By the Numbers: Post-secondary tuition in Canada – an expensive journey

Ottawa – October 13, 2013 – A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) notes that by 2016 the tuition costs for undergraduate studies will almost have tripled compared to 1990.

Since 1990–91, average tuition and other compulsory fees in Canada have increased from $1,464 to $6,348 in 2012–13, are estimated to reach $6,610 this fall and will continue to climb to an estimated $7,437 in 2016–17. Adjusting for inflation, by 2016–17 tuition and compulsory fees will have tripled since 1990–91.

Ontario, the most expensive province, will see its tuition and other compulsory fees climb from $8,403 this fall to $9,517 in 2016–17.

Newfoundland and Labrador remains the province with the lowest tuition and other compulsory fees: $2,872 this fall, rising to $2,886 in 2016–17.

For kids from median income and low-income families beginning university this fall, Newfoundland and Labrador remains the most affordable province on the Cost of Learning Index throughout a four-year degree.

This fall, New Brunswick is the least affordable province for students from median income families. By 2016–17, Saskatchewan overtakes New Brunswick to become the least affordable.

For low-income families, Newfoundland and Labrador (followed closely by Quebec) is the most affordable province this fall; by 2016–17, Newfoundland and Labrador will be by far the most affordable place for kids from low-income families to pursue university.

This fall, Alberta is the least affordable province for students from low-income families and it will still be the least affordable by 2016–17.

2013/14 average undergraduate tuition rates with the percentage change over last year:

Canada $5,772 (+3.3%)

Newfoundland and Labrador $2,644 (-)

Prince Edward Island $5,696 (+4.1%)

Nova Scotia $6,185 (+3.5%)

New Brunswick $6,133 (+3.2%)

Quebec $2,653 (+3.4%)

Ontario $7,259 (+4.1%)

Manitoba $3,779 (+1.6%)

Saskatchewan $6,394 (+4.7%)

Alberta $5,670 (-)

British Columbia 5,029 (+2.0)

Average undergraduate tuition fees by field of study in 2013-14 range from $4,378 for education to $17,324 for dentistry.


Source: CCPADegrees of uncertainty; Statistics Canada