Education costs to keep ballooning

By Staff | September 11, 2013 | Last updated on September 11, 2013
1 min read

The average cost of university for Canadian undergraduates will rise by almost 13% over the next four years, from $6,610 this fall to an estimated $7,437 in 2016-17, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“Average tuition and compulsory fees in Canada have tripled since 1990, even after inflation is taken into account,” says Erika Shaker, co-author of the study and director of the CCPA’s education project.

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Ontario has the highest fees and its tuition and other fees will climb from $8,403 this fall to an estimated $9,517 in 2016-17. Newfoundland and Labrador still has the lowest compulsory fees of $2,872 this fall, rising to an estimated $2,886 in 2016-17.

Some provincial governments are responding to concerns about affordability with piecemeal, targeted, and non-universal directed assistance measures for in-province students such as tax credits, debt caps, and grants or bursaries.

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While these measures do impact in-province affordability, it creates a situation where the only students who leave the province to pursue a degree are the ones who can afford to.

“The increasing number of exceptions and qualifiers for financial assistance makes the system far more difficult for students and families to navigate, and makes it harder to compare province-to-province,” says Shaker.

“If provinces directed their funds to across-the-board fee reductions instead, it would make the system fairer, more predictable, and easier to navigate.”

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.