Undergrad tuition up 5 per cent, more than triple inflation
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:09
Many students graduating from University look forward to getting a job, purchasing a house or a car, settling down and starting a family. However, several students that graduate are victims of debt, paying off at least $35,000 dollars of student or bank loans.
In a recent report by Statistics Canada, it stated that tuition fees for full-time students in an undergraduate program are five per cent higher this year than it was last year. That comes on top of a 4.3 per cent increase for school fees for the 2012/2013 school year. In addition, the inflation of school fees was 1.3 per cent between the months of July 2011 and July 2012.
Statistics Canada also stated that the average tuition fees for first year students is a total cost of $5,581, with a $268 increase compared to last year.
All across Canada tuition fees have increased drastically, except for Newfoundland and Labrador where they have frozen their tuition fees at $2,649 since 2003. Undergrads in Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec are the only provinces that continue to have the lowest tuition fees across Canada.
Ontario tuition fees have gone up, and as a result is considered the only province with the highest tuition fee with a cost of $7,180 compared to $6,307 in 2011. Saskatchewan comes in second place with an average tuition fee of $ 6,017, followed by Nova Scotia with $5,934. Students in Manitoba pay an average of $3,729 while students in Quebec obtaining an undergraduate degree pay around $2,000 to $2,774.
In Quebec, with its recent provincial election, many leaders made a promise to decrease tuition for its University students. The numbers shown in this article do not include additional compulsory fees such as athletics, health fees and residence fees, which also carry a heavy burden for student debt issues.
“I’ve heard people refer to tuition as Canada’s informal one-child policy,” said Erika Shaker in an interview with the Toronto Star. Shaker is a researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of a study released on the subject.
She estimates on average that undergraduate tuition and compulsory fees will rise a further 18 per cent during the next four years.
Sarah Jayne King, Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students Union told the Toronto Star recently that students that carry high debt loads are less likely to finish their degree or enter a graduate program for further schooling.
“Debt also has an impact on whether you can finish your degree and the amount you may need to work during the school year,” said King. “More students are working during the school year to pay their tuition fees and other living expenses, such as textbooks, food and rent. The reality is that it’s not possible to work full time in the summer and make up anywhere near the amount of money you need to get through the school year.”