Budget Committee recommends five-year tuition schedule


McMaster University's Budget Committee has approved a number of recommendations relating to undergraduate student tuition levels for the next five years.

The recommendations will be considered by the University's Board of Governors on April 27.

A two per cent increase each year over five years is proposed. The fees recommended for 2000-2005 are calculated on the base tuition fee paid this academic year (1999-2000) by students in arts and science and are evenly spaced out over the five years.

While the proposed recommendations will increase tuition at McMaster, the University will continue to offer tuition saving to students in comparison to many other universities. McMaster's tuition fees are among the lowest in the province.

“Two years ago, we made the decision to forego considerable and much-needed revenue by not increasing fees for regulated programs the full 20 per cent the government had allowed. The tuition fees that are now being proposed will be calculated on this year's base fee for arts and science. As a result, McMaster will still continue to offer tuition fees that are lower than many other universities,” says Fred Hall, chair of the McMaster University Enrolment Management Team and associate vice-president academic.

“We believe this announcement addresses students' concerns about the long-term predictability of tuition. It also provides current and future students with more time to prepare for the increased tuition,” says Hall.

It is also proposed that, commencing this fall, McMaster University introduce a student levy of $26.10, which will be increased annually by the same amount over the next five years. The levy will support a Quality Enhancement Fund to improve facilities that directly affect the quality of academic programs. The committee has recommended these funds be directed to the University Library and associated learning technologies for the next five years.

If the recommendations are approved by the Board, McMaster's basic tuition fee for the 2000-01 academic year will be $3,830.70. In 1999-2000, the basic tuition fee for undergraduate students in arts and science was $3,729.90.

Arts and science students represent approximately 75 per cent of the student undergraduate population at McMaster and include students enrolled in the nursing, bachelor of health sciences, humanities, science, social sciences and Arts & Science programs.

As in previous years, 30 per cent of tuition revenue will be used for student financial assistance. Thirty per cent of the funds collected through the levy will also support student bursaries.

Hall says it is not the University's “current intention to further differentiate tuition of programs beyond the present state or to raise tuition of deregulated programs beyond the levels indicated in the chart.”

The fee recommendations were reached following consultation and discussion with student leaders, University deans and other administrators.

McMaster will continue its policy of issuing an annual statement to the academic community regarding its budget, reallocation fund allocations and the new Quality Enhancement Fund.


Backgrounder — Tuition Fees at McMaster University

7 For the period 1998-2000, McMaster raised tuition fees for arts and science programs by only 6 % (98-99) and 9% (99-00), providing among the lowest tuition increases in the province. (In 1998, the provincial government announced that tuition fees for regulated programs could increase by up to 10 per cent in each of these years. McMaster decided not to ask for the full 20 per cent.)

7 Fees for deregulated programs at McMaster increased 11 per cent in 1998-99 and 14 per cent in 1999-2000.

7 McMaster remains committed to the concept that no academically qualified student should be denied a university education. It has shown its commitment to this principle by limiting tuition fee increases, increasing enrolment beyond its corridor funding and forecasting an increase in enrolment.

7 The University recognizes that by increasing financial aid to students, the goal of accessibility can be realized. McMaster's Student Opportunity Trust Fund and newly established Honours Entrance Awards program, which offers awards ranging from $750-2,000, assist the institution in its pursuit of this goal.

7 The University remains concerned about the lack of progress in reform of student assistance programs and continues to advocate for reform in this area.

7 Ontario universities rank 10th among all provinces in the level of per student government grant's since 1993, public funding of universities has decreased about 25 per cent.