Published September 12, 2012 | 5:53 pm
Toronto: Ontario has claimed another dubious distinction of being the most expensive province in Canada for undergrad studies.
Statistics Canada says tuition fees for full-time students in undergraduate programs are five per cent higher for the academic year starting this fall than they were last year.
That comes on top of a 4.3 per cent increase for the 2011-2012 school year. In comparison, the inflation was 1.3 per cent between July 2011 and July 2012.
The agency says the average tuition bill this year is $5,581, compared to $5,313 a year earlier.
Ontario remains the most expensive province in Canada to study. Despite the Liberal Party’s promise to reduce tuition fees by 30 per cent in the last election, university tuition fees increased by 5.4 per cent this year.Undergraduate students in Ontario pay an average of $7,180 and graduate students pay an average of $8,041.
“The McGuinty government promised students and their families a 30 per cent tuition fee reduction, but instead students are starting the school year with another tuition fee hike,” said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. “The government continues to be more interested in political rhetoric instead of providing serious relief for students and their families from the highest tuition fees in the country.”
Since 2006, students in Ontario have faced a cumulative increase in tuition fees of up to 71 per cent. As a result, students in Ontario collectively owe roughly $9 billion in loan debt to the provincial and federal governments. Undergraduate students with both public and private debt finish their degrees with an average debt of $37,000.