Costa Rica’s Education System

Last upgraded: Jun 24, 2015

In 1869, Costa Rica made education both totally free and compulsory for all its citizens. Since that time, the country’s education system has actually grown to include more than four thousand schools. Over the last 3 years the country has actually invested nearly 30% of its nationwide budget plan in primary and secondary education. The literacy rate is 95% in homeowners age 15 and older, and the nation boasts more teachers than police officers.

There are public primary and high schools in every neighborhood, and all trainees are needed to wear a uniform, to decrease the financial differences among schoolmates. Public primary schools include 6 years of education followed by five to 6 years of high school. The very first three years of high school are devoted to basic education while the staying two or three offer trainees with specialized training. Upon graduation, students receive a title in arts or sciences and a Costa Rican Bachillerato Diploma, which is accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education.

Private schools are spread throughout the country, a few of which use classes in a number of languages, and follow U.S. curriculums. Degrees used include the International Baccalaureate Diploma, certified by the IBO in Switzerland, and a U.S. High School Diploma, certified by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Colleges & Universities

A college education in Costa Rica not just assures outstanding academics, however a sound monetary investment. The nation has both public and personal universities, from the highly related to University of Costa Rica to the worldwide acknowledged University for Peace. Tuition generally runs about 50% less than in-state rates for many U.S. schools, and trainees get the included value of hanging out abroad. You’ll discover Spanish, make pals from all over the world, and graduate with little debt and a first-rate education.

If you’re currently studying at a U.S. or other foreign university, schedule an appointment with your study abroad workplace– your school might use term or yearlong options in Costa Rica. If you prepare to study in Costa Rica separately, or for more than a year, you’ll most likely need to organize many information yourself, from admissions tests to federal student loans. Keep in mind that non-residents are needed to have a trainee visa to study more than three months in Costa Rica.

Costa Rican universities offer most courses in Spanish, though specific classes in English are readily available. Numerous private universities use whole majors in English. Those include the Universidad de Iberoamerica (UNIBE) that focuses on medicine; the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnologia (ULACIT), which offers baccalaureate through doctorate degrees in numerous topics; and the Universidad Veritas, a national leader in architecture and style.

The University of Costa Rica, which provides more than 100 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, is Costa Rica’s greatest ranking public university. Tuition costs about $80 per credit hour for undergrads, and $140 for graduate students, plus miscellaneous costs of around $100 annually. For a typical undergraduate course load of 17 credit hours per semester, you’ll pay around $2,800 in tuition each year, plus living expenses ($500-$1,500 monthly, depending on your lifestyle). A college student with 14 credit hours will pay about $4,000 per year, plus living expenses. Other public universities, such as the Universidad a la Distancia (UNED, Distance Knowing University), have equivalent credit hour expenses.

The University for Peace, situated in Cuidad Colon, and the INCAE Organization School, in Alajuela, are two well-respected universities that cater primarily to worldwide students and provide classes in English. The United Nations and previous Costa Rica President, Rodrigo Carazo, helped found The University for Peace. Its mission is to promote peace, understanding and tolerance and the school provides a number of related master’s degree programs– Gender and Peace Building, International Law and Human Being Rights, and Peace Education– and costs around $26,000 per year, not consisting of living expenditures. Financial aid is offered based on requirement and academics, from a 25% tuition waiver to complete costs paid.

INCAE, ranked by the Wall Street Journal in 2005 as the # 10 international business school, was established in 1964 by Harvard Organization School, USAID, and the private sector in Central America. Today, it uses four master’s programs– a Master’s in Service Administration (MBA, English and Spanish); a Master’s in Agribusiness Management (MIAM, English); a Global Real Estate Management degree (GREM, English and Spanish); and a Global Executive MBA (EMBA, Spanish). Tuition for the 21-month MBA program is under $57,000, including living costs– an excellent offer when compared to $84,000 annual tuition for Harvard Service School. INCAE is completely certified by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) and the European Quality Enhancement System (EQUIS).

Compared to college tuitions in the United States, universities here are a steal. For the 2010-2011 academic year, the University of California-Berkeley charges undergraduate tuition of $6,230 for in-state students and $17,670 for non-residents– plus space and board of over $12,000. Williams College, U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranked liberal arts university collects $41,190 in tuition for the 2010-2011 scholastic year, plus $11,000 for space and board.

According to recent studies by Kiplinger, even with the average financial aid package, trainee loans and possible scholarships, a lot of trainees will invest $11,000-$21,000 per year, and will finish $10,000-$22,000 in debt. In Costa Rica, your savings and financial aid will stretch further, and you are guaranteed a quality education and a college experience unlike any other.


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