Study Highlights Provincial Tuition Fee Disparities

Canadian Federation of Students

Growing disparities between provincial tuition fee rates are leading to significant differences in public post-secondary education access 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 Adam Awad, 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.”

According to the report, Eduflation and the Cost of Learning, it is now three times more affordable for a student from a median-income family to study in Newfoundland and Labrador than it is for that same student to study in Ontario. By 2015-16, education in Newfoundland and Labrador will be four times more affordable.

Tuition fee increases have far outpaced the rate of inflation since 1990 in most provinces. Although inflation averaged only 2.1 percent per year between 1990 and 2011, tuition and ancillary fees increased on average 6.9 percent per year during the same period, largely due to cuts in public funding.

“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 Awad.

*Note: 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.

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