Higher tuition, residence fees for U of A students this fall

The board of governors at the University of Alberta has approved a 4.1 per cent increase to tuition and eight per cent hike in residence costs for students that will take effect this fall.

Tuition and residence fees are going up this fall for students at the University of Alberta.

On Friday, the Edmonton university's board of governors approved a 4.1 per cent increase to tuition and eight per cent hike in residence costs.

The increases will mean tuition for undergraduate students will go up $200 to $5,102 in September. 

Full-time graduate students will pay an additional $141, which will bring their tuition to $3,591.

Residence fees will be going up 8.1 per cent to help the university pay for major repairs to buildings.

The increase in tuition is the maximum allowed under a provincial framework, which ties tuition increases to the consumer price index.

The university is facing increased annual costs, said university official Carl Amrhein.

"We think it is necessary in order to maintain our ability to provide the quality education that we have in the past and even improve in areas as we go to the future,"  Amrhein said.

"We face an aging inventory of buildings. We have to take care of the critical health and safety, the critical building systems, and we feel that it is in the best interest of the students now and in the future to maintain the quality of their residence."

Student union president Janelle Morin said she was disappointed with the decision.

"Access was already a problem for students before the board meeting and its become more a problem now," she said.

"All qualified students should have the chance to receive a post-secondary education regardless of their financial situation."

One third of students have had to discontinue their studies — a trend Morin ties to financial pressures —while others are relying on food banks to get by, she said.