Rosie Sabbagh • Sept 25, 2023
University is an important pathway for thousands of people looking to get higher education for personal and professional success in their futures. The point of highschool is to go to university and 80 per cent of jobs require a degree, according to Universities Canada.
Yet, the rising cost of tuition, and the consequences of inflation leave many questioning whether or not a degree is affordable. What are the reasons for such high tuition prices and what kind of impact does it have on students?
Unfortunately for Canadians, we don’t have the privilege of living in Nordic countries where there are almost no costs to getting a degree in university or college. There comes a hefty price to pay if you want post-secondary education. On average Canadian students pay 6,693$ a year and more depending on your program of studies, according to Statistics Canada. Most of the time this is without the cost of living on campus, and buying a meal plan.
We also pay a great deal for the administrative costs. With an increase in non-teaching employees and administrative procedures, universities are developing into increasingly complicated administrative organizations. Higher tuition fees are frequently used to cover these administrative costs and are then passed on to the students who already face immense pressure, according to a 2023 article on additional tuition fee expenses.
Cost of living
If you’re from out of town, chances are you’re paying to live in a house or dorm. This requires paying for necessities, food, utilities, textbooks, electronics, and so on. Students frequently have to take on part-time jobs or additional loans in order to pay for these expenses, which adds to their financial stress.
Textbooks and required material
Fortunately for some students, their professors have been generous enough to post most of the required texts on the internet, free for them to use. In contrast, many other professors are asking students to pay out of pocket money. It doesn’t help, as inflation continues to rise and textbooks become more and more expensive with some even ranging from $100 to $200. This can look like spending almost $400 to $500 a term for books you may never use again.
Universities also require students to have computers, as most work is to be submitted online. That also entails spending over $500, depending on the kind of computer needed for your program.
Solutions & recommendations
We all see how much stress, time, and money an education is today. There are many things we can do to help reduce this pressure on families, or any individual looking for higher education.
- 1. Look into scholarships & grants
- 2. Live with roommates and split the cost of utilities and groceries
- 3. Buy a good but more affordable laptop
- 4. Split the cost of textbooks with classmates and share the book
- 5. Use public transportation instead of getting a car
- 6. Don’t be afraid to apply to OSAP for financial aid
- 7. Take up a part-time job to help support your expenses
University tuition increases are a complicated problem with wide-ranging effects. The financial burden that higher education places on students and their families cannot be overlooked, even while it can result in personal and professional improvement.
To ensure that the promise of a better future remains within reach for everyone, it is critical for politicians, universities, and society at large to collaborate in order to create solutions that make higher education more affordable and accessible.