$20,000 tuition -
By Anton Vidgen
What do five-year-olds who take naps in class
have in common with 21-year-old business students who cram for
48 hours? Their tuition is about the same.
For the first time in its 174-year history,
Upper Canada College - one of Canada's most prestigious all-boy
independent schools - has begun offering full-time senior kindergarten
classes to children with parents willing to pay $19,000 in
per year, said Julia Drake, communications manager for UCC.
Though the sum may seem high, the program
is designed to appeal to parents who want to give their
children a leg up in the competitive education world, Drake
said. "It is partly appealling to families that are fairly
mobile," she said, adding the curriculum is based on the
renowned International Baccalaureate program used around the
world. "[It] gives students a global perspective."
Demand for the program was high with three
applications for every one of the 18 available spaces, Drake
noted. With two full-time teachers, the student-to-teacher ratio
is maintained at a comfortable level allowing instructors to
provide greater attention to the boys.
In addition to regular academics, students
are exposed to art, French, physical fitness and community service.
A comparable program offered at Matthews
Hall, an independent school in London, offers an early years
program for four and five-year-olds for about $9,200 per year,
said the school's associate head Janet Frame. "We are interested
in what is developmentally right for students," she stated.
Students at the Richard Ivey School of Business,
who pay $14,800 for the second-year honours business administration
program, had mixed reactions.
"I'm mad they get more peanut butter
and jelly sandwiches than us," said second-year HBA student
Sean Kelly. "[And] they get nap time."