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Why students are choosing to go to college in Canada instead of the United States

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,257 Senior Member
"Students from all over the world apply to attend America's colleges and universities, but one country is now more popular than ever with international applicants — Canada.

The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers surveyed over 250 American colleges and universities and found that 39 percent of Americans schools witnessed a decline in international applications in the last year.

Canadian schools, on the other hand, have seen a dramatic increase in applications from abroad. For example, Wilfrid Laurier University reported 32 percent increase in applications from abroad, McMaster University reported a 33 percent increase and the University of Toronto (Canada's top-ranked and largest university) saw a 20 percent increase." ...

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/why-students-are-choosing-to-go-to-college-in-canada-instead-of-the-us.html

Replies to: Why students are choosing to go to college in Canada instead of the United States

  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 11,413 Senior Member
    No surprise at all.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 10,879 Senior Member
    "The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers surveyed over 250 American colleges and universities and found that 39 percent of Americans schools witnessed a decline in international applications in the last year."

    But that means that 61% of the US colleges surveyed had a level or increased number of international applicants.

    "The average cost for an international student to attend a public university in Canada is approximately $17,264."

    Maybe 10 years ago. Now the international tuition At UBC and UToronto and many programs at McGill are in the C$40,000 range for tuition alone. Canadian universities, along with American public universities see international students as a source of revenue.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,089 Senior Member
    "The average cost for an international student to attend a public university in Canada is approximately $17,264."

    This doesn't seem right to me either. Of course, the cited average number of $24,930 for international students in the US is probably even further off. Both numbers in this article look quite fishy to me. I am wondering whether these numbers either exclude room and board, or are reduced by international students who attend community college, or if something else explains these numbers.

    "international tuition At UBC and UToronto and many programs at McGill are in the C$40,000 range for tuition alone"

    True, but international tuition at other Canadian universities is a lot lower, and there are a LOT of other very good universities in Canada. I think that the big 3 charge more for international tuition largely because they can. Of course, most of those Canadian medical schools that accept international students charge a lot for them also.

    The admissions staff at two different small Canadian universities told us that international applications were way up for this year, compared to a year ago. However, they refused to speculate how much of this was the recent US presidential election and how much was the low Canadian dollar and how much was due to some other reason. Concern about whether visa's will be available for international students attending US schools could also be a factor.

    Given the relative size of the US and Canada, I would expect that a significant increase in applications to schools in Canada would not necessarily be noticeable at all to schools in the US.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    @TomSrOfBoston wrote:
    Now the international tuition At UBC and UToronto and many programs at McGill are in the C$40,000 range for tuition alone.

    Tuition at Canadian universities varies by program (with engineering generally being the most expensive). International tuition rates at the big three range from:

    UBC $27,700 - $33,060/yr
    U of T $29,500 - $68,900/yr
    McGill $18,300 - $41,800/yr

    That's Canadian dollars though so it would be cheaper in US funds. It would also be cheaper at lower tiered universities. At a school like Guelph, which while not in the same league as those three is still a respected science school, international rates are a bit lower $19,700 - $25,000. The other advantage to going to school in Canada for international students is that upon graduation they can apply for a 3 year work visa. They can also work on campus as students without a work visa.


  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito Registered User Posts: 849 Member
    @gwnorth I'm seeing UBC programs costing well into the 40s for international students.
    https://students.ubc.ca/enrolment/finances/tuition-fees/undergraduate-tuition-fees
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    @ShrimpBurrito, interesting, the source I referenced must not be up to date. I had a look at your link and to me those prices are just crazy. I can't imagine paying $49,000 to get a B.Ed or $40,000 for a degree in forestry. A B.Comm costs as much as an MBA!
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 10,879 Senior Member
    edited August 15
    The international fee increases are very recent. That's why it is always best to go to the university website instead of third party sites.

    When my son attended McGill 20 years ago international tuition was C$8000-C$9000/year and the exchange rate was about 0.65 all four years.

    Canada has caught up with the US in terms of considering international students as a source of revenue.
  • cttwinscttwins Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    My daughter is an international freshman at McGill (Bachelor of Commerce - Desautel School of Management) and the bill including tuition, room and board and various other charges for an international student is $59.000 Canadian. That's $47.239 US. If the international student is born in Canada but is a US resident it is $37.000 Canadian.
  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito Registered User Posts: 849 Member
    @cttwins $37,000 seems high for a Canadian citizen living in the US. Tuition and fees for a Bachelor of Commerce is $9377 CAD. https://www.mcgill.ca/student-accounts/tuition-charges/fallwinter-term-tuition-and-fees/undergraduate-fees

    Room and board, even at the posh hotel-style dorms, will not be anywhere close to $28,000. What other costs are you considering in your numbers?
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 10,879 Senior Member
    edited August 31
    Tuition, room and board, books and supplies would be C$26,000 max.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,089 Senior Member
    edited September 1
    "If the international student is born in Canada but is a US resident it is $37.000 Canadian."

    If the student was born in Canada, then they are a Canadian citizen. The total cost of attendance will be well below $30,000 in Canadian dollars. We have typically seen numbers around C$22,000, but quite a bit less than this for McGill. For a Canadian citizen who was born in the US but wants to go to McGill, you should check with them about the costs for a "Canadian born abroad". I have heard that this might also apply to a Canadian who has been living in the US for a sufficiently long period of time (it would be worth checking). When we looked (about 3 or 4 years ago) the cost for a Canadian born abroad at McGill was the same as a resident of Quebec, which was quite low (total cost of everything well below C$20,000 per year).

    My daughters are both dual citizens who were born in the US and lived their entire life in the US through high school, but applied to schools in Canada. Two of the schools in considering their applications missed the fact that they had Canadian citizenship and along with their acceptance also sent us information on how to apply for a student visa and on the cost for an international student studying in Canada. In both cases I contacted them and sent proof of Canadian citizenship, and they corrected the information to clarify that they would pay the same as a Canadian citizen (whether out of province or in-province depending upon the school, but there wasn't enough of a difference for us to be concerned).
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