University Costs : The Cost of University in Canada

in Education, Stats Canada, University Costs

Written in 2008 and the story continues to be very similar. Tuition took a quick hiatus in Ontario, but will start going back up in coming years. University Costs are not just tuition however, it is all those service fees thrown in. Remember many are voluntary, so you don’t have to pay them. The cost of University in Canada may not be as astronomical as in the USA, but it ain’t cheap.

So Stats Canada came out last week (October 2009) with some very interesting numbers about the cost of University across Canada and the relative increase in costs. I find this interesting because as of this coming year I will have two kids in University and I am learning a lot about the “Ins and Outs” of University fees (which seem even more complicated than bank fees, if that is possible).

The main message from the article was that Tuition Fees are up 3.6% from 08/09 to 09/10 Academic year, which means their inflationary increase is almost as good as Foods meteoric price increases.

On average, undergraduate students in Ontario also paid the highest fees in Canada at $5,951. Students in Nova Scotia had the second-highest average tuition fees at $5,696.

I feel so honoured to be the most gouged in all of Canada, and I’d like to point out that is the Average, which means some schools are more than that (and different faculties in those schools are even higher).

Tuition Only

This is the other more important point in this study, is that Tuition is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to University costs, yet it is the only part of those costs that are tax deductible (living expenses are somewhat deductible, but only in the hands of the student). The cost of University in Canada includes many add on fees.

Nationally, the additional compulsory fees increased 6.8% compared with last year. On average, Canadian undergraduate students paid $749 in additional compulsory fees in 2009/2010, up from $701 a year earlier.

How bad can the fees be you ask, let me run through the list of fees I paid for 4 months for my daughter at WLU (this is excluding Tuition):

  • Administrative Council Fee $29.92
  • Copyright Agreement Fee $1.70
  • Comprehensive Student Fees $150
  • Student Union Building Fee $26

Now I don’t mean to pick on my daughter’s Alma Mater however, these are only SOME of the fees I pay (along with a Bus pass fee and Insurance plans too). Hefty eh? Oh, did I mention she also pays $450 rent for a room and has to pay for her own groceries? Yes, this is not cheap, and it is not getting any cheaper either.

With a 4% increase a year on the horizon, think of this interesting statement, if you have a newborn by the time he or she wants to go to University, Tuition costs will have doubled if this trend continues, and my guess is they will have MORE than doubled by that time AND the fees being charged will increase as well (and book costs, let us not forget those too). The cost of University in Canada needs to be addressed in your Personal Finance plan.

{ 1 comment }

  • Vanessa September 25, 2011, 1:01 PM

    Currently my tuition (Quebec) is 1900$ per year plus “academic fees” of over 2000$ per year. I understand that I still pay waaaay less than the average Canadian but the fees are ridiculous! “Diploma fee”, “graduation fee”, “transcript fee” etc etc etc

    Also, if I were to live on campus, my shared room would run me between 900-1200$/month plus food :s


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