September 10, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 7  

Front Page >> News > $20,000 tuition - for kindergarten


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$20,000 tuition - for kindergarten

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff

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 tuition 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."



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