Thompson Rivers University will increase tuition by two per cent next year, the maximum amount allowable by the provincial government. The increase was approved at the March 31 board of governors meeting.
“The government of British Columbia mandates a maximum domestic tuition increase of two per cent a year. That two per cent doesn’t even cover inflationary costs,” said Matt Milovick, the vice-president of administration and finance at TRU.
As of now, in the 2016-17 academic year, undergraduate tuition for domestic student on campus is $135.48 per credit on average. A full-time student, with five full-length courses, is paying about $2,032.20 each semester for only tuition.
Considering the maximum domestic tuition increase of two percent, the same student will be paying about $138.19 per credit and $2,072.84 per semester for a full course load.
“The more tuition is raised, the more hours I have to work at my part time job to continue to afford costs. I feel the more students are forced to work while attending full-time university, the more this lack of study time will affect our grades,” said Dave Waithe, a business student at TRU. “The quality of our education is something that should matter to every student.”
Like other universities, TRU has taken the mandated maximum of two per cent every year.
“It is my understanding – I have been here for four years – since the mandate was in place, which I think is about 15 years now, tuition has consistently gone up by the maximum of two percent [for domestic students],” Milovick said.
According to a 2016-17 budget presentation, approximately 44 per cent of TRU’s revenue, or $65.8 million, comes from tuition. A further breakdown shows that domestic students, which this two per cent increase applies to, make up 54 per cent of tuition revenue.
“Expenses, right now, on an annual basis, are starting to outstrip our revenues. It is a challenge. We are developing a financial sustainability plan for the university over the next two to three years, because we anticipate in 2019-20 we will not be able to balance our budget unless we take action now,” Milovick said.