While Canadian colleges and universities have been increasing in popularity among American students over the past few years, the state of the economy has contributed to a recent surge in interest. Primary reason: Value! The cost of attending many private colleges in the U.S. has topped $50,000 a year. By contrast, the total annual bill for foreign students at a Canadian university is in the $30,000 range, a 40% savings!
But cost is not the only reason that Canadian schools have experienced an increase in applications and matriculation by American students. Canadian universities had been attracting more and more U.S. citizens well before the current economic crisis. Over the past 12 years the number of U.S. students studying in Canada has more than tripled to top 9,000. And as more American students head north, the benefits of attending a Canadian university are no longer such a well-kept secret. Those benefits include globally recognized academic programs, the opportunity to enjoy an international college experience without venturing far from home, state-of-the-art campus facilities in cities such as Montreal or Toronto, and a far less cumbersome and more straight-forward application process (no essay or letter of recommendation requirements).
American students attending schools in Canada can take their Stafford or PLUS loans with them across the border, though Pell Grants are not transportable. So if you are sensitive to cost (and who isn’t), want a top quality education with a vibrant student life experience, and are willing to explore beyond the U.S. border, then you might consider the Canadian university option. Check out the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s website at http://www.aucc.ca/ to learn more.