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The University of Guadalajara charges a very low inscription fee each semester of about 800 to 1000 pesos, and that covers tuition for the whole semester.  As a public university his education there is considered to be free from the government. There are 2 semesters each school year.   The biggest expense for students from lakeside is that they either must rent a room in the city, or else ride the bus back and forth every day which costs at least as much.  Renting a room varies depending on location and is usually about 1500 to 2500p a month.   Books are quite minimal and some teachers let the students use downloaded ones.  In general about 15000 pesos covers all expenses for the whole semester of 5 months.  If the student goes to a University of Guadalajara campus in a smaller location instead of Guadalajara, such as Ocotlan or Ciudad Guzman, the rents are often cheaper than what they are in Guadalajara.  He will need very high marks to be accepted there. 

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And preferably attended a U de G prepa.  Even the very best private prepas don´t carry as much weight as the U prepas if all other factors are equal, or even a little bit less than the private schools.

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Some of the schools have very hard tests to pass before you get in.  This gives a huge advantage to the folks with money and private schools.  Not sure the local public schools are up to snuff.  We support our maids grand daughter and she could not pass the second test.  Our solution is to get her a tutor and she will try again next year.  Each school is different.  She has the grades but her high school was not up to snuff to get in the better schools because of the tests.  We will keep working with her as she has the drive to make it.  Just stuff in the way for locals.

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True, entrance exams for free government state "autonomia" universities funded by the enormus federal government "beca" system is only available to the top ?% scorers of the test and each different degree has different tests and different amounts of open seats per year. A student may write 2 entrance exams only -  if the first year they didn't get in the second year if they didn't get in they are not allowed a third chance. The $5,000 pesos I guesstimated per month is a middle of the road private university tution and they are everywhere in large cities and the most common option amongst the vast majority of parents I know. The Tec de Monterray monthly tution I guess might be several times that and may require an entrance exam if seats are limited in the classes for some studies. In Mexico there are no general arts or science classes for a couple of years like NOB. That is taken care of in Prepa or "high school" but not classic high school like NOB. Prepa for medicine is different than Prepa for economics or engineering etc. Alan

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If a student doesn't get into the University of Guadalajara on the first try, they can try again every 6 months. I have sponsored students who got in on their third try to medical school, which is the hardest faculty to get into, with a huge number of applicants each semester. The entrance is decided by taking the student's average in Prepa, which is what we think of as high school, and adding it to a number they achieve on an entrance exam they write.  The students I speak of had an average of 99% in the public Prepa, but didn't get a high enough number on the entrance exam to be accepted to the Guadalajara campus which they had to choose ahead of time.  In one case a girl missed the number by less than half a percent, so next time she applied to Tonala campus instead of Guadalajara and she made it. You need a little bit lower of a score to get into the other campuses like Tonala, Ocotlan, Cd. Guzman, etc.   I had another student with 99% in Prepa who didn't get into medical school after 2 attempts so he decided to go to a private university in Guadalajara, named Lamar, where he pays 3000p a month for tuition.  I know MANY students who were accepted to UdeG, who attended the public Prepas in Jocotepec and Chapala, which is where all the kids from Lakeside who can't afford private schools attend Prepa.  For a determined student who is willing to put in the work, the education is indeed available there and private school is not required. Some of the public Prepa educated students went through medical school and graduated with averages there in the 90's as well, which is not easy.  A truly good student will do very well without attending private schools or universities here.  There are also courses available privately for a couple of thousand pesos, which a number of the students took, to teach them tips and tricks for how to do best on the university entrance exam.

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Very good summary and advice gimpychimp-

I had one daughter that attended the Chapala Prepa and went on to achieve the highest grade average at ITESO for her carrera at graduation.  Another grand daughter, attneded Cervantes, a top private prepa in GDL with top grades but couldn´t make it into U de G Medical school. 

Go figure!!!............Just goes to show you....nothing is certain.

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The Chapala prepa is fine, a boy we helped came out of the CHapala prepa with high grades and went on to ITESO and graduated with top grades, another boy we know wnt to a private school and cjose to go to the Chapala Prepa to get into the University of Guadaljara.. both did very well..

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