SAIT students concerned by rise in tuition

A picture of the Heritage Hall with SAIT students walking to their next class at the SAIT campus in Calgary, Alta. (Photo by ZamanAbid)

SAIT has raised tuition fees for the academic year, causing students concern about budgets and time management.

While some students are upset about the rise in tuition because work means they don’t get time to themselves, others worry about whether they will be able to have enough money for the next semester. 

“I don’t have enough time to work to buy stuff and everything. [It is] very hard to manage,” said Ammo Bral an international student at SAIT.

“And the price is high too. So, we had to work for many hours and we saved money. And we don’t have enough time to make $3,000 in four months.”

Administration has confirmed a tuition fee increase for the 2022–2023 academic year. Some students say the increases are out of proportion to the rate of inflation and they are already under difficult financial conditions.

“I realize that tuition fees are a lot more,” said Steven Aguinaldo, a SAIT student. “And, it was like, making it a little bit harder to really want to commit to studying.”

Aguinaldo is a domestic student. He took electrical engineering when COVID-19 started and has noticed an increase in tuition fees. He says he is concerned not only about himself but also about his friends who are international students. 

The province dramatically reduced post-secondary financing and removed the previous restrictions on tuition increases.

“I feel so bad because I completely submitted my whole fee, which is around $1,800. Basically, I’m from India. It’s so huge for me to collect this kind of this type of this amount,” said Amandeep Singh. a SAIT student.

Singh is an international student who is studying in a one-year program called Project Management.

For international undergraduate students studying in Canada, the average tuition cost increased 7.1 per cent, to $32,019 in 2020–2021. This increase is consistent with the rise in the academic year before the pandemic in 2019–2020 (+7.6%).

A graph of the rise in tuition fees for domestic students for the past five years at SAIT

“That’s like five times the price of tuition that I pay here, but then plus finding housing and all that. Now a lot of kids are living on the streets and there’s not much to do,” said Eric Brosinsky, a SAIT student.

Brosinsky is a domestic student who is in the business program at SAIT, which is four years long.

‘I have a few friends who are international and I believe that because they have higher course fees in general,” said Aguinaldo. “So, if I just worry that they’ll face even worse issues than some of the current students are having.”

A change in policy allowed Albertan educational institutions to raise tuition by up to seven per cent, which led to an increase there.

Most domestic undergraduate students will expect a 5.5 per cent increase in tuition rates next year, an increase of about 33 per cent from 2019, according to a presentation at a town hall on December 7, 2022.

In the 2023/24 tuition adjustment snapshot, the average tuition change for domestic students is about $445 for programs seeing increases. International students will see an average increase of about $615.

“It affects [me], I have to manage my financial stops because I’m from India, I have to do the job for more hours,” said Singh.

After years of significant tuition increases, the Alberta government announced two per cent tuition increases beginning in 2024/25. The Alberta government has announced a number of initiatives to involve students and recent graduates.

“I also think to do with the housing issues that a lot of people are having I think comes to living it’s going to be stupidly hard to do,” said Brosinsky.

Tuition and fee increases will be effective for the 2023/24 academic year, starting July 1.


About Zaman Abid 2 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Zaman Abid is working as a writer for The Press in 2023.