Stay in Canada or try for America?





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Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: Stay in Canada or try for America?
By Nbachris2788 (Nbachris2788) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 12:52 pm: Edit

I find the tuition fees of American universitites startling compared to Canadian universities. For example, a top American school like Harvard costs about 8 times as much as a top Canadian school like McGill. If it was up to me, I would stay in Canada as our schools are excellent and very well-run. I would then go to America for graduate school.

However, I have a wealthy grandfather who is urging my parents to send me to America. He especially favours me as I was the first grandson born to him. So with money problems out of the way, it's up to me to make the leap. However, with all the many applicants in America, what kind of chance does a Canadian have?

I still have two more years of high school left, and the Canadian school system doesn't exactly use the same GPA system as American ones. But I'll try to give the stats I have so far.

I took an SAT I practice test and scored a 1410 (690 Verbal, 720 Math). This was surprising as on my PSAT, I scored an 80 in Verbal and a 66 in Math. I guess it's by lucky chance that you encounter words that you are familiar with. There's definite room for improvement here, as time will definitely increase my word and math skills, and I took the test with no prep besides the PSAT.

My grade 9 average was 91.4%. Grade 10 was an even 90%. I do not know how that translates into GPA, but I think it's around a 3.8. I am in an Honours Society at school, which effectively puts me in at least in the top 10 percentile of my class.

At my school, which is a private Catholic school, one does not take APs until they finish the respective grade 12 course. I hear of American students my age taking multiple AP courses, which I hope does not put me in too great of a disadvantage. There are, however, Accelerated courses which I think are mirror images of Honours courses in America. There is no extra material, it's simply done faster. In grade 11, I'd be taking 3 Accelerated course: Math, English, and Social Studies.

The AP courses I plan to take are AP History, AP English Literature, and maybe AP Calculus, depending on how well I do in math. These are the courses directly offered by teachers in my school. I do not know if you can hire a tutor or something in order to take AP exams outside of your school's range.

As for extracurricular activites, I am on the school football team (as a WR), play in the school concert (hornist) and jazz bands (pianist), and I plan to join the newspaper. Although I did not run for student council, I plan to create some school-wide activities. One idea I have is to create a school film festival, shot with digital cameras. My volunteerism record is non-existent and I should get a move on that. I have no job experience either.

My parents desire me to go to a small liberal arts school, and I wholeheartedly welcome that. My ultimate plan is to go to graduate school (in law) in the States. In Canada, the schools I am looking at include St. Francis Xavier, Mount Allison, and Queens University (different from Queens College in NY).

In America, I looked at the small New England schools like Amherst as I have no desire to enroll in a big Ivy League school as an undergrad. Other than Amherst, I have no seriously considered other quality liberal arts schools. Even with Amherst, I have not taken a close look at.

It's obviously harder for a Canadian to go to America than to go to Canada. So taking a look at my record and assuming it stays about the same (with the volunteer and work experience filled out), what are the good American schools that I have a chance at getting into? And by having a chance, I mean worth looking up and considering applying to. I'm looking for a LAC first and foremost, although talking about my chances at bigger schools like those California schools would also help a lot.

PS It's narcissistic to post a long post, expect others to read it, and come to a thoughtful conclusion all for the benefit of me. So if you respond, thanks a great heap.

By Duke3d4 (Duke3d4) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

all depends on financial aid.

If you want financial aid, you probably be better off in Canada instead of going to a worse US college.

If you don't want financial aid, just try for US>

By Chicken123 (Chicken123) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:31 pm: Edit

Canadians rock!

By Vancat (Vancat) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit

No. Go to the US simply because the US rules.

By Manofdayear2013 (Manofdayear2013) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

you should apply to Bowdoin, Middlebury, Williams and Amherst.For undergrad education, they're just as good and often better than Ivy Leagues, primarly cuz of class size and school spirit. They're all top LACs with D3 football. Remember that a liberal arts education is prolly the best prep for Law School...so yeah...you should have a look at them.

By Vsage3 (Vsage3) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:12 pm: Edit

What's wrong with McGill..? It's exceedingly difficult to get into top schools when you're an international because well U.S. schools prefer U.S. citizens. Stay in Canada and go to a U.S. school for graduate studies.

By Chicken123 (Chicken123) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:18 pm: Edit

Canadians rock. Stay in Canada b/c it's mad cheap there to go to school. Then if you must come to US for grad school.

By Harpgirl27 (Harpgirl27) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 12:08 am: Edit

I think she didn't want McGill because she's looking at smaller schools?

By Hawaii2233 (Hawaii2233) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 12:48 am: Edit

What's the point of going to an American school? You probably couldn't get accepted at a top league school in the States - you would be accepted at some good schools here, of course, but they would only be of lesser or equal quality of McGill or Toronto, and of course at a multiplied cost...

Why would you want to go to America anyway? This whole prestige thing with American schools is ridiculous.

By Nbachris2788 (Nbachris2788) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:29 am: Edit

Uh, I'm a guy, BTW. Hehe.

Yeah, I'm looking at all these American students and they are loaded with APs and internships. In Canada, I guess we're more laid back. Unfortunately, our resumés tend to look malnourished compared to American students'.

For Canadian schools, my top choices are Queens University and Mt. Allison. I like St. Francis Xavier, but it's sort of in the middle of nowhere in Nova Scotia. At least Mt. Allison neighbours Quebec. Queens is a bigger school but has a strong arts program. My English teacher went there (then went onto Notre Dame) and he really recommended it. I wouldn't really want to go to places like University of Toronto because they're huge (55 000 total students) and they're more of a graduate school.


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