I don't know how Americans do it. When I was attending University, tuition was approximately $7000 (Canadian) a year. So, for my 4 year program, it was approximately $28,000. That doesn't include other related expenses like books and so on, but still, it seems a lot of Americans pay more for a year of school than I did for my entire program.
I think we get good educations here and the debt is not as big, and that is the most important thing, but a lot of other aspects associated with going to school in the U.S. is missing, like the passion over sports, quality of sports, rivalries, togetherness, and pride in your school, at least IMO. It must be really fun to be a part of something like that.