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Canadian Tuition Fees Have Tripled in the Last 20 Years… and There’s No Stopping Them

Yesterday we told you about the bleak financial future many Canadians envision for themselves.

There are many reasons for this, one of the biggest having been revealed in a recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: tuition and compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduate students have tripled between 1993-94 and 2015-16, and will continue to rise over the next four years.

Think about that. A millennial’s parents who pursued post-secondary education paid less than a third of the burden their offspring are forced to take on. Indeed, it’s easy to complain about our generation’s fiscal ineptitude when you’re not graduating with $28,000 of student debt.

The difference in tuition hikes between provinces is also pretty staggering. Fees increased almost 250 per cent in Ontario over the past two decades, while students in Newfoundland and Labrador have seen their tuition increase by just 35 per cent.

A look at the tuition fees as a share of university operating revenue shows just how much business incentive there is to bomb a young person’s financial outlook – in 2012, tuition accounted for 37 per cent of a school’s revenue, compared to just 20 per cent in 1992.

Slowly – at about the pace students pay off their overdue library balance – governments are starting to curb the rising costs of education. Alberta has frozen tuition for two years, Newfoundland is replacing student loans with non-repayable grants, and the Green Party wants to abolish abolish tuition fees for college, university and skills training programs altogether, which is a nice gesture to float around when getting elected defies reality.

Most discouragingly, these numbers won’t reverse anytime soon – the average cost of tuition will rise from $6,971 currently to $7,590 by the end of a four-year degree. And so the cycle will continue.

Probably forever.


Notable Life

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