By Dave Carpenter, AP Personal Finance Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — "Why Canada?"
People keep posing that question to Nancy Berkowitz, and no doubt to most other parents who send their children north of the border to college.
The answer: Good schools, great tuition bargains and a nearby international experience.
"There is a lot of prejudice in the U.S. toward foreign schools," says Berkowitz, of Sylmar, Calif., whose daughter Jocelyn started as a freshman at the University of Alberta this fall. "I tell them, 'Why not Canada?'"
At a time when tuition is getting harder to afford, going to college in Canada is an appealing option for American students and their parents who pay the bills.
Nearly 10,000 undergraduates and graduate students currently attend Canada's 94 universities — up sharply from 6,000 five years ago and fewer than 3,000 barely a decade ago.
One reason is stepped-up recruiting by Canadian schools, including college fairs held in select U.S. cities. The recession, coupled with often-exorbitant tuition rates, has clearly warmed Americans to the pitch.
"It makes sense for parents and students to cast a wide net," says Lynn O'Shaughnessy, author of The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price. "And for some teenagers, Canada might offer a wonderful opportunity."
It has for Jocelyn Berkowitz. At a college fair last year, the 17-year-old was looking for an affordable school with a top-notch art history program — but she wanted to get out of California. Berkowitz walked up to a University of Alberta table and saw it seemed to have everything she wanted.