NAIT’s tuition steering committee is meeting today, Dec. 14, which could have an impact on student fees or surcharges next year.
On Nov. 30, the province announced a post-secondary tuition freeze for the fourth consecutive time into the 2018-19 school year.
Although the details for the meeting aren’t yet known, there is some speculation that with the freeze could come additional costs for students in different areas.
The tuition freeze fixes tuition costs so students won’t have to pay the extra costs. However, tuition surcharges for international students are not covered.
In March, NAIT’s international students saw a 24 per cent increase in surcharges for 2017-18 and are now paying 3.15 times as much as a domestic student, as opposed to 2.35 times.
For example, a domestic Digital Media and IT student would pay $3,880 a year for the two-year program. An international student would pay $16,102, a nearly $3,000 increase.
Both U of A and MacEwan increased international students’ tuition for this year.
The year 2018-19 will be slightly different as the government is returning to a $17 million backfill to post-secondaries to help maintain classes and facilities. A backfill means the government is picking up the cheque for increased costs, so instead of students having to compensate for lost tuition revenue and maintenance costs, the government is.
“By keeping costs frozen, our government has ensured affordable access to postsecondary education,” said Marlin Schmidt, minister of Advanced Education on Nov. 30.
“We know that affordable post-secondary education is important to Albertans and is key to our growing economy. That is why we are freezing tuition for another year as we prepare to bring forward long-term tuition and funding policies in the new year.”
The province says they are working on a sustainable tuition review to keep tuition affordable for students. With these tuition freezes the government claims they’ve saved students $1,500 over the course of four years.
– Michael Menzies, Senior Editor
– With files from www.alberta.ca