The government in Bolivia supports Bolivian students by subsidizing their bachelor’s degrees in all public colleges that exist across the country, but this support hasn’t been extended to foreign students.
College in Bolivia is free for local students, but it isn’t for foreign students. As a foreigner, you’ll pay between $5,000 to $18,000 in tuition fees for a full bachelor’s degree, between $1,000 to $4,000 per year, or between $500 to $2,000 per semester in the country.
We are people from Bolivia, who have studied here and also have seen the real costs of getting a college degree for both native and foreign students. So, we’ll give you all the details about whether college is free or not in our country and also how to save as much as possible when you’re studying in Bolivia.
Is college free for foreign students in Bolivia?
College is not free for foreign students in Bolivia. In almost all cases both public and private colleges in the country will charge the full tuition to students coming from overseas.
In some cases, public colleges will charge foreigners only 50% to 80% of the tuition, and private colleges will rely on scholarship programs that will let students from overseas pay only 50% to 20% of the tuition. But in general, students from other countries will need to pay a big part of the tuition to study here in Bolivia.
Additionally, students from other countries will also need to pay a big part of their living expenses, unless they are part of a student exchange program, with which they can get some housing services for free. But overall, foreign students will need to pay an important percentage of the total cost of studying here.
We have a complete guide about how much it costs to study in Bolivian universities, with all the numbers and details for foreign students you need to know, including the tuition, extra fees, and other living expenses: The cost of university in Bolivia, all the numbers and facts.
At the end of the day, you’ll find that, with all the studying discounts you can get in Bolivia, for a full bachelor’s degree you’ll end up spending at least $20,000 in the best cases and $40,000 in the worst cases. This cost will turn into $4,500 to $9,000 per year and into $2,250 to $4,500 per semester.
Is college free for Bolivian students in Bolivia?
In regards to students from Bolivia, all public colleges offer free tuition of $0. Why can’t foreigners get an advantage of it? Because government programs are designed to help students from Bolivia pay for their studies and are not meant to support students from overseas.
If you want to get the advantages that public colleges offer, you need to become a Bolivian or get Bolivian citizenship but don’t worry, you can also apply for student exchange programs and scholarships to lower your overall costs when studying in our country, without getting the citizenship.
When you are studying in a public college in Bolivia to get a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be paying from $5,000 to $10,000 for the full tuition, and on average $8,000 for it. In regards to master’s degrees and doctorate degrees, you’ll end up paying from $10,000 to $20,000 for the full tuition.
Taking into account all studying expenses, including tuition fees, extra fees, and living expenses, you’ll end up spending between $15,000 to $30,000 for a full bachelor’s degree or from $3,000 to $6,000 per year.
In the case of private colleges, native students need to pay the same as students from overseas to get a degree in Bolivia. Private colleges don’t really differentiate between natives and foreigners when offering their educational services. In these colleges, you can also get the advantage of scholarships and discounts that they normally offer.
If you want to study in a private college in Bolivia to get a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be paying from $9,000 in the cheapest cases to $18,000 in the most expensive cases for the full tuition. Regarding master’s and doctorate degrees, you will pay the same as for public universities, between $10,000 to $20,000 for the tuition.
Taking into account all studying expenses, including tuition fees, extra fees, and living expenses, you’ll end up spending between $20,000 to $40,000 for a full bachelor’s degree or from $4,500 to $9,000 per year.
How to save money when studying in Bolivia?
1) Discounts available for overseas students in Bolivia
Remember that you can take advantage of many types of discounts when studying in Bolivia, no matter whether you are coming for a semester, a year, or a full degree. The following are the options you have here:
- Being part of an international student exchange program. In this way you can be able to save a lot in tuition costs, and also in living expenses, because your housing and food expenses will be in some cases fully covered.
- Applying for a scholarship in Bolivian colleges. In this way, you can save up to 80% of your tuition costs. There are various types of scholarships available in our country, like excellence, working, exchange and sports scholarships, etcetera.
- Working for the University. If you work for the Bolivian college in which you are studying, then you’ll get your tuition costs reduced by a big percentage and, in many cases, you’ll get paid a monthly wage that you can use to cover your living expenses.
2) Student exchange programs available
The list below takes into account only the most important colleges in our country, but don’t hesitate to search for more possible student exchange programs:
- ASF organization (Bolivian website Link: translated). Home website: Link.
- Bolivian Private University UPB. Link
- Bolivian Catolica University UCB. (Link: translated).
- Univalle University. (Link: translated).
- Private University of Santa Cruz UPSA. (Link: translated).
- San Simon Major University UMSS. (Link: translated).
- UniFranz University (Link: translated).
3) Choosing the right university or similar institution
You need to choose wisely the Bolivian college in which you will study or will have an exchange experience. There are hundreds of colleges and other superior educational institutes in our country. But most of them have such bad educational services that you should never even think to study in them.
When choosing the university in which you will study here, it should have a tuition cost of at least $9,000 for a full bachelor’s degree (without any discounts). Because in Bolivia, the more expensive the university is, the better educational services it has to offer. We have found that only universities which are expensive here in Bolivia meet decent requirements regarding the quality of their educational services and general features.
Furthermore, in the list of student exchange programs of the last section you can see that they are also some of the best colleges available in Bolivia at this time. You should choose one of them, along with UMSA and UAGRM colleges, to study here.
We have a complete review of the best colleges in Bolivia, where you will see the best and the worst universities, according to international rankings and our experiences, in the following direction: link.
The cost of university for foreign students in Bolivia
As we said before, you should expect to spend between $15,000 to $40,000 in total costs for a full bachelor’s degree in Bolivia in both public and private universities. Only for tuition fees, you should expect to pay between $5,000 to $18,000 for a full bachelor’s degree.
This means that, per year, you should expect to pay between $3,000 to $9,000 in total cost for a bachelor’s degree and from $1,000 to $4,000 for only tuition fees.
This also means that per semester you should expect to pay between $1,500 to $4,500 in total costs for a bachelor’s degree and from $500 to $2,000 for only tuition fees.
We have a complete guide about all the costs involved in studying in a college in Bolivia, with all the numbers you need to know as a foreign student and also how to save some money in the process: The cost of studying in Bolivia, all the numbers and details.
Here you have seen that, in Bolivia, getting a bachelor’s degree is free in public colleges only for native students and people that have Bolivian citizenship. But for students from overseas, it is not free and they’ll need to pay the full or an important part of the tuition.
Even more, you have learned that after including extra fees and other expenses, the total studying costs won’t be free even for native students and the overall total cost for getting a bachelor’s degree in Bolivia will be around $25,000 for public colleges and around $30,000 for private colleges.
But also, you have realized that there are plenty of different options to save significant money through the use of student exchange programs, various types of scholarships, working in the university you’re studying, and other similar programs, which can lower your tuition costs up to 80% and your total studying expenses more than 50%.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know every detail about how much it really costs to study in Bolivian colleges, visit our dedicated guide, where you will see all the grained details about this: The cost of studying in Bolivian colleges, a complete guide.
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