Study: Cost of university to rise 13 per cent over four years

‘Students will need deeper pockets to study at Canadian universities,’ Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warns

McMaster University students / Jessica Darmanin

McMaster University students / Jessica Darmanin

“Students will need deeper pockets to study at Canadian universities over the next four years with annual fees projected to rise 13 per cent on average to $7,755, having almost tripled over the past 20 years, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Students in Ontario can expect to shell out $9,483 on average in tuition and other compulsory fees in 2017-18. Fees in the province have nearly quadrupled over the last two decades, said the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The high cost of getting a degree is an “enormous financial stress” for students and their families, said Erika Shaker, director of the left-leaning think-tank’s education project.

“All the evidence both in Canada and the U.S. does indicate that financial stressers on students are even more pronounced than stressing about academic performance,” she said.

But if high-school graduates don’t like the idea of subsisting on a diet of Kraft Dinner and ramen noodles, they may want to head to Newfoundland and Labrador, which is getting top marks for its low fees that are projected to reach $2,888 in 2017-18. They’ve increased by 35 per cent over two decades.

Provincial funding for universities is inadequate, the report said. Universities are seeing it decline as a share of their operating revenue, while tuition fees are going up.

Several provinces are trying to “mitigate the optics” of ever-higher tuition fees with such policies as capping increases to the cost of living, it said.

Ontario offers to refund up to $1,780 in tuition fees to students. But it doesn’t directly reduce tuition and doesn’t apply to all undergrads, such as part-time students, the report noted.

The funding gap is driving universities to download more costs on students by charging additional compulsory fees on top of tuition that are subject to few, if any, restrictions, the report said. Those fees _ such as athletic fees and student association fees _ amounted to $817 on average last year, with Alberta having the highest and Newfoundland the lowest.

“Universities are having to get a little bit more creative about how they’re increasing their revenues and taking them out of students,” said Shaker.

“What we are seeing are some institutions actually implement new fees entirely: fees to graduate, for example, or facilities fees.”

It makes it very difficult for students to predict how much they’ll have to pay in the coming year, said Jessica McCormick, national chairwoman of the Canadian Federation of Students.

“It also means that it’s difficult for students to save up to cover the cost of tuition fees,” she said.

“Students are working throughout the summer and during the year, in either part-time or sometimes full-time jobs, and they are still required to take out loans to be able to cover all of those costs.”

Shaker said government efforts to clamp down on tuition hikes don’t seem to be working.

The average fee is blowing through the caps because there are a number of programs that don’t have to observe them.

Students are also expected to pay “vastly different” tuition based on where they live and where they want to study, which undermines the universality of post-secondary education, she said.

Some provinces — such as Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan and Ontario — have two-tier fee structure, providing more financial breaks to in-province students than those from outside the province, she said.

However, Newfoundland’s approach to making university education affordable seems to be working, said Shaker. It has one of the lowest tuition fees in the country, having rolled it back by 25 per cent a decade ago and capped them. The province is even slated to eliminate the provincial portion of student loans and replace them with needs-based grants by 2015.

It realized long ago that investing in post-secondary education would help combat poverty, which benefits the province, she said. Others need to realize that there are “enormous returns” to having affordable post-secondary education.

“The public investment in post-secondary education is sadly declining … the individual contribution is increasing,” Shaker said.

“That’s a significant concern for families who are already dealing with stagnant incomes, who are already dealing with high levels of household debt.”


Study: Cost of university to rise 13 per cent over four years

  1. Universal healthcare

    Universal education

    • That would work Emily…except for one thing.

      there is no universal pot of money just sitting there waiting to be plucked. Every time you deem something to be a “right”…..it becomes an obligation on the rest of us.

      This may suit you, but for those of us who work our butts off and see 40% of their income going to one form of government or another…..we’ve had enough.

        • I did prioritize, Emily….

          you just don’t agree with my priorities.

          If people receive a benefit…they need to pay it back. Otherwise, the rest of us are stuck paying for someone elses’ decisions. We already have far too much of that…don’t need to pay any more. If you DECIDE to get a higher education, then perhaps you should decide to get a job and pay for it yourself, or get a loan, and pay it back after you are employed.

          the freebie culture hurts everyone….except those who get the freebies of course.

