UB Aims to Increase Enrollment of Canadian Students by Offering Scholarships for Incoming International Freshmen

Release Date: May 15, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Beginning in the Fall 2003 semester, the University at Buffalo will offer renewable $2,500 scholarships to qualified international students who are incoming freshmen.

Students will be able to receive the scholarships, administered through UB's Office of International Enrollment Management (IEM), annually for up to four years as long as they continue to meet high academic standards while enrolled at UB.

Joseph J. Hindrawan, assistant vice provost for international education and director of IEM, said the program was initiated to increase UB's pool of highly qualified freshmen applicants from overseas and create a more diversified international enrollment.

"In particular," he says, "we hope the scholarships will increase the number of incoming freshmen from Canada, a number that historically has been small.

"Canadians haven't applied in the past for a number of reasons, including tuition cost and an unfavorable currency exchange rate," he says. "It also is the case that Canada offers higher education at a very low cost to its students and Canadian parents express concern that children attending U.S. colleges and universities for their undergraduate work are unlikely to return to Canada."

Hindrawan says that UB greatly increased its recruitment efforts in Canada last year and it has paid off.

"We have seen a significant increase in applications from Canadian students, and our Canadian freshman enrollment for the fall already is 45, a nearly 300 percent increase over last year. There are several reasons for this," Hindrawan notes.

"One is a major change in the Canadian educational system this year. Whereas Canadian students had been required to complete 13 years of education before college, they now are required to complete only 12 years. This has resulted in a double cohort of graduates from Canadian high school in 2003."

He says that it is unlikely that Canadian colleges and universities will be able to accommodate all of them, so there are more Canadian students than usual seeking admission to U.S. schools American universities appeal to Canadian students for another reason as well, he says. It is much easier for them to change their academic majors in American schools than in Canadian institutions.

"The number of seats available in many upper-level Canadian undergraduate programs is not nearly as large as in the U.S.," Hindrawan says.

"For instance, limited space allows only about 5 percent of undergraduates in Canadian colleges to transfer into programs in the health-care professions," he says, "and because of the double cohort of graduates in 2003, there will be even greater competition for those seats over the next few years.

"Even highly qualified students will be seeking programs elsewhere."

The new scholarship program is just one more attraction for Canadians, according to Hindrawan.

He expects the program will appeal to Asian parents as well, many of whom save money on their children's college education by having them spend their first year or two of undergraduate study at home before transferring to a U.S. school.

"This isn't a great deal of scholarship money per year," he acknowledges, "but it will make a difference to some families, permitting them to send their children here in their freshman, rather than junior, year. Money aside, the receipt of such a scholarship will be very prestigious for an Asian student, a fact that also may encourage parents to send their children to the U.S. a little earlier."

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