Perspectives on higher education payments from students in Spain

Students in Spain are less stressed about education affordability and global economic conditions than students in other countries.

While they’re not immune to higher education affordability issues, global economic events have had less of an impact on their higher education decisions than they have for students in other countries recently surveyed by Flywire.

While half of the 200 students Flywire surveyed in Spain have thought about taking some action around their education in response to global economic events, only 19% have actually taken actions like taking time off of school or switching to a less expensive school. That’s lower than students in any other country in our survey.

Flywire commissioned research to explore the attitudes and experiences of 1800+ global students from nine countries around the world, including 200 students in Spain. Here is what they said.

Compared to their peers in other countries, students in Spain are less stressed about education payments, but affordability is still an issue.

  • 70% say that the process of making education-related payments is a significant source of stress. On its own that number is high, but only one country out of nine, China (68%) was lower.
  • Students in Spain attribute that stress primarily to financial difficulties (35%), but they also cite unclear payment processes from their institutions (26%).

Payment plans are meeting student financial needs.

  • 75% say they need help affording their education expenses and over three quarters think installment payment plans would help them in that regard.
  • Fortunately, an equally high percentage (78%) say that their educational institution offers them that option—higher than any other country in our survey.
  • Students in Spain are also among the least likely (36%) to take out loans to pay for their higher education. Only Mexico (25%) is lower.

Too many options causes confusion when paying for higher education, wire transfers are extremely common.

  • Many students in Spain (63%) say that too many options causes confusion when they are paying for their education-much like their peers in other countries-but this is lower than all except two countries, China (54%) and Peru (55%).
  • 92% of students in Spain say that having too many payment options leaves them feeling like they don’t know where to start, or what to do next.
  • 40% used wire transfers to pay their tuition, much higher than any other country.
  • Most students in Spain paid their tuition in the way they did because of parental preference (37%) or convenience (34%), and apparent ease of the option (31%).
  • Given the choice, students in Spain would still use the same methods-wire transfer, credit card, debit card and bank transfer/eCheck from the bank-but they also want to pay using PayPal.

Simplified processes and guidance from universities would help with the payment process.

  • 88% of students in Spain say that having a simplified payment process would improve their higher education experience either.
  • They say a simplified process would make payments convenient (53%) or faster (45%), rather than less stressful (32%), unlike most students from all the other countries except China.
  • 81% say they wish that they had information about how and when to pay as soon as they received their offer letters from schools.

More students in Spain are planning to study abroad than are currently or have in the past.

  • Only 16% of students in Spain are currently studying abroad or have done so in the past. However, 46% are planning to in the future.
  • 92% believe studying abroad is a great way to round out their education experience
  • Their decision to study abroad is driven primarily by the opportunity to learn a new language (48%) but gaining new cultural (45%) and on-campus experiences (39%) are also top reasons.
College Students in Spain

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