  2. This from the column:
    “Provincial funding for universities is inadequate, the report said. ”

    Actually….you could look at ANY report from this group of marxists…and this line will be there in one form or another. More PUBLIC money is the solution to every problem according to this bunch of socialists. The Centre for Policy Alternatives….is misnamed. The only ALTERNATIVE they are in favour of is increasing taxes. they have no alternatives.

    If students don’t want a lot of debt, or want to be able to pay back what debt they have, then they need to choose a field that is actually in demand to employers. It’s not my job to subsidize someone who takes a useless degree.

    • http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26327114

      You can’t have it both ways.
      Canada is one of the highest taxed coutries in the world. Then give canadians back all that Tax that the Feds/provinces are stealing from us now. -That way we’ll basically have “double” our incomes now, and that way we can afford our healthcare and tuitions,….

      Did you see France.?
      They tax their people almost as heavily as our gov’ts do, EXCEPT, they do provide universal healthcare, tuitions,…, education.
      With the amount of money our gov’ts rape canadians out of, you should suspect why our streets aren’t paved in gold yet ?
      So what is our gov’ts actually doing with all this uber-billions of taxdollars, where’s it going ?

      • Interest on debt.

      • It’s going to bureaucrats and other government employees. That’s what this whole “report” is about. The way it works is that people complain that the cost of University is too high. So some “compassionate” politician says “okay, here’s some free money for the Universities so that you can reduce costs”. They then take that money, give raises to the staff, and then go begging for more money because University is still “too expensive”.

        • Eggzactly,
          so we should have Universal Education, but we don’t because of all the “corruption” above, and more …

          • No, Rickster,

            by offering “free” university education, you are forcing those who do not want, or could not benefit from a University education. Not everyone will get a degree. We shouldn’t be taking money from those who can’t afford it, and giving it to those who will one day make a better paycheque, than those who paid for their education.

            it’s not just basic economics, it is basic fairness. Lefties never understand this.

            Here is a cliff notes version:

            “I worked hard, and I worked long hours…I earned my money”

            If you want money…do as I do…and earn it yourself. It’s not my job, nor my responsiblity to pay your way in this world.

            That may not sound compassionate, but to date, this type of compassion has resulted in a generation of folks who think they are owed a living.

            Sorry…..live your own life if you choose…but pay for it yourself.

      • Rickster….i don’t know if you follow international economics…but France isn’t doing very well, and its mainly due to the kind of economics you seem to prefer.

        France has a 75% tax rate on high income earners…and guess what that got them? Well, quite a few French businessmen and millionaries now call the UK home, and that is where they are spending, and investing their money.

        Few more years of this kind of policy….and you will witness a Western country emulating the city of detroit.

        It always comes home to roost, Rickster.

        • you mentioned “Detroit”. ?!
          Detroit is the epitemy of unchecked greed and capitalism. Detroit became a bankrupt wasteland because of misled ideals such as you’re own.
          I was willing to let you rant, but you went and brought up “Detroit”? are u kidding me? -talk about falling on your own sword lad.

          • Rickster,

            Detroit has been under socialist rule since the early 1960’s. It has been Democrat since then, and it is DEMOCRAT (socialists) policies that have reduced the city to ruin. The UNCHECKED greed you are referring to, is actually due to the unions of the auto companies, and public service in the city.

            If you start taking too much away from productive people…guess what happens? they leave.

            If the productive people leave…..guess what they leave behind?

            Unproductive people……..who no longer have the same level of services, as those who actually paid the bills skipped town.

            The fact you think Detroit is the way it is due to Capitalism, and private enterprise, is no doubt the same type of thinking that caused the problem in the first place.

            Here’s a clue Rickster…since you have obviously lost your last one.

            If you pay people to do nothing…you will get more people doing nothing.

            If you tax people for being productive…..they will be productive somewhere else.

            Hope that helps.

