Ministry of Advanced Education

Education Costs | Post-Secondary Data

Affordable higher education for both students and taxpayers.

An analysis in 2014 by BC Stats shows that graduates of post-secondary programs earn a higher income over a working lifetime than they would make with a high-school diploma.

BC Stats findings of additional lifetime earnings:

  • Registered apprenticeship certificate – $524,000.
  • Undergraduate degree (all, excluding medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine) – $827,000.
  • Undergraduate degree in arts or science – $577,000.
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering, business or health – more than $1 million.
  • Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma – $266,000.
  • Certificate or diploma – ranges between $178,000 and $370,000 for a certificate or diploma below a bachelor degree.
  • Master’s degree – more than $1 million.
  • Medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine – more than $2 million.

BC Stats used data collected by Statistics Canada through the 2011 National Household Survey to calculate the lifetime earnings estimates. The study considered responses from more than 100,000 British Columbians and is considered statistically representative of the B.C. working age population.

Summary of Lifetime Earnings [PDF]

Since 2005, Government policy has limited tuition fee increases to 2% annually.


B.C. Public Post-Secondary Institutions
Academic Arts Annual Tuition Fees1 for Full-Time Students by Sector2

Download detailed Tuition Fees spreadsheets.

  2013/14 2014/15 Increase
Colleges
Camosun College $3,093 $3,155 2.0%
College of New Caledonia $2,466 $2,516 2.0%
College of the Rockies $2,491 $2,540 2.0%
Douglas College $2,820 $2,874 1.9%
Langara College $2,649 $2,702 2.0%
North Island College $2,685 $2,738 2.0%
Northern Lights College $2,943 $3,002 2.0%
Northwest Community College $2,531 $2,581 2.0%
Okanagan College $3,203 $3,267 2.0%
Selkirk College $1,999 $2,039 2.0%
Vancouver Community College $2,428 $2,477 2.0%
Simple Average $2,664 $2,717 2.0%
Weighted Average 3 $2,731 $2,783 2.0%
 
Institutes
British Columbia Institute of Technology $5,144 $5,247 2.0%
Justice Institute of British Columbia4 $4,463 $4,552 2.0%
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology $2,329 $2,376 2.0%
Simple Average $3,979 $4,058 2.0%
Weighted Average 3 $4,934 $5,029 2.0%
College and Institute Simple Average $2,946 $3,005 2.0%
College and Institute Weighted Average3 $3,260 $3,325 2.0%
 
Teaching-Intensive Universities
Capilano University $3,539 $3,610 2.0%
Emily Carr University of Art + Design $3,714 $3,788 2.0%
Kwantlen Polytechnic University $3,855 $3,932 2.0%
Royal Roads University 5 $6,530 $6,660 2.0%
Thompson Rivers University $3,830 $3,907 2.0%
University of the Fraser Valley $3,941 $4,020 2.0%
Vancouver Island University $4,015 $4,095 2.0%
Simple Average $4,204 $4,287 2.0%
Weighted Average 3 $3,977 $4,057 2.0%
 
Research-Intensive Universities
Simon Fraser University $5,115 $5,217 2.0%
University of British Columbia $4,794 $4,890 2.0%
University of Northern British Columbia $4,816 $4,913 2.0%
University of Victoria $5,058 $5,159 2.0%
Simple Average $4,946 $5,045 2.0%
Weighted Average 3 $4,927 $5,025 2.0%
Teaching-Intensive & Research-Intensive Universities
Simple Average
$4,473 $4,563 2.0%
Teaching-Intensive & Research-Intensive Universities
Weighted Average 3
$4,620 $4,713 2.0%
 
System Simple Average $3,618 $3,690 2.0%
System Weighted Average 3 $4,164 $4,294 2.0%

Notes:

  1. Tuition fees do not include books or other student fees.
  2. "Sector" refers to groupings by type of institution.
  3. Weighted averages for tuition fee ($) amounts are derived by using institution size (e.g. student full-time equivalent targets) to create an average that more accurately reflects average amounts paid.
  4. For Justice Institute of British Columbia, used Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies for comparison purposes.
  5. For Royal Roads University, used Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science for comparison purposes.

Government has taken action to limit tuition and mandatory fee increases to the rate of inflation.

Limit

For 2014/15, the limit for tuition and mandatory fees is 2%.

Timing

The tuition limit policy took effect September 2005.

Scope

The tuition limit applies to:

  • Professional programs.
  • Cost recovery/continuing education credentialed programs.
  • All other credentialed and open enrolment programs.
  • Mandatory fees, including capital construction support (e.g., building fees), consumable fees (e.g., fees charged for field trips and consumable supplies) and other mandatory fees (e.g., application fees and technology fees).

The tuition limit does not apply to:

  • International student tuition and mandatory fees.
  • Third-party contracts.
  • New programming (first year). Institutions may set the initial tuition and mandatory fee rate for new instructional programs (not amendments to existing programs). After the first year, tuition and mandatory fees will be subject to the tuition limit policy.
  • Community/continuing education non-credentialed courses. Most of these are short-term courses offered in the evening or on the weekend (e.g., first aid, photography).
  • Mandatory fees for student association or society fees (collected on behalf of student associations).

These data come from the Student Outcomes Surveys which try to reach every graduate after leaving their studies.

These surveys attain a high response rate (over 50% each year), and are considered valid and reliable. The amount reported by the Ministry is a median (50% of the students reported more debt, and 50% reported less debt).

Government student loan debt Bachelor Degree Graduates Diploma, Associate Degree & Certificate Graduates
Program Area 2009 2010 2011 2009 2010 2011
Overall
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 39% 36% 36% 25% 23% 24%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Arts and Science
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 37% 33% 34% 30% 27% 26%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $11,000 $10,000 $11,000
Business and Management
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 32% 30% 31% 24% 20% 23%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $18,000 $15,175 $18,000 $11,000 $12,000 $10,000
Education
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 50% 46% 41% 17% 10% 10%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $15,000 $15,000 $14,000 $8,000 $12,500 $9,000
Engineering and Applied Sciences
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 40% 37% 35% 32% 32% 31%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $12,000 $12,000 $11,000
Health
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 41% 43% 45% 29% 26% 27%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $28,000 $25,000 $26,000 $12,000 $11,000 $11,100
Human and Social Services
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 45% 43% 43% 26% 23% 26%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $25,000 $24,000 $22,500 $11,000 $11,000 $10,000
Trades
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt - - - 20% 18% 21%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred - - - $8,000 $7,800 $8,000
Visual and Performing Arts
Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt 38% 36% 33% 29% 32% 32%
Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $13,000 $10,000 $11,000
  • Incurred Gov't Student Loan Debt shows the percentage of valid responses that were greater than $0.
  • Median Gov't Student Loan Debt Incurred is based on responses where amount of debt incurred was greater than $0.

Source: Baccalaureate Graduate Survey, and Diploma, Associate Degree and Certificate Student Outcomes Survey 2009-2011
All surveys were conducted approximately two years after graduation; e.g. Survey Year 2010 indicated graduates from 2008.