Shivers, headache, babbling, continuous silence. That is how the future freshman acted on June 27th waiting for their entry exam in front of the College of Political Science. Mostly children from the country – scared, and even more scared parents.
“I don’t know what will happen. I’ll take the test here, and another one on the College of Philology tomorrow. Then I’ll go to Kragujevac to try the English department there. I hope I’ll get in somewhere”, answers briefly Milica R. form Ivanjica, while clutching a bag with heaps of paper sticking out form it. Neither her nor her mother do not care that the tuitions at both of the schools are around 1000 Euros a year. “We do not know how but we will somehow pay it. We were counting on the raspberries, but that fell through. But we’ll manage. What is important now is for her to get in”, says Stanica R., Milica’s mother.
We wished Milica good luck and left, not telling her mother that her child’s education will cost some 27.500 Euros in the next five or six years.
The math is easy, but it is very interesting that everybody, the students and the professors, were surprised when we told them “the cost of education” for those that are not from Belgrade.
For an apartment in the capital alone, where most of the students go to school, you need to set aside some 150 Euros a month with utilities, and that adds up to 1800 Euros a year. If you suppose that you need that much (150 Euros a month) also for food, clothes and shoes, the Internet, cell phone and fun (we are talking about a humble student), that adds up to another 1800 Euros a year.
For the transportation in Belgrade students need to pay around 100 Euros a year, and for the trip home once a month some 150 Euros a year. For books, scripts, different paperwork for the college you need a minimum of 100 Euros a year.
Taking into account that the average college period in Serbia is six years, that means that during that period our average student will pay at least two tuitions costing on average 1000 Euros a piece.
The total amount adds up to 27.5000 Euros, which is some 79 average paychecks. In six years the parent of the hero of our story makes 72 paychecks.