Confession: I have a guilty pleasure related to those ridiculous College Rating systems. Yes, I know deep down that they are not worth the measure of how you will enjoy university, whether you will get anything worthwhile out of your education, or whether your professors will be of a better quality. But I still get a distinct shiver of borderline-sinful snobbish pleasure when I see how much higher ranked UVic is compared to UM; UVic regularly ranks in the top 200-300 of universities around the world, and a few people who were familiar with Canada helped me convince my mother to give me her blessing to come here by calling it “the Harvard of Canada”*
Honestly though, it loves up to that ranking, in my opinion. The classes in my discipline cover a greater multitude of subjects at a more in-depth level** and with a greater attention to how this translates to our future career ambitions. There is a focus on the intersection of economics, literature, history, and culture which I find breathtakingly interesting.
With all this in mind, and looking over my tuition bill, I am now baffled at the question of why this quality education costs about 63% less than what I paid before at UM. The super-cheap tuition was the second reason I came here, and now that I realize the difference in quality, I have to wonder: Why was an education at UM so much more expensive? There’s really no difference in what UVic pays for in the grand scheme of academic/research/facility costs, and it’s more expensive to live in Victoria than in Missoula. So, is there some reason unenlightened me is unaware of for this financial disparity to actually make any sense? I am not asking why it happens, I’m asking what the logic is behind it.
* Though I think that title would more likely go to Queens, McGill, U of Toronto, or UBC rather than UVic, to be fair.
** In case any of you try to “gotcha” me, I’ll point out that the level of courses I was taking at UM is on par with what I take at UVic; so there’s no saying that it was only easier at UM because I took 100 level courses.