University of Calgary

Tuition increase in 2013 needed to ensure quality of education

UToday HomeDecember 7, 2012

The Board of Governors of the University of Calgary approved a 2.15 per cent increase in tuition fees at its December 6 meeting. The increase will go into effect in the new fiscal year, starting May 2013.

Full-time undergraduate students will pay an average of $115 more annually; graduate students’ annual tuition will increase by an average of $119.

Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall said the increase will be used to partially offset inflationary cost increases. “The Board of Governors agreed that the university needed to close the gap between revenue and cost increases to continue to enhance the student experience and deliver the educational services they expect,” she says.

The increase of 2.15 per cent is the maximum allowable under Alberta’s Public Post-secondary Institutions’ Tuition Fees Regulation. By regulation, the tuition fee increases are tied to the year over year (June to June) percentage change in the Alberta Consumer Price Index.

The new average cost in 2013 undergraduate and graduate tuition at the University of Calgary continues to be less than last year’s national average.

As a result of a separate decision approved at the June 2012 Board of Governors’ meeting, the final staged increase in the mandatory non-instructional fee will become effective May 1, 2013. The $150 increase will bring the annual mandatory non-instructional fee to $450.

The Board of Governors approved the implementation of the fee in 2010, but the introduction of the full cost was staggered. Only one-third of the fee was charged in 2010-11 ($150 annually for a full-time student) and two-thirds in 2011-12 and 2012-13 ($300 annually for a full-time student).

The non-instructional fee provides funding to enhance student services and amenities, including the Health and Wellness Centre, the Disability Resource Centre and the Student Success Centre. This resulted in the University of Calgary eliminating fees that were previously charged for a student transcript and individual counseling sessions. For example, students would receive four free sessions with a counselor, after which they had to pay $25 per subsequent visit. Following the introduction of the mandatory non-instructional fee, all counseling sessions for students are free, while the Health and Wellness Centre also hired an additional counselor.

“The mandatory non-instructional fee is not an extension of tuition fees,” says Marshall. “While it does enable a greater proportion of operating funds to be directed to academic costs, the revenue raised from the mandatory non-instructional fee will not completely cover the cost of student services and amenities provided at the University of Calgary. The university’s operating funds will still annually subsidize student services and amenities to the tune of more than $30 per full-time student for those services covered under the fee. We provide many other services to students as a result of them paying tuition.”