By Zachary Flynn
NAIT announced a flat seven per cent tuition increase for the 2021/22 academic year along with a new tuition model.
“This increase aligns with the provincial tuition framework and regulations and is one measure we are taking to reduce our reliance on government funding. Even with this increase, NAIT’s tuition fees remain relatively low in Alberta and offer exceptional value,” said Jeff Dumont, NAIT CFO and Vice President Administration, in an email to students.
Beginning in September 2021, tuition will now be determined in a fee-per-credit model with no tuition cap.
Currently, students pay per credit until they reach a pre-determined cap, causing students in full-time courses to pay a lower per-credit tuition rate than their part-time counterparts. The new model would see the tuition cap removed and all students in a similar program paying the same per-credit rate.
Students who were previously at the tuition cap might see their tuition increase by more than seven per cent. NAIT has said that those students’ tuition will be limited to a 10 per cent increase.
The email sent out to students also addresses rising tuition rates while many students are not on campus receiving in-person instruction.
“We still have the same costs of people doing their jobs and delivering the training and doing all of the support types of activities,” said Dumont in October 2020.
For the 2019/2020 academic year, facilities operations and maintenance made up almost 20 per cent of NAIT’s total expenses, while instructional delivery made up nearly 42 per cent.
Dumont said in October 2020 that while some students’ programming may be entirely online, the campus is not entirely closed. He also said that while some utility costs might fall, others rise in areas like [heating, ventilation and air conditioning].
The 2021 winter semester is seeing roughly 7,400 people on campus per week.
This tuition increase is a part of a larger three-year plan announced in 2019 following a tuition freeze implemented by the NDP government from 2014 to 2018.
The seven percent increase is in line with the provincial announcement and mirrors the seven percent increase announced in March of 2020 – an increase that went into effect for September 2020.