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June 03, 2013 1:44 PM Canadian Universities Seek to Enroll More Americans

By Daniel Luzer

Canadian universities, hoping to take advantage of growing concern over high tuition in the United States, are looking to recruit south of the border.

According to an article in the Globe and Mail:

Betting that cost is the main barrier, the University of Windsor is creating a “U.S. neighbour fee” that will charge undergraduates from the United States $10,000 per year - up to $10,000 less than what international students currently pay. The hope is that the university will nab some of the students planning to attend nearby schools such as Michigan University or Detroit’s Wayne State University.
For Americans in Canada, the tuition equation is sometimes - though not always - a major attraction. Samuel Neuberg, who just finished his undergraduate degree at McGill with a double major in English and art history, felt he was getting a comparative bargain: McGill charges international undergraduate humanities students just under $17,000 per year, considerably less than the tab at other schools he got into like Tulane University in New Orleans, which would have cost more than $45,000 annually. The 22-year-old grew up in Connecticut and went to high school in Potomac, Md., and McGill was the lone Canadian university he applied to. Now he’s in “no rush to go back home.”

But some academic administrators are worried that, despite escalating American tuition, students still aren’t seeking a Canadian education in the way one might expect, given the proximity of the two countries. And so they’re working to make the tuition numbers even more attractive.

But for U.S. students looking at public univeristies in their home state, fees are often no more than $12,000 to $13,000, and less after factoring in grants and needs-based aid, which leaves Canadian international-tuition rates looking pricey - the very calculation University of Windsor is looking to adjust with its neighbour fee.

Since 2002 the number of foreign students studying in Canada has increased 76 percent. The number of American students at Canadian universities, however, has declined 5 percent.

Let’s see if the universities to the north can reverse that trend.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer