Comparing Tuition Fees in Canadian Schools
When children are young, their parents sometimes begin to set aside money for different purposes. Sometimes they start special bank accounts so that their sons or daughters will have some money to spend when they get a bit older. They might also start an education fund to start to save money for a university or college program in the future. Why would they do that? They know that post-high school education can be expensive, but saving money for their children can help make it possible to continue studying. When the time comes to choose a post-secondary school, students can also help by comparing costs and seeing where they can get the best value for their tuition money.
Tuition refers to the fees students pay for being able to go to classes and to earn degrees, diplomas, or certificates. Normally, the cost of books and other supplies are not included in the tuition, which covers salaries, maintaining the buildings, and other basic costs. Tuition fees have been rising quickly almost everywhere in Canada, much faster than the cost of food, clothes, and other daily needs. In some places, the fees have almost doubled in the past five years, and in other places, they are almost four times as much as they were. One exception is the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where tuition has been kept at the same level as it was in 2004. Ontario generally has the highest tuition fees, followed by Saskatchewan. Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador generally have the lowest fees.
Even within each province, tuition fees can vary a lot. In Saskatchewan, for example, there is only about a $200 difference in tuition between the most and least expensive university tuitions. In British Columbia, however, the most expensive university costs seven times as much as the lowest-priced. This difference can add up to a large amount of money for a four-year program, which could cost almost $55,000 by 2023. Unless students can live rent-free with their parents, they also have the expenses of rent, food, and other necessities of life. This can add up to a lot of money. Cost is an important factor in choosing your program after high school, but it is only one part of the decision.
When the time comes for you to choose a post-secondary program, money should not be your only consideration. Sometimes, the best programs with the most support for job searching are also the most expensive. An expensive institution might also offer extra benefits, such as music or sports programs, volunteer opportunities, or a selection of courses not offered elsewhere. If these benefits are important to you, a high-priced school can be a good option. If not, a lower-cost program might be best. Beside these factors, being close to family or friends, being in a big city or small town, or other personal considerations should influence your decision. If you research your options well, you can find a program that combines good economic value with a useful education for your future.