American high school graduates searching for a bargain—and, of course, a top-rated school—are grabbing their passports and travelling north. According to the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C., an estimated 10,000 Americans are pursuing degrees in Canada; that number is up from 3,500 ten years ago.
Even coupled alongside extra fees for international students, colleges and universities in Canada cost less than the tuition at private colleges or the out-of-state charges at public universities in the United States.
Annual tuition costs for international students in Canada range from about $14,000 to $26,000 depending on the university. Stats on the College Board report that the average cost of tuition and fees in the United States for the 2012-2013 school year was $29,056 at private colleges and $21,706 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. That’s a pretty substantial difference!
Canadian officials see Americans pursuing degrees in Canada as a way to build a strong connection between the two countries and enhance the international profile of Canadian universities.
Queen’s University, a world class university, in Kingston, Ontario, attracts a community of outstanding student scholars from across the globe, with tuition, fees, room and board costing ~$40,000, which is $15,000 to $25,000 less than many equivalent U.S. private colleges.
An additional lure for American students who decide to attend Canadian universities is they can work in Canada for three years after graduation.
If you have a soon-to-be college student considering Canada as an option for higher education, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Find the Right Canadian University for You – While there are some differences between the United States and Canada, students and parents should consider schools based on the same criteria they’d use when searching for a school in the States. For example, does your student want to reside in a big city or small town? Also, parents and students should visit their Canadian University of choice and surrounding areas to make sure it’s the right fit for them.
- Research Application requirements – Canadian universities might also appeal to students who aren’t looking forward to submitting an essay with their college application. Many top Canadian universities don’t require documents like application essays and letters of recommendations. Instead they weigh class grades and test scores to decide who gets accepted. Sounds like a great deal for students with college essay woes.
- Apply for Financial Aid – Some financial aid from the United States government can go towards the costs of Canadian universities. United States government grants are not awarded towards the cost of a Canadian University, but others are, such as Direct Student Loans and Parent PLUS loans. Like most schools, Canadian institutions offer merit scholarships and aid packages, as well.
Although attending college in Canada may seem foreign to you, rest assured that bachelor degrees from Canadian universities meets the same global standard as U.S. colleges. Undergraduate students that complete in Canada have the same access to graduate programs and jobs around the world.
Students: Remember to weigh all your options and research as much as possible before you decide to go up north or stay in the States for college.
Westface College Planning helps navigate the financial aid process from start to finish. To learn how we can minimize college cost, call us at 650-587-1559 or sign up for one of our Tackling the Runaway Costs of College Workshops or Webinars.
Photo Credit: beaumontpete