Education is far cheaper in South Korea than it is in most developed countries. Tuition, dormitory fees, the cost of books, all of those things are far cheaper in Korea than they are in other parts of the developed world. But the problem is that education is very, very competitive in Korea. Students are pushed from an early age to study well, and those that do are rewarded with a place in one of the better universities and receive economic assistance in the form of scholarships, so it's hammered into everyone in this country to study, study, study - and study hard, practically from their first day of school, and in many cases, before they even formally begin to attend school. Poverty is not as much of an issue in South Korea as it is in some other places, but there's a wide gap between the rich and the poor, pretty much like what you'd find in most other places. This actually has a very notable effect on education because people who have money can put their kids in the best schools and shell out money so that they can attend extracurricular academies where they receive tutorship in specific subjects whereas people who don't have money can't afford to put their kids in the best schools or shell out money for extra tutoring. Still you'd never hear of a child being too poor to attend school here in Korea. Practically everyone graduates from high school and goes on to university where most obtain a degree. Those who can't afford to go to college have options at their disposal to be able to attend, and they don't find themselves crippled with debt for years afterwards either.