On the subject of attending college in the U.S.:
As my kids have U.S. citizenship, one factor for us might be going to school in a state where we have relatives or friends for support/holidays and vacations etc.
1.When considering state (public) schools often the out-of-state tution is the same as the international student tuition so U.S. citizen kids would pay the same fees, but be eligible for funding for U.S. citizens (scholarships, loans, grants etc.)which is not available to non-citizens.
I have heard some U.S.parents go to extreme measures to get in state tuition such as owning property and continuing to file/pay state taxes in the state they were resident in before or during living abroad, continuing to vote, have bank accounts, driving licenses etc., but I’m not savvy about that and whether it is (morally, legally) doable.
2. There are some public universities which either waive or do not charge out of state tuition.
One example:Eastern Oregon University
3. When considering private universities, again the scholarships, grants, loans, and other funding measures available to either citizens or non-citizens could make a huge difference in affordability of the education so adds complication to the issue.
4. Eiken is starting to be recognized internationally at some schools
See the website: http://stepeiken.org/map
“Internationally, a growing number of colleges, universities, and institutes in America, Australia, Canada, and the UK recognize EIKEN test results for international admissions.”
5. Minimum Toefl/Toeic scores can vary substantially from school to school and avoiding having to take a year or more of ESL classes before being able to take classes for credit towards a degree may be a deciding factor for some families.
— M. in Okinawa