After finishing high school in Ontario in the 1950s, I was awarded a scholarship from Amherst College in Massachusetts. After completing my undergraduate degree, I received funding to study at the University of Chicago -- even though I was Canadian!
The postwar boom and ensuing Cold War sparked the space race and a push for science and education in the United States. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, then sent a dog and later people into orbit. To catch up and overtake the "enemy" in everything from science to engineering and medicine, the U.S. poured money into education -- funding students, universities and government laboratories.