University tuition fees, 2013/2014

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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 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.

Fees for Canadian graduate students rise at a slower rate

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).

Master of business administration programs are the most expensive

At the graduate level, the most expensive programs remained the executive master of business administration program with tuition fees of $35,889, and the regular master of business administration program, at $24,168.

Similar to undergraduate programs, tuition fees rose for all graduate programs, with increases ranging from 1.2% in the executive master of business administration program to 4.9% in the regular master of business administration program.

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.

Note to readers

Data for 2013/2014 are subject to revision. Any required changes will be applied for the 2014/2015 data release, when the 2013/2014 data become final.

The increase at the national level for preliminary data of 2012/2013 included an increase of tuition fees for Quebec which was later cancelled. Revisions at the national and provincial level have been done for the 2013/2014 release.

Data presented in this release are from the Survey of Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs for Full-time Students at Canadian Degree-granting Institutions. The survey was administered from April to July 2013 and the data cover the 2013/2014 academic year.

It is important to note that tuition fee increases are generally regulated by provincial policies. However, some programs may be exempted from these policies resulting in possible increases that exceed provincial limits.

The national and provincial tuition fee averages are weighted with student enrolments, which are 2010 in this case. If the number of enrolments is unknown for a given program, the program is excluded from the averages. The same student enrolment figures are used for the weighting of both years (2012/2013 and 2013/2014), thereby permitting comparison of changes in the tuition fees only.

The masters of business administration programs have been excluded from the national and provincial weighted averages to eliminate the affect of the high cost of these programs on the overall tuition fee average. Dental, medical and veterinary residency programs offered in teaching hospitals and similar locations that may lead to advanced professional certification have also been excluded.

For Quebec, since 1998/1999, and for Nova Scotia, since 2007/2008, the weighted averages take into account the different fees paid by "in province" and "out of province" Canadian students. In the other provinces, out-of-province Canadian students and in-province Canadian students pay the same fees.

As the distribution of enrolment across the various programs varies from period to period, caution must be exercised when making long-term historical comparisons.

Data in this release do not take into account financial assistance or tax rebates provided to students. Tuition fees and additional compulsory fees represent only a portion of all costs incurred for attending university.

Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table477-0021 to 477-0024.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3123.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us toll-free (1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).