Three Ways of Paying Less for Tuition Fees in Europe Costs and funding

Every day we receive many inquiries regarding tuition fees for European universities. One of the most common misunderstanding is that tuition fees are the same for all European universities. However, this is not the case. Each country, university and sometimes each study programme has its own tuition fee structure, so there is no easy answer when it comes to tuition fee costs. You will most likely have to check individual programmes for an answer.

What does EEA mean?

Usually, there are two different costs listed for programmes on university websites. Tuition costs are different for EEA and Non-EEA students. EEA stands for European Economic Area and it refers to students who are citizens of a Europe Union member country. On the other hand, Non-EEA stands for Non-European Economic Area, so non-EEA tuition fees apply for students who are not citizens of a European Union country.


The difference between EEA and non-EEA countries is that universities in EU countries follow the same educational standards and provide equal student rights. As a result, universities keep their tuition fees the same for their own national students and any citizen of a country in the European Economic Area. This rule does not apply to students who do not belong to the EEA, who usually have to pay higher tuition fees. In this respect, non-EEA students may consider alternative payment options for tuition fees.

Ways to avoid high tuition fees

Here are a few ways non-EEA students may avoid paying high tuition fees:

Free of Charge Programmes: Tuition fees should not discourage you from looking for a study programme in Europe. Some European Universities offer a number of programmes free of charge.

  • Here is a list of free Bachelor programmes designed for Non-EEA students, from countries like Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom or Norway. Courses include subjects like Modern China studies, Management, Biology or Tourism.
  • Master programmes offer even greater options. Non-EU students have many free Master programmes to choose from.
  • If you want to study abroad but don’t have money to spend on transportation, accommodation or tuition fees, you can still get an international education, while staying in your home country. Here is a list of free distance learning programmes for non-EEA students.

University Funding: You may also apply for a study programme that requires tuition fees and look for available funding options. You need to carefully review funding/scholarship information on university webpages. For additional details, you should directly contact the programme director or international student office. Some universities have a scholarship section in their application form, making the application process much easier.


Scholarships: In addition to university funding, you may consider applying for a scholarship. A good way to check for available scholarships is to visit In addition to covering your tuition fee, a scholarship may also provide some extra money to spend during your studies. Government scholarships may also be available.

These are just a few suggestions for students who would like to study in Europe but need assistance with financial matters. Good luck in finding the right study programme for you!

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