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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Canadian Tuition Hikes of 25%

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As was mentioned in a post from early in December, schools are want to increase tuition to help them out during this recession. (click here for the post and to read why this is a bad idea).

Finally some numbers have been estimated and it seems these hikes are actually going to happen.

This article describes the current situation of college/univeristy tuition. The article is from

25% tuition hike touted

February 26, 2009

Dramatic tuition hikes must be part of a recession survival plan for Canada's ivory tower, warns an education thinktank.

Colleges and universities must consider charging more, despite a middle-class backlash, if they hope to avoid diluting the quality of education during the economic crisis, says the report by the non-profit Educational Policy Institute.

The report predicts fee hikes of up to 25 per cent in the next couple of years – in line with increases during the last recession – which would generate $1 billion to $2 billion for recession-hit campuses.

Caught between the surge in enrolment that happens in every recession, and the looming slowdown in government grants and private donations, Canada's colleges and universities must consider hiking fees, boosting student aid and cutting the ranks of big-ticket senior staff, said the report.

The good news, say the authors, is that many Canadians can afford to pay more. "The average net tuition a student pays in Canada, once you factor in inflation and tax credits, has gone up less than $90 in the past 10 years – to $4,066 from $3,985 – while family incomes have increased a lot," said analyst Alex Usher, co-author of the report by the institute, based in Toronto, Virginia and Australia.

"Also, there is a smaller percentage of students borrowing to pay their tuition, because so many have been able to find work," said Usher, whose report states bluntly, "The question in Canada is not whether families can contribute more (to tuition): on average, they can."

John Milloy, Ontario's minister of training, colleges and universities, said he was not willing to "get into a numbers game" yet because the province's 5 per cent cap on yearly tuition hikes for most programs doesn't end until September 2010.

"But obviously we're in a tough economy and it's no secret our resources are limited. However this government has said we do not want finances to ever be a barrier to a qualified student having access to post-secondary education."

In fact, any fee hikes during a recession are "an absolutely absurd proposal," said Shelley Melanson, chair of the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario branch.

"It's fascinating that while every government in the world is saying we can't raise taxes, to increase what is really a flat tax on students – tuition – completely ignores the reality of the economy." Best Blogger Tips
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