U of S hikes tuition fees

The University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon is raising tuition rates for 2010.

The University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon is raising tuition rates for 2010 by 5.2 per cent overall.

Administrators said Thursday the new rates are necessary even though the school's government grant was increased by $10 million in the March provincial budget.

Almost all U of S students will pay more, effective with the 2010-2011 academic year.

Students in arts, agriculture, education, computer science and nursing courses will pay an additional 4.4 per cent in tuition. Law students will pay 9.8 per cent more for tuition, and medical students will pay an additional eight per cent.

Typically, a full-time undergraduate student will take eight to ten classes over the course of two semesters.

According to the university, under the new rates an arts student will pay a total of $4,900 in tuition and other fees for classes in 2010-2011.

U of S students pay a long list of fees and charges associated with their education.

"It's going to be tough," Amber Osadan-Ullman, a current student, said Thursday. "You've got to do the small adjustments. Whether it's Mr. Noodles compared to Mr. Noodles Supreme with added frozen vegetables."

Osadan-Ullman said she is already having a hard time making ends meet and the boost in tuition fees will be a challenge.

According to information released by the university, almost all of its courses cost less than other institutions charge.

The university said it compared its tuition rates to a peer group of schools that also have medical programs. The U of S also included the University of Regina in its comparisons.

"We still offer terrific value for money," said Brett Fairbairn, the university's vice-president of academics. "The cost of tuition that, on average, is below what similar programs cost elsewhere."

The head of the students union said the tuition hike is reasonable.

"Across Canada right now we're seeing rapid increases in tuition or mandatory fees, as we've seen quite recently in Alberta," said Warren Kirkland, president of the University of Saskatchewan Students Union.

"This is quite a modest increase and I think students will be quite pleased overall."