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Jay Treaty and Cross Border Tuition Policies 

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The table below summarizes “cross-border” tuition policies identified to date at Canadian and U.S. universities related to Jay Treaty rights for students. To access to full table, click on the image below.


The table includes two types of policies.  The first type, identified so far at Canadian universities, charge domestic tuition rates to Indigenous students residing in the United States, rather than international fees, in the spirit of the Jay Treaty. These policies are publicly listed online (e.g., Vancouver Island University) while some are internal policies that are not public (e.g. Royal Roads University). In the last several years, perhaps following the example of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and Vancouver Island University (VIU), other Canadian institutions, such as Victoria University, have also adopted Jay Treaty policies and have publicly posted these on their websites. Other schools, such as Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, have internal policies that allow for a tuition adjustment based on the Jay Treaty for Indigenous students living in the United States.

In the second category of cross-border policies are those that offer tuition benefits to Indigenous students in Canada but do not directly mention the Jay Treaty. These include policies at the University of Maine-Orono and the University of Minnesota – Morris, which extend tuition waiver programs to Indigenous students living in Canada.


This ongoing research has been put together by Michael O'Shea. The table will be updated as more information becomes available.   

Cross Border Tuition Policies
Michael O'Shea

Michael O'Shea

PhD Candidate, Higher Education

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Cross-Border Fellow

Western Washington University


Michael O'Shea is a higher education practitioner and scholar. As a PhD candidate studying under Dr. Stephanie Waterman (Onondaga, Turtle Clan) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, his research explores how Canadian universities can act on their historic Treaty obligations to better support Indigenous students across the U.S.-Canada border. He has been awarded a Fulbright student award and SSHRC graduate award for his research.


A proud product of the City of Chicago and its public schools, Michael has worked in a range of higher education, community non-profit, and public service roles in the U.S. and Canada. Currently he works as Early College Program Manager in Cambridge, Massachusetts, strengthening academic pathways between high school and university. 


He has lent his energy to serving organizations that strengthen advance equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonizing agendas — including the New Leaders Council, a national progressive organization, and the Massey College Anti-Black Racism Council.

His published work has appeared in The Walrus, National Post, Hill Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, University Affairs, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, and Higher Education Policy. 


You may contact Michael at

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