Flocking North for an Affordable Education

study-in-canadaOne of the biggest challenges and concerns surrounding students in the United States today is cost. Millions of students force themselves to go into debt in order to achieve a worthwhile education. However, as tuition increases prove to be nearly ubiquitous throughout the nation, many people find themselves asking if their degree is truly worth it.

Whenever this question used to arise, it was a simple matter of mathematics. People would point out that, yes, students would incur roughly this much amount of debt and be excluded from the workforce for this many years. However, the jobs they would ultimately be offered were often significantly higher paying. Over the course of a lifetime, college graduates would end up roughly a million dollars in the black. Now the prospect is much bleaker but the necessity remains.

Colleges are becoming more and more expensive. Simultaneously, more and more jobs are requiring college degrees for entry level positions that previously didn’t require them. This is placing students in an extremely difficult situation. They are forced to take out more and more in student loans which ultimately decreases the benefits of education in the workforce. But there are more immediate worries too. Those who have increased amounts of debt compounded onto them are more likely to default on their obligations. In fact, one in six Americans with student loans are in a state of default. They need to get an education for the highest paying jobs, but the education is becoming prohibitively expensive in both the long run and short term analyses.

Have Passport, Will Study

Interestingly enough, this hyper-inflated cost for college isn’t an international phenomenon. In fact, the United States seems to be fairly isolated in its excessive costs. Just across the northern border, in Canada, the average university is significantly less expensive. This isn’t only just a curious factoid; it’s something that’s providing a tangible difference in the lives of thousands of Americans.  A recent NBC news article described how there are roughly ten thousand Americans attending Canadian universities to pursue their bachelor’s degree. This figure is up significantly from a decade ago. There are a number of benefits that Canadian colleges are offering these students. Among these is a huge discrepancy in cost without suffering any loss of quality.

Canada’s bachelor’s degrees are set to an international standard, meaning that receiving a bachelor’s degree at a Canadian university will set students up to attend American graduate schools nicely. On top of that, it even provides them with a number of unique job opportunities that they wouldn’t have received if they had merely stayed in the country. Entrance to these universities is often portrayed to be much simpler and easier, especially since the emphasis on essays and recommendations is practically absent.

But the big motivator is price. Universities up north can cost roughly a fourth of what they do here in the United States, and often even less than that. For thousands, achieving the American dream seems to be happening with the first few steps occurring extra-nationally.