Perspectives on higher education payments from students in Mexico

Mexico represents an important window into one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for higher education

Students in Mexico would like to pay for their tuition using different methods than they currently do – shifting from cash to digital wallets and credit cards. They’re looking to their institutions to recommend a payment process, and value convenience, security and speed.

That’s according to 200 students in Mexico surveyed as part of Flywire’s latest research on the attitudes and experience of global students in regard to pursuing and paying for their higher education. Flywire commissioned the survey of 1,800 students across nine countries.

When it comes to payment methods used for tuition, students in Mexico would like to make some changes.

  • Currently, they are more likely than students in most other countries to use cash (28%) and wire transfer (23%).
  • However, given the choice they would prefer to use PayPal (22%), credit card (19%), and then wire transfer (18%). Cash would only be the choice of 9% of students.
  • 86% said it would simplify the payment process if their institution recommended a payment provider option to use.

Like many of their peers in other countries, students in Mexico are struggling with the high cost of higher education.

  • 82% say they need help affording their education – similar to Canada (82%) and the U.S. (80%), and slightly higher than Peru (76%).
  • Almost 3 in 4 (73%) said that installment payment plans would help make it more affordable, but unfortunately, only one third say their educational institutions offer them.
  • Education loans are not as common among students in Mexico compared to students in other countries in our survey. Only 25% report having loans compared with 83% of students in the U.K., and 72% in Australia. Only one country, Peru (19%), was lower.
  • Many students in Mexico (65%) have thought about or taken some action regarding their education in response to recent global economic events. Those that acted on it have taken time off of school (16%) or changed to less expensive schools (13%).

A simplified payment processes will help ease stress of making payments

  • 80% of students in Mexico say that the process of making education-related payments has been a significant stressor for them and their families. Only India and Peru were higher.
  • While they attribute that stress primarily to financial difficulties (45%), they also cite unclear processes from their institutions (24%) and a lack of convenient payment options (19%).
  • 74% feel it can be confusing trying to pay their education expenses and 87% want someone who can guide them through the payment process.
  • 93% think simplified payments would improve their higher ed experience by making the payment process more convenient (53%), faster (50%) and more secure (43%).

Studying abroad is in the future plans for many students in Mexico seeking job, internship opportunities.

  • 57% plan to study abroad in the future.
  • Those with experience studying abroad cite the opportunity for internships and jobs (52%), and different cultural (38%) and on-campus experiences (38%) as their primary motivations.
  • 95% of students in Mexico believe countries should make it easier for international students to study abroad and 89% said that they would be more likely to do so if it were easier to obtain a visa.
Mexican College Students on campus

For more on the payment preferences and solutions for higher education institutions and students: