Report: Tuition Fees Canada Rise More Than 3 Percent

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Saving on College TuitionThe cost of higher education continues to be a pursuit that doesn't come cheaply, as the overwhelming majority of universities and colleges in Canada's 10 provinces are more expensive this year than they were in 2012, a new report reveals.

According to the data, which was compiled and analyzed by Statistics Canada, tuition fees rose by nearly 3.5 percent this year, averaging about $5,775 for a full-time student. Of all the fees that students have, tuition is the largest costs are rising faster than the rate of inflation.

Tuition rates vary substantially among all the provinces - with Newfoundland and Labrador being the most affordable and Ontario the most expensive, three times more than what Atlantic Canadians pay - Statistics Canada revealed.

Jessica McCormick, national chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, indicated that one's ability to go to college should not rest on finances but rather on merit and qualifications.

"Canadians expect that access to higher education should be determined by how hard you study, not by how much money you have," said McCormick. "Tuition fees and student debt still contribute to a tremendous inequality of access to university or college."

CFS is in favor of legislation that would make tuition costs more uniform across the country.

What may come as welcome news to Alberta residents is that it was one of two provinces where tuition rates held firm. Statistics Canada discovered that Alberta fees, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, remained constant, thanks to rates being frozen for the 2013-14 academic year. In other provinces, tuition increases ranged from a low of 1.6 percent in Manitoba to a high of 4.7 percent in Saskatchewan.

As for the major that has the highest average undergraduate fees, dentistry tops them all. The study found that undergraduate students will wind up spending about $17,300 for the school year, on par with what they were spending in previous years. Medicine and pharmacy rounded out the top three at $12,450 and $10,940, respectively.

Money can be especially tight for parents, as it's often mom and dad that not only have to bear the brunt of tuition expenses but also for auto insurance if their college son or daughter uses a car to get around campus. If you have a child, the following tips can bring substantial savings on auto insurance coverage as well as in other respects:

  • Share a policy. Check with your insurer about your child staying on your car insurance policy. Coverage is usually cheaper when two people are on the same policy rather than taking out a separate one.

  • College-provided transportation. Look into whether the school supplies a means of getting around, such as buses or zipcars. If so, it may be worthwhile to take a car off the road for however long they'll be at school.

  • Clip coupons. Whether it's through the internet or the newspaper, encourage your son or daughter to look for discounts on items that they frequently purchase.

  • Save on textbooks. Buying used textbooks rather than new can yield substantial savings, but you may be able to pay even less if texts are out on e-book.

  • Buy in bulk. Instead of purchasing individual meal items, it's good idea to whip up something that can be enjoyed for several days. This not only saves time preparing but also the various expenses that come with meal planning.