How much is university actually costing you, survey asks

Students at UPEI are being asked to fill out a survey about the real costs of education.

Survey covers range of issues and costs students may be dealing with

The Mount Allison Students' Union created a survey about the costs associated with post-secondary education and is hoping UPEI students will take part. (Stephanie Brown/CBC)

Students at UPEI are being asked to fill out a survey about the real costs of education.

It was created by the student union at Mount Allison University, and is being distributed by the student union at UPEI. 

The inspiration for the survey started when Kevin Wong, the Mount Allison student union vice-president of finance and operations, was exploring the high cost of textbooks.

"You know what tuition is ... you come in in your first-year and you know tuition is ... $9,000. But you don't really think about rent, you don't really think about the other costs. It's looking at that bigger picture ... what percentage of that is textbooks," he said.

"Think of the cost of education as a brick wall. Each one of the bricks is made up of a different cost that students face, and it's really just getting a better picture of how many of those bricks are textbooks, how many are rent ... to kind of help us to better advocate on behalf of students."

Kevin Wong, Mount Allison Students' Union vice-president of finance and operations, is hoping students from UPEI will fill out the survey. (Submitted by Kevin Wong)

Wong would like Maritime universities to offer more open educational resources, but thought he would start by getting a sense of the overall costs students are facing.

Wong said there are questions on the survey covering a range of issues.

  • Cost of commuting to school.
  • Student loans.
  • Living costs.
  • Academic performance and scholarships.
  • Textbook costs.

Wong hopes 400 students between the two universities fill out the survey. The plan is to re-survey in January, and crunch the numbers over the summer.

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With files from Laura Chapin