Tuition is going up again at UPEI

UPEI tuition will be going up by two per cent for undergraduate programs, about $12 per course.

UPEI's board of governors passes its 2019-2020 budget

UPEI is doubling the first year tuition deposit. It will rise from $250 to $500. (CBC)

Many students at UPEI will be paying more to attend during the 2019-2020 school year.

Tuition will be going up two per cent for undergraduate programs — about $12 per course — and for graduate studies by two per cent per program, with amounts varying.

The fee for international students also rises two per cent, or about $14 per course.

There are mixed feelings when it comes to tuition increases, said Will McGuigan president of the UPEI Student Union.

"But you know overall I think it is good for the student body and it is going to be good for the university and the students," McGuigan said.

"Now obviously you know we don't like to see fees increase for students, but you know to ensure that the services are being matched we do have to. The university does have restraints and they do have to increase."

Overall he is happy with the UPEI budget, McGuigan said.

Will McGuigan, president of the UPEI student union, says the union is going to work with UPEI to ensure increased deposit fees aren't an accessibility issue. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The budget also outlines a two per cent tuition increase for the faculty of veterinary medicine, with the exception of international tuition, which has been set at $66,500 per year.

UPEI officials say it's a balanced operating budget with a record high total of $124.2 million in operating expenses. 

The university also notes that the Atlantic Veterinary College completed the fifth year of its 10-year funding agreement with the four Atlantic provinces. 

For the first time, the AVC met certain key performance indicators allowing for additional funding over and above the guaranteed one per cent funding increase to its general operating grant.

Doubling deposit fees

The university is also doubling the first year tuition deposit from $250 to $500.

Students pay a deposit fee when they apply to UPEI and get it back or added to their account in the fall when they start attending classes, McGuigan said.

"One of the issues that we have at the union is you know, for some new students it's an accessibility issue. You know, not every student has $500 that they can afford when they get accepted to UPEI."

McGuigan said he and another rep brought the deposit increase up at a board of governors meeting and the university was understanding and co-operative. 

The student union is going to work with UPEI to ensure this isn't an accessibility issue, McGuigan said.

UPEI officials say the deposit increase comes because students — particularly international students — were applying to multiple universities and the university hopes the deposit will ensure individuals want to attend the school.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker


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