With the approved increases, discussed at the Board of Governors meeting on March 18, most USask programs are projected to cost less than similar programs at other Canadian U15 medical-doctoral universities. The U15 is a collective of Canada’s top 15 leading research-intensive universities.
Tony Vannelli, provost and vice-president academic, said that the revenue brought in from tuition, which makes up about 25 percent of the university’s operating budget, is used to maintain and enhance USask programs and services.
“We know this is a significant investment for our students and their families,” Vannelli said. “Every year we focus on program enhancements to ensure that our students receive a rich and rigorous education that will set them up for success following their time at USask.”
Vannelli noted that while tuition has increased, so has student financial aid. “Over the last nine years, the financial aid available to USask students, in the form of scholarships, bursaries and tuition credits, has grown by 57 per cent from $43 million to more than $67 million.”
In the College of Arts and Science, where nearly half of all USask students are enrolled, tuition will increase by 4.1 percent on average. The average student in an arts program will pay $6,452 for tuition in 2019/20, compared to $6,234 last year, an increase of about $218 for a full course load over a year. As well, the average student in a science program will pay $6,755 for tuition in 2019/20, compared to $6,489 last year, an increase of about $266 for a full course load over a year. International differential rates—a common practice at most Canadian universities—will remain unchanged at 2.73 for undergraduates and 1.58 for graduate students, which are projected to be below most U15 comparators.
In previous years, Vannelli explained, tuition has been approved at the board’s December meeting. This was recently changed to March “so that we could discuss tuition with students and every academic unit on campus. These rates were determined through broad consultation across campus and with our students.”
Guiding the process of setting tuition rates are five principles: comparability to similar programs; accessibility and affordability for potential students; the enabling quality of our programs; predictability of tuition to support longer-term planning for students; and transparency through consultation with students to ensure a common understanding on tuition.
Tuition revenue is projected to be $148 million in 2019/20. That revenue will ensure ongoing program offerings; funding specific enhancements in programs, student services and the student experience; and setting aside needs-based assistance for students who have modest financial resources. Student fees are anticipated to be finalized later this spring. For specific rates, visit: usask.ca/tuition.