Tuition fees in Bulgaria are typically lower than in most European Union countries. For example, a year studying medicine, dentistry or pharmacy ranges from 12,000 to 16,000 lev. Technical degree programmes typically range from 4,400 to 7,000 lev annually. A degree in economics typically ranges from 4,400 to 8,000 lev per year.
Living expenses in Bulgaria also need to be taken into consideration by those pursuing a degree in Bulgaria. When compared to other cities throughout Europe, Bulgaria boasts some of the lowest living costs. However, it's important to keep in mind that the bigger cities in Bulgaria tend to be more expensive than the smaller cities. As far as the affordability of food is concerned, Bulgaria is known for its low prices regardless of eating in or eating out. Students living in a dormitory can expect to pay an approximated 520 lev per month and those who opt for private living quarters should expect to pay between 1,000 and 1,200 lev per month. These prices typically include utilities such as heating, electricity and water.
Public student financing in Bulgaria is very limited, especially in recent months due to fiscal considerations. One of the reasons for this is the rule that came into effect in November, 2013 where the Bulgarian government suspended all funding for overseas EU students at private colleges, and for Bulgarians and Romanians at public universities. The suspension, however, only applied to maintenance loans and not to tuition loans.
There are a large number of scholarships available to students studying in Bulgaria. However, in many cases, there is an age limit of 35 and many scholarships have a minimum GPA requirement. Amongst these scholarships is the America for Bulgaria Foundation Distinguished Scholarship. Through this programme, 25 full scholarships as well as 65 partial scholarships are available to Bulgarian students. The Bulgaria Foundation Distinguished Scholarship accounts for 30% of tuition fees and are given to students who show high academic potential.
Many student loans are offered directly through Bulgarian Universities. However, there are a number of banks that have been given permission by the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria to provide student loans. It is important to note that only students who are EU residents or members of the EEA are eligible for student loans in Bulgaria.
Many students in Bulgaria finance their studies through part time jobs. However, for non-EU students a type D visa from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment needs to be obtained in order to be eligible to work.