Average annual Canadian undergraduate tuition fees ($2015)

What it measures

Dimension: Overall academic achievement, attainment, and participation

In Canada, the cost of post-secondary education is shared between government and students. Tuition fees are the primary means by which students contribute to the cost of their education. Measured in constant dollars that take inflation into consideration, the average undergraduate tuition cost for Canadian students has nearly tripled over the past two decades.

Why this matters

If tuition fees are perceived as prohibitive by potential students, they represent a barrier to educational participation. As such, rising tuition fees are potentially detrimental to the educational attainment of Canadians which, in turn, is related to their future career potential and opportunities to enjoy a higher standard of living. Further, high tuition fees are directly related to higher levels of student debt following graduation. The burden of student debt during the beginning stages of one’s career can substantially limit access to appropriate housing, good quality food, a range of transportation choices, and some leisure activities.

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