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"My son is deciding between Middlebury, Grinnell, and Oberlin. My son really likes Middlebury, but it would cost $25,000 per year more than the other two schools."
There have been a number of threads like this on CC. Some parents choose to spend the extra $100,000. Some parents do not. Something has been bugging me about this for a while, and I think that I might have just stumbled upon one of the issues that have been bothering me. Please note that this concern spans multiple such threads, and applies to this one only the same amount that it applies to several others.
This is a case where all of the schools are excellent, and they are quite close in terms of the quality of education that a student can get at any of them. There really is no way to know which one would be "more perfect", other than we expect them all to be excellent. You son would be more comfortable at one of them, which costs $100,000 more. This is of course a very common theme.
What message are we sending our children if we tell them "it is fine to spend an extra $100,000, even when there is no rational reason to do so, because it is what you want to do"?
I have to wonder if there is some connection between this (not for this one student, but for the totality of all students across all parents), and the fact that our country is $19,000,000,000,000 in debt.
"our contribution is up to $X total over four (or whatever) years to your bachelor's degree; if you spend less than $X by the time you finish your bachelor's degree, the rest is available for post-graduate professional school if you do that"
We did this early in the process. One daughter picked her dream university that fit the budget perfectly (nothing will be left at the end). The other picked several more affordable options to apply to, and then picked from between the affordable options. She will have some $$ left at the end of four years. Academically their choices are pretty much at the same very good level, and I think a good fit in both cases.
I think that you are in good shape for Ottawa and Concordia. You would need to pull your SAT up a little bit for McGill, and probably for Queens or Toronto or UBC. SAT preparation can be very useful.
My daughter had an average grade of about 94% and 1410 (superscored) on the two-part SAT and was accepted to McGill a few years back. The way that her high school computes weighted GPA and for the courses that she took this translated to just barely better than 4.0 weighted GPA. I am pretty sure that she would have been accepted to any university in Canada. Of course this can vary from year to year, and I am not sure to what extent things like references and numbers of APs taken would matter.
Are you a Canadian citizen or permanent resident? If so they cost won't vary much between universities. If not, then definitely look at the cost for international students. There are a lot of very good universities in Canada and the price varies considerably for international students (probably by about a factor of two, currently from about $30,000 to just over $60,000 in Canadian dollars). If you want ideas for other universities in Canada let us know what you are looking for on CC and we can point you to some options.