Study highlights provincial tuition fee disparities

OTTAWA, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Growing disparities between provincial tuition fee rates are leading to significant differences in public post-secondary education affordability across Canada, according to a report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

"Without national standards for public post-secondary education, provinces are free to set tuition fee rates at whatever levels they see fit," said Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Canada needs national standards for access, enforced by a post-secondary education act similar to the Canada Health Act."

The average cost of tuition and compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduate students will rise by almost 13% over the next four years, from $6,885 this fall to an estimated $7,755 in 2017-18, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Ontario is the province with the highest fees and will see its tuition and other fees climb from $8,474 this fall to an estimated $9,483 in 2017-18. Newfoundland and Labrador remains the province with the lowest tuition and other compulsory fees of $2,871, rising to an estimated $2,888 in 2017-18. Nationally, university education has become, on average, 20% less affordable for median-income families in Canada since 1993.

"As the cost of post-secondary education continues to rise, it limits the ability for middle-income and lower-income families to contribute to the economy and save for retirement," added McCormick.

Since the funding cuts of the 1990s, an increasing proportion of the cost of post-secondary education has been passed onto students and their families. Although government grants used to cover up to 80 percent of university and college operating budgets 30 years ago, today they cover roughly 50 percent with tuition fees making up the difference.

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927. 

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Jessica McCormick, 613-232-7394
Regional representatives available upon request.


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