The University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors has approved an average 4.5 per cent tuition hike.
Undergraduates will see an average tuition increase of 4.8 per cent next year, while graduate students will pay an extra 3.4 per cent.
Revenue from tuition accounts for 23 per cent of the university’s operating budget, which funds faculty recruitment and retention and provides things like student scholarships and bursaries. The majority of the budget — about 70 per cent — comes from the provincial government’s annual operating grant.
Susan Milburn, the recently appointed chair of the board, says the rise has nothing to do with the school’s projected $44.5-million deficit.
“We have not and will not set tuition rates to balance the budget. We will continue to adhere to our tuition rate-setting principles of comparability to peer institutions, affordability and accessibility, and enabling quality even in difficult financial times,” Milburn said.
“University of Saskatchewan students will continue to pay some of the lowest tuition rates for comparable programs in Canada, despite financial challenges faced by the university.”
According to the university’s own analysis, all of its programs — with the exception of dentistry — cost less for students than similar programs in Canada.
For the 2013-14 academic year, arts and science students will pay an average $5,408, up four per cent from 2012-13. Business students will pay an average $6,900, up 3.7 per cent; engineering students’ tuition will increase five per cent to $7,291; and medicine students will pay an additional 7.5 per cent for a total of $14,930.
Law students are slated to see the largest tuition jump — up 15 per cent — to $11,400. This will be the second consecutive year law students have been hit with a hefty increase. In 2011-12 their tuition was 34 per cent below the national average. Tuition is still projected to be 5.5 per cent below U of S peer institutions, also known as the U-15.
“Increases will vary by program, but most programs will see an increase of 4.6 per cent or less,” Provost and Vice-President Academic Brett Fairbairn said. “Including arts, science, education, agriculture and bioresources, kinesiology, business and graduate studies.”
Dentistry students are set to pay the most at $32,960, followed by medicine students at $14,930.
Tuition has risen at the U of S every year since a freeze on increases was lifted in 2009. The average uptick each year has been around five per cent.
According to Statistics Canada, undergraduates across Canada paid an average $5,581 in 2012-13, up five per cent from 2011-12. The average annual tuition for students in Saskatchewan this year was $6,017.
In contrast, Consumer Price Index-measured national inflation was 1.3 per cent between July 2011 and July 2012.
A full breakdown of tuition increases by college can be found at usask.ca/tuition.
Graphic: Cody Schumacher/The Sheaf