StatsCan report on tuition

Every September, Statistics Canada issues its annual report on tuition rates. The report, released on Sept. 7, gives an overview of average combined tuition and student fees for undergraduate and graduate programs in 10 provinces across Canada.

For 2016/17, Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan’s graduate tuition rates were the fourth lowest in the country. Statistics Canada also reported that the province had the second highest average undergraduate tuition rates, and the fourth highest increase. However, Saskatchewan also ranked second lowest in the country in undergraduate fees, and lowest for graduate fees.

“Statistics Canada reports tuition as a weighted average.” said John Rigby, interim associate provost, Institutional Planning and Assessment at the University of Saskatchewan. “It multiplies program tuition by the number of students in a program and then calculates the average. The number then becomes dependent on both the level of tuition and the distribution of students across programs. The University of Saskatchewan appears to have a high average tuition in the annual report because of proportionately high enrolments in professional programs such as medicine, veterinary medicine, law and dentistry.”

When compared on a program by program basis, tuition at the U of S is actually at or below the median of our comparator universities.

“It is also important to realize that numbers reported by Statistics Canada are provincial numbers and not University of Saskatchewan specific numbers,” said Rigby. “When you are comparing tuition costs at a university level on a program by program basis, you get quite different results than what Stats Canada’s averages indicate.”

“Students are always our highest priority at the U of S and we know that attending university is a major financial challenge for many of them,” said Rigby. “From start to finish, setting tuition is a highly involved and consultative process and we take steps to ensure that affordability and accessibility are top of mind when it comes to our students. We know this is not only about tuition fees, but also about the overall costs to attain a post-secondary education, including housing and other financial barriers.”

To learn more about University of Saskatchewan tuition rates, take a look at this factsheet.

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