Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia students may pay more for university tuition

The 2015-2016 provincial budget made life more uncertain for many post-secondary students in Nova Scotia. It lifts the three-per-cent tuition cap for universities and the Nova Scotia Community College system.

Liberals say move allows for one-time market adjustment to fees

Michaela Sam says the Nova Scotia government's decision to lift the cap on tuition fees for post secondary students will make life uncertain for many people going to university next year. (CBC)

The 2015-2016 provincial budget made life less certain for many post-secondary students in Nova Scotia.

It lifts the three per cent tuition cap for universities and the Nova Scotia Community College system.

The province says the move will allow universities to make a one-time market adjustment to tuition, so they can charge similar amounts for similar programs.

While the cap will return the following year for most university students, it won't apply to out-of-province and graduate-student tuition.

Cody Couture of Bathurst, N.B., is in his first year at Dalhousie University and worries about costs increasing.

"Basically this tells students from outside the province, 'We see you guys like a piggy bank, we're going to take more and more money from you guys,'" he said.

"It is really worrying. You don't know what they are going to do."

He said a big tuition fee hike would make him consider going back to New Brunswick.

Finance Minister Diane Whalen said the budget contains $34 million to increase university funding, continue the Nova Scotia Bursary and no-interest student loans.

The money will also be used to increase up-front grants and graduate scholarships. 

Michaela Sam, the chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students in Nova Scotia, was dismayed by the announcement.

"For me as a student who is going to pay tuition fees next year, I don't know what my … fees are going to be," she said Thursday.

"I am left to assume they are going to increase by huge amounts because the Nova Scotia government has decided not to regulate tuition fee increases."


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