The Cost of Studying in Canada
Canadian full-time students in undergraduate programs paid 3.3% more on average in tuition fees for the 2013/2014 academic year this fall than they did a year earlier. This follows a 4.2% increase in 2012/2013.
In comparison, inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was 1.3% between July 2012 and July 2013.
On average, undergraduate students paid $5,772 in tuition fees in 2013/2014 compared with $5,586 a year earlier.
Tuition fees rose in all but two provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. Tuition in Newfoundland and Labrador has been frozen since 2003/2004 for both undergraduate and graduate students and Alberta froze tuition increases for the 2013/2014 academic year.
Elsewhere, for undergraduate students, tuition increases ranged from 1.6% in Manitoba to 4.7% in Saskatchewan.
Undergrads in Newfoundland and Labrador ($2,644) and Quebec ($2,653) continued to have the lowest average fees.
In comparison, undergraduate students in Ontario paid the highest average fees ($7,259) in Canada, followed by students in Saskatchewan who paid $6,394 in university tuition fees.
Canadian undergraduates: Dentistry students still pay the highest average fees
Undergraduate students in dentistry ($17,324) paid the highest average undergraduate fees in 2013/2014 as was the case for the previous years. They were followed by students in medicine ($12,438) and pharmacy ($10,942).
All undergraduate programs saw increases, ranging from 2.4% for nursing to 5.0% for law, legal professions, and studies.
Students enrolled in a graduate program paid an average of $6,053 in tuition fees in 2013/2014, up 2.3%. This followed a 4.5% gain a year earlier.
Fees for graduate students rose in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. Increases ranged from 1.6% in Manitoba to 4.9% in Saskatchewan. As was the case with undergraduate students, the lowest average fees for graduate students were in Newfoundland and Labrador ($2,473) and Quebec ($2,792).
Graduate students paid the highest fees in Ontario ($8,456), followed by students in Nova Scotia ($7,926) and British Columbia ($7,527).
Fees for international students increase
Nationally, average tuition fees for international undergraduate students rose 6.8% to $19,514 in 2013/2014, compared with a 5.5% increase in 2012/2013.
As was the case for Canadian students, tuition fees for international students in Newfoundland and Labrador did not increase. In the other provinces, fee increases for international undergraduate students ranged from 1.4% in Alberta to 10.1% in Ontario. For international graduate students, increases ranged from 1.6% in Manitoba to 6.7% in Saskatchewan.
Average tuition for international full-time students in graduate programs rose 3.6% to $13,628.
Additional compulsory fees
Services included in additional compulsory fees vary from institution to institution and can change over time. Typically, they include fees for athletics, student health services, student associations, as well as other fees that apply to full-time Canadian students.
Nationally, additional compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduate students increased 5.3% in 2013/2014 compared with the previous year. On average, these students paid $817 in additional compulsory fees, up from $776 a year earlier.
In 2013/2014, additional compulsory fees for undergraduate students ranged from $222 in Newfoundland and Labrador to $1,025 in Alberta. For the same provinces, compulsory fees for graduate students ranged from $276 to $1,295, respectively. At the national level for graduate students, the increase was 4.8%.
Manitoba posted the highest increase in additional compulsory fees for undergraduate students (+14.2% to $555). For graduate students, the highest increase was in Saskatchewan (+63.9% to $454), with Prince Edward Island following at 8.7%.
Since 2010/2011, “partial” compulsory fees such as health plan and dental plan fees, which students can choose not to pay if they provide proof of comparable coverage, have not been included in calculating the weighted average for compulsory fees.