CBO - Fall 2018

Dollars and Sense: Show Me the Money!

Recognized for the excellent education that is available to Canadian students, US post-secondary institutions have always been an appealing option to those considering international studies. Geographically, they are our neighbours; the border crossing requirements are minimal and easy to attain, as are the necessary study documents.

Canadian students are an attractive demographic for institutions across the US that are looking to increase their international student population for many of the same reasons. As a result, many of those schools will offer financial incentives, in-state tuition or scholarships to those pursuing acceptance.

Cross Border Tuition Agreements

There are several colleges and universities in various states that offer Canadians in-state or discounted tuition rates through Cross Border Tuition Agreements. Florida for example, has it’s own program known as the Florida-Canada Linkage Institute. This program was created in the late 80’s as a way of developing stronger economic, cultural and educational and social ties between Florida and Canada. It is important to note, however, that as is the situation with many programs, these awards are limited and the selection process is highly competitive. Students must meet specific eligibility requirements and, if granted, the student is exempt from paying the out-of-state tuition, however, is still responsible for the in-state tuition costs.

Do the Homework Before School

The cost of studying in the United States will vary depending on where you live and where students study. If the money is a concern, students need to evaluate their finances as a part of their decision-making process prior to applying. In many instances, students rely on receiving a large part of the funding from the schools they’re attending. If this the case, they should be reminded to apply to schools that offer generous incentives, and to apply early. Quite often the awards are provided based on financial need or merit. Many of these are renewable on an annual basis, however, students are typically required to maintain an academic standard and generally must reapply each year. Each institution will offer different grants or scholarships and generally will share the specifics of the ones available on their website or through their admissions office.

Important to note is that many of these incentives awarded will help to cover costs such as education tuition, books and basic living expenses, they do not allow for added expenses such as travel or medical insurance.

When reviewing applications, colleges and universities will take into consideration the student’s ability to self-support, and whether or not personal savings or family’s ability to contribute are likely. This information should be included thoroughly, and as accurately as possible.  In most instances, the primary source of funding for students is through their parents, or student or in some cases, personal loans. While both of these are available sources of funding for students, it’s important to note that student loan payments can be deferred until studies have been completed; this allows for the student to gain employment first, rather than worrying about the repayment of debt while focusing on an education. Personal loans, however, require that the repayment of the debt begin immediately and this quite often, may lead to added stress that will distract from studies. Students should be aware of the differences when determining which options they’re best suited for.

Online Resources

There are many other funding resources available to Canadian students that are seeking scholarships and grants when considering post-secondary studies in the United States – several of which can be accessed by a simple online search.  Both the federal and provincial levels of government may offer funding to students who wish to study in the United States. Scholarships will be available for different areas of study and only those enrolled in the specific program may qualify so be sure students select the appropriate one to apply for.

By Lindsay Taylor

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Contact Donna Billey for more information at
1-888-634-5556 x103 or donna@mzpinc.ca.