U.S. Students Enrolling At Canadian Colleges

By CityTownInfo.com Staff
September 29, 2009

More American students, searching for a more affordable quality higher education, are enrolling in Canadian colleges and universities.

"The quality of education I'm getting is the same as a school where I would pay $50,000 a year," said Terese Schireson, who was interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer [from an article originally located at http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20090928_More_U_S__students_picking_Canadian_universities.html] and will graduate in the spring from Montreal's McGill University. Tuition, fees and room and board cost will cost her about $21,000--significantly less than at many American private institutions.

"I feel like people don't realize that this is just a few hundred miles north," she said.

According to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the number of American students at Canadian students more than doubled in the past decade to 8,200 in 2007-8, up from 3,312 ten years ago. And the Canadian Embassy in Washington expects roughly 10,000 American students this year.

Last week, 17 Canadian colleges began recruiting efforts in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis and Stamford, Connecticut.

"There is a recognition that this is an important market for our universities, given the proximity," said Pari Johnston, director of international relations at the Canadian college association's Ottawa office. "Our universities can offer a high quality, affordable education to American students."

That sentiment is echoed by Lynn O'Shaughnessy, who writes for CBS MoneyWatch.com. "At plenty of Canadian schools," she notes, "Americans will pay tuition of no more than $9,000. That's less than Penn State and some other selective publish universities here. When the exchange rate is favorable--as it is now--American parents can shrink the tab further. Americans, by the way, are eligible to compete for Canadian merit scholarships and students can work in the country."

The Inquirer also mentions an added benefit of Canadian higher education: The admission process is significantly simpler, with no essay or interview process. Most institutions base admission on high school grades.

"I know that's one of the things that attracts American students to McGill," said Leonard Moore, an American professor of American history at McGill. "You don't have to go through that hypercompetitive process."

O'Shaughnessy points out that higher education tuition bargains also can be found in Germany and Australia. She notes that tuition at German universities is typically free, and about one in four American students who apply for scholarships to cover their living expenses receive one. In Australia, students pay between $9,000 and $13,000 for university tuition, and degrees are completed in three years.

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