Students Disappointed as NSCC Tuition Continues to Rise
For Immediate Release
Halifax, NS – The NSCC has indicated that an agreement has been reached with the Province to increase tuition in most programs by 3% in 2015-16. The increase considerably exceeds inflation. The Province did not consult students in advance of the tuition decision.
“It’s wrong that the Provincial government continues to allow the cost of community college education to rise and it’s wrong that they do not consult student associations in advance of these decisions”, said StudentsNS VP College Affairs Scott Byrne. “Our fees may be lower than at universities, but they’ve been growing more rapidly and place a heavy burden on NSCC students.”
Recent research from StudentsNS demonstrates that fees at the NSCC have risen considerably faster than at Nova Scotia’s universities for most students since 2004. Tuition increases alone have totaled 37%, while growth in ancillary fees have led to higher overall growth.
Many provincial efforts to reduce post-secondary fees and student debt have bypassed students at the NSCC to focus on undergraduates. This includes the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary and the Province’s Debt Cap (now renamed the Loan Forgiveness Program). On Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education announced adjustments to the debt cap program to cut support for undergraduates studying in other provinces, but also expand eligibility for undergraduates with disabilities. Students with disabilities at the NSCC remain ineligible, even though a higher proportion of students at the NSCC register as having disabilities at 11% in 2011-12.
“The Province should provide equivalent financial aid to students at the NSCC as at university, especially when it comes to students with disabilities”, said StudentsNS Executive Director Jonathan Williams. “The Province needs to recognize that many college students face serious financial challenges in attending school and deserve much greater attention and support.”
College graduates earn significantly less than their university counterparts, while NSCC graduates’ default rates on Canada Student Loans almost doubled those of university graduates in 2012, equaling 21%.
The government’s decision on NSCC tuition suggests the likely direction for local students’ university tuition, given that most programs’ tuition at both the NSCC and Nova Scotia’s universities has been capped for domestic students at 3% since 2011-12. The Province has suggested that tuition fees will be deregulated for out-of-province and international university students.
The NSCC does offer tuition-free programming at the School of Access, while it is also not increasing tuition for its Recording Arts, Health Information Management, Certified Welding, Gas Technician, Heavy Equipment Operator, Process Operations 4th class and Aviation programs.
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Students Nova Scotia is a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy and research group that represents post-secondary students from across Nova Scotia. Our members include Acadia, Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier Universities, the Kingstec Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, and the Atlantic School of Theology.
For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Williams, Executive Director
Phone: 902 483 5480
Scott Byrne, VP College Affairs
Phone: 902 300 5038
Alex Elderkin, Kingstec NSCC Student Association President
Phone: 902 300 1636