Average university tuition rises 3.2% to $6,191 this year

The average cost of attending a Canadian university rose more than three per cent to $6,191 for the current school year, Statistics Canada says.

Increased by more than twice Canada's inflation rate this academic year

The average university tuition rose to $6,191 this year, Statistics Canada says. (Getty Images)

The average cost of attending a Canadian university rose more than three per cent to $6,191 for the current school year, Statistics Canada says.

The figure is up from $5,998 a year earlier. That's a 3.2 per cent increase — lower than the 3.3 per cent gain seen the year before that, but still well ahead of Canada's official inflation rate of 1.3 per cent.

Tuition fees were frozen in two provinces,  Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. In New Brunswick, all but a few programs also saw freezes, which put the province's increase at a relatively small 0.9 per cent.

Undergraduate tuition fees rose in the remaining provinces, with increases ranging from 1.9% in Manitoba to 5.2% in Nova Scotia.

Newfoundland & Labrador still cheapest

The cheapest tuition in the country can be found in Newfoundland and Labrador, at an average of $2,660, and Quebec where the average tuition is $2,799.

In comparison, undergraduate students in Ontario paid the highest average tuition fees in Canada at $7,868, followed by students in Saskatchewan ($6,885) and Nova Scotia ($6,817).

Average tuitions differ wildly depending on the program (Pete Evans/CBC)

And just as there are huge differences by region, so too does the cost change depending on the program.

Four undergraduate majors in general cost far more than the others, and also increased by a large amount this year.

They are:

  • Dentistry, at an average tuition of $18,934.
  • Medicine, at an average cost of $13,416.
  • Pharmacy, where the average tuition was $11,723.
  • Law, where the average undergraduate tuition was $10,983 this year.

Those four programs saw average tuitions increase by 4.5 per cent, 3.3 per cent, four per cent and four per cent, respectively.

In general, graduate students pay higher tuition than undergraduates, at an average cost of $6,432 this year. But that figure increased by a smaller amount this year, only up 2.2 per cent compared to last year.

International students continue to pay a lot more, on average, to attend school in Canada.

Across the country, average tuition fees for international undergraduate students rose 6.5 per cent to $21,932 in 2015/2016, following a 5.3 per cent increase last year.


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