Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Recession Makes the Frozen North More Appealing By Tamar Lewin


With American college costs rising, and the American dollar strong against the Canadian currency, more and more high school students are looking to Canadian universities for their college education.
Canadian and U.S. dollarsAP Photo/Ryan Remiorz, The Canadian Press

According to the Canadian embassy, more than 9,000 U.S. students are studying at Canadian universities and colleges, up from 2,500 12 years ago.

The cost advantage is enormous. Because Canadian universities are publicly financed and heavily subsidized by the government, even the higher tuition for foreign students is only about $15,000 — about half as much as at a selective American liberal-arts college.

Not surprisingly, given the recession, American interest in top Canadian universities has been particularly strong this year. A Boston Globe article in December found that in many Massachusetts high schools, universities like McGill, in Montreal, Dalhousie, in Halifax, and the University of Toronto, were very much on students’ radar.

The Canadian press, too, has carried recent stories about the trend, like this one from The Globe and Mail, in which a recruiting official at the University of Toronto, where applications from American students have tripled in seven years, said that when she tells American parents to expect to pay about $30,000 for tuition, books and housing, they often ask if that is for a term or for the whole year.

A Canadian government Web site, helps guide prospective students through the simpler-than-in-the-United-States admissions process.