Post-secondary students are expressing relief over the tuition freeze extension that was announced by the Alberta government on Oct. 19.
Premier Rachael Notley confirmed the extension of the freeze, which was first put in place last year, in her state-of-the-province speech at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary.
The freeze will keep 2017 -2018 tuition costs the same as last year, giving the government extra time to figure out how to make an increase fairly in the future.
As a result of the freeze, approximately 250,000 full-time and part-time post-secondary students will be able to save approximately $16 million.
“We need to make sure that education and training are accessible,” Notley said.
“The best education in the world does no good if the people who need it most can’t afford it.”
Tim De Groot, a first-year mechanical engineering technician student at SAIT, only recently became aware of the tuition freeze.
He said that while it’s nice that tuition won’t be going up, it’s kind of a win-lose situation.
“If tuition did increase, the facilities might also get a little better,” said De Groot.
“While it may not be necessary for tuition to go up, it would be beneficial for increasing quality.”
David Lees, an 18-year-old business student at SAIT, was ecstatic about the tuition freeze.
“Tuition shouldn’t be increasing at all,” said Lees.
Tuition fees for Lees are approximately $6,000 a year. However, Lees said he wouldn’t personally be affected if the costs increased as his parents fund his education.
Baba Adeniran, 18, a double major student taking electrical and business technology management at the University of Calgary, expressed relief that his tuition wouldn’t be going up.
Adeniran doesn’t believe it is necessary to increase tuition payments as most post-secondary schools have access to other revenue sources, such as parking, cafeterias and rent from those staying in residence.
“While it may not be necessary for tuition to go up, it would be beneficial for increasing quality.” – Tim De Groot
If tuition did rise, Adeniran said, “I would probably have to get my butt in gear and get more scholarships, or try getting a summer job and cover the rest of my fees with student loans.”
SAIT spokesperson Chris Gerritsen said the announcement was “good news for students.
“SAIT has a regular practice of effective and efficient fiscal management, so it’s good to have certainty as we enter a planning cycle.”