Fees, Cost and Scholarships for Boarding Students

Three graduates from SMUS

Boarding graduates are significantly better prepared for university

The Value of Boarding School

We believe that boarding school is an investment – shaping character and teaching work habits, lessons and practices that are invaluable in later life. It’s no exaggeration to say that kids that go to boarding school are much better prepared for the rigours of university education and independent living – a fact to which many of our graduates attest.

I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today if it was not for my journey at St. Michaels University School. This school, and its boarding system, shaped me into the mature, organized, well-rounded individual I am today. I started boarding in Grade 8 and it was an amazing experience. During my time as a boarder I made friendships that will last a lifetime and the experience as a whole brought me a level of maturity that allowed me to thrive in university.
Shade (studying BCom at McGill University)

This was backed up by a wide ranging survey by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), which found (among other things - see the full TABS report) that:

  • 87% of boarding graduates said they felt prepared academically for higher education compared to 71% at day private schools and 39% of public school students.
  • And on the non-academic side, 78% of boarding graduates said they felt better prepared for the social aspects of university compared to 36% of day private students and just 23% of public school students.

Many of our families recognize that a boarding education is so valuable to academic success, higher learning and life that they will make financial adjustments. This is especially true when strong students find high-quality education lacking in their hometowns.

Michael describes why he chose boarding at SMUSI chose boarding school for the experience. I come from a really small town and the school there is really small, and SMUS has given me the experience of university – coming to a big school, and living here, away from home.

Who goes to Boarding School?

Boarding schools are not exclusive to the super-rich; many students at SMUS are on financial assistance or have been awarded one of our boarding scholarships. Last year, more than 20% of the student body received financial assistance.

In fact many of our families have an annual household income of less than $100,000.

Not Sure? Let’s Talk...

If you are interested in boarding school, we encourage you to contact us to talk about the financial assistance and scholarship opportunities available.

More information about fees, scholarships and financial assistance:

Scholarship girl celebrates graduation at SMUS

Each year, SMUS offers more than $400,000 in merit-based boarding scholarships

Boarding Scholarships

Western Canada and USA Merit Scholarships

Our merit scholarship program is designed to encourage boarding students from certain regions to explore the opportunities of a SMUS education. The school currently offers renewable entrance scholarships for boarding students enrolling in Grade 8, 9 or 10 and commencing in September.

Scholarships range from $5,000 to $10,000 per year and are open to Canadian students from Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, as well as American students from Washington, Oregon, Alaska and California.

We are looking for scholarship candidates who are passionate about their education and future; who have shown the following characteristics:

  • demonstrated commitment to academic success;
  • dedication to a variety of extracurricular activities (music, drama, athletics);
  • commitment to pursue post-secondary education or similar educational opportunities;
  • contribution to school and or community in a leadership or humanitarian role;
  • willingness to contribute to the boarding community; and
  • a desire for excellence, compassion, passion for learning and for life.

Scholarship Application Procedure

Part One: Application

Complete and submit your application for admission online. There is a section of the online application called Entrance Scholarships that needs to be completed.

Part Two: Letter from the Applicant

Write and submit a letter introducing yourself. In your letter, please comment on the following statement as it relates to you: “Students at St. Michaels University School pursue academic excellence in an environment where the character and the self also grow.”

Part Three: Letters of Reference

Submit two letters of reference from professionals in your community. Select professionals who have known you for a minimum of two years and can comment on your academic, athletic, leadership and community service merits and accomplishments. Examples of professionals to contact include your principal, teacher, a senior company executive, lawyer, professor, or medical doctor. We suggest that one of your letters is written by your principal or teacher, and that both letters refer to your academic strengths, personal characteristics, intellectual promise and motivation.

Please submit your letters in a sealed envelope to:

St. Michaels University School
Attention: Mr. Paul Leslie
Director of Admissions and Engagement
3400 Richmond Road
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8P 4P5

Part Four: Interview and Entrance Testing

The Admissions Office will contact scholarship candidates who have submitted all required documents and invite them to visit the school. During their visit, candidates will write admissions tests and attend interviews.


All applicants will complete and submit the following to the committee on or before the deadline of March 15:

  1. Admission application (online)
  2. Scholarship application (online)
  3. Letter from Applicant
  4. Letter of reference from teacher or administrator of the applicant's current school, and a second letter of reference from another professional
  5. Copies of the most recent school reports if not already submitted with the application

The Best School Year Ever®

The Best School Year Ever contest is an opportunity for students from the US or Canada (excl. Quebec) to live and study at St. Michaels University School. With one student able to win SMUS boarding tuition free for a year – a scholarship worth $55,000.

The contest runs from October to early January each year. For more information, visit The Best School Year Ever website. 

The Best School Year Ever website.

The Best School Year Ever logo

Financial Assistance

Even if you're not eligible for a scholarship, you can still apply for Financial Assistance. This year, SMUS awarded $2.5 million in Financial Assistance. FA is needs-based and is available to all students.

Financial Assistance webpage