NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Lower Canadian Tuition Attracts Americans

October 8, 2002

Attracted by relatively low tuition costs, high academic standards and campuses set in urban centers and spectacular countryside, a small but fast-growing number of American students are choosing to spend their college days in a foreign country -- Canada. The Canadian Embassy in Washington estimates that enrollment at major Canadian schools by U.S. citizens has risen by at least 86 percent over the past three years, to about 5,000 students.

Students and parents alike are impressed by academic standards; for example, Acadia University in Nova Scotia requires a minimum combined math and verbal SAT score of 1,100 for American students seeking admission. American students need a 1,200 SAT score at University of Toronto and a 1,240 combined score on the SAT to meet McGill's admission standards.

In addition to academic standards, Canadian recruiters sell affordability as one of the many advantages to education in Canada.

  • U.S. Department of Education statistics show the average tuition, room and board paid in 2000-2001 by in-state undergraduates attending public schools in the United States was $8,655.
  • Tuition, room and board at private colleges and universities ran to $21,997.
  • Montreal's McGill University has lured nearly 1,600 Americans north of the border, where room and board might total of $12,000 annually.

Many students find McGill University to be a relative bargain for someone looking for a private education -- a point the school's international recruiters stress to high school seniors in the United States. Like McGill, other Canadian schools such as the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia also have expanded recruiting efforts in the United States which currently has 229 U.S. students enrolled, up from 141 last year.

Source: "College Costs Push Americans To Canada,", October 4, 2002.


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