A student who begins post-secondary school in 2016 will pay four times the amount of tuition as their counterparts who started in 1990.
A new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) states that in 1990-91 students paid an average of $1,464, and in 2012-13 students paid $6,348. That figure is expected to rise to $7,437 in 2016-17.
When the figures are adjusted for inflation, it still represents a 305% cost increase, the CCPA states.
Ontario remains the most expensive province for post secondary with a current average tuition of $8,403, which is expected to climb to $9,517 by 2016–17.
Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest average tuition, according to the CCPA, averaging $2,872 this fall and rising slightly to $2,886 in 2016–17.
As tuition has steadily increased in the last two decades, federal transfers for post education have declined by half between 1992-93 and 2011-12, the CCPA states, and universities have increased its dependence on other income — mostly tuition fees.
The proportion of university operating costs that rely on tuition has increased from 14% and 35% between 1989 and 2009, the report states.
University funding also varies widely by province, something the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) says needs to change.
“Standards for access to post-secondary education should be set and enforced by federal legislation in the same manner by which standards for health care access are set by the Canada Health Act,” Jessica McCormick, CFS national chairwoman said in a press release.