        • James

          Your’s is all about “exploitation”.
          Let me explain.
          Detroit did indeed prosper greatly in the (post-depression) 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, snd 70’s, and yes, when it was so more “socialist” as you said.
          Did the Unions create the economic world-deperession after 1929? -No.
          or, did the Unions create the 2nd greatest American economic Depression (aka 2008-Wall street collapse) ? -No
          You see, those were created by those 0.5% Uber-rich capitalists, left un-checked, and thanks to your “Reaganomics”, un-taxed, as well.
          Eventually, because of that, and “outsourcing” the labour Detroit fell. -but it was not because of the Unions alone.
          “Free-Enterprise” does not mean “Free Labour Abuses” -otherwise we would still have slavery. -remeber that throughout our civilizations ?

          This is why your ideals are all about “exploitaion” of Labour. If you could get a 9-year old child to build that automotive part for you for just some “food/per day” yo
          u and your kind would probably sleep very well wouldn’t you?
          As long as she is far away though right? ‘ya know, out-of-sight, like maybe Mexico or Laos, or China, or Cambodia,… who cares.
          But, eventually, even those “workforces” will demand equality and rights, thru’ their skill and education, and the un-checked, and un-taxed capitalists will soon run out of people, and places to “exploit” !
          Well now, what then. exploit another planets lifeforms ?
          Like I said, you can’t have it both way.
          But Education, should be universally free, for everyone, ’cause everyone would pay their “%” into it.

          Hope that helps.

          • Rickster,

            Clearly you “cherry pick” what you THINK sounds good……but you do have one glaring error (the rest are just the standard errors typical of your posts).
            you wrote:

            “Did the Unions create the economic world-deperession after 1929? -No.
            or, did the Unions create the 2nd greatest American economic Depression (aka 2008-Wall street collapse) ? -No”

            The Depression of 1929 affected everyone…not just Detroit. Remember, we are talking about ONE city…not all of them.

            this also applies to the 2008 collapse…it affected everyone, but at least, like you indicate above, that was caused by the greedy basT Ards in the finance and banking sector. I agree on that point (and a LOT of these guys (and girls) should have gone to jail over it).

            Our discussion is about Detroit, and detroit alone for the most part. Detroit was run into the ground by politicians enacting policies (and selling them to gullible voters) that promised one group of peoople, that they would TAKE MONEY AWAY FROM ANOTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE. And of course, what happened was entirely predictable. The productive folks didn’t feel the need to empty their pockets to support the freebies some people were about to vote themselves entitled to. Guess what….they left. And they took their businesses and money with them.

            What that left behind of course…is what we see today. A bunch of Democratic politicians scrambling all over the place looking for funds to pay for the promises they made. When they can’t find them…they blame the state, they blame the feds, they blame capitalism, they blame China..etc..etc…

            they blame everyone except those who are responsbile for the mess they find themselves in.

            Who is to blame?

            Socialist politicians, and people who vote for socialist politicians.

            The evidence you lack even a basic understanding of anything financial is shown clearly near the end of your post when you write:

            “But Education, should be universally free, for everyone, ’cause everyone would pay their “%” into it.”

            You do see the contradiction in what you write, as well as the confirmation of what I wrote.

            you think education should be universally free…when in fact, nothing is free. The money has to come from somewhere. Then you contradict yourself immediately by insisting,

            “cause everyone would pay their % into it.”

            How can something be “free” if it is only possible to provide it by forcing everyone to pay a % into it?

            I’ll forego your space talk and other alien life form exploitation, and just assume you’ve been watching too much TV, or perhaps are taking your views about evil corporations and greed from the film “AVATAR”.

            And just to be sure….you are aware that it was a movie right?

            Didn’t really happen.

            Finally Rickster, it is not my job to support you. If you want what I have, then do what I did. Get busy, work hard, take risks, and don’t make bad decisions.

            I bought my first house when i was 25, and had it paid off in 7 years. I didn’t do that by voting for people who promised to give me something for free. I’ve had 6 houses now, and still own two of them. No mortgages, no debt, and no pressing financial concerns. I didnt’ get here by waiting for someone to look after me. And for the record, I also didn’t have to cheat, lie, or steal from others’ to get it. I just worked hard and made the right choices.

            Maybe you should try it.

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