His grades and 6 AP classes were more than enough to get him into a good school of his choosing in the US or in Europe. He’d wanted to go to college in Europe since middle school.  When it was time to get serious about applying, he didn’t know where to start.

After finding Beyond the States, he applied to a number of university colleges in the Netherlands. Theo chose the liberal arts program at Leiden University College in The Hague. Let’s see how Theo’s costs compare to a public university and a private university in his home state of California.

Cost Comparison-Theo

 Leiden University CollegeUCLA Occidental College
Tuition $11,674$12,816$50,492
Housing$7,471$15,069 (with Board)$14,460 (with Board)
Living Expenses (incl. food)$3,945$1,677 ("Personal")$1,628 ("Personal")
Health Insurance$500$2,265$2,150
Travel & Transportation$2,000$600$1,034
Annual Total$27,177$34,062$71,592
Years to Complete344

Sources: Leiden University College  UCLA  Occidental

The cost of living is 13% less in Leiden than it is in Los Angeles where both other schools are located, according to Expatistan. Food, housing and entertainment costs are all significantly less in The Hague.

img_3685Housing at Leiden University College is upscale and unique. Students are required to live on campus the first two years of study, so housing is guaranteed.  The students live in studio apartments on the upper floors of the 21 story LUC building, which is just five years old and in great condition. Most units are large single rooms with their own kitchenette and bathroom and large floor to ceiling windows with wonderful views of The HaLUCgue. Each floor has a shared lounge/eating area, quiet areas for study and resident assistant. The building also contains 15 classrooms, along with an auditorium for 200 students, self-study areas, a grand café and a student lounge with performing arts room, a student-run bar and office space for LUC’s student association. The highest standard of nature friendly materials were used for the interior, expressing the importance of sustainability to all and echoed by the large vertical garden behind the reception desk. For more about housing, visit this link.

When all is said and done, Leiden University College is $6,885 less per year than UCLA, which equates to a total savings of $54,717 over Theo’s college career. Further, just one year at Occidental isn’t much less than all three years at Leiden University College!

The real bottom line though takes into account the experience and fit. When Theo sat in on a class at LUC, he noted that the class was how he imagined college should be – students engaging in interesting, intelligent discussions with a teacher facilitating discussion without dominating it. He felt like he’d found his place. For Theo, being able to get his degree at Leiden University College doesn’t just make financial sense, it’s the fulfillment of a dream.




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