The GSA executive have been notified by several members that Carleton University has increased 2015-16 tuition fees for Upper Year Domestic Graduate students much higher than had been indicated, and in some cases in excess of the provincially-regulated guidelines.

We have brought these issues to the attention of the Senior Administration, and have received a verbal commitment that they will correct the fee increases to be in line with provincial policy.

Surprise Fee Increases

On April 28, 2015, the Board of Governors passed a budget with tuition increases for the 2015-16 academic year, which came into effect for the Summer 2015 term. In his presentation to the Board, Duncan Watt, Vice-President Finance and Administration, indicated that most Upper Year graduate students would see a 0% increase.

The amount of fees charged to students’ accounts tell a different story. It is true that most graduate students going from their First Year to their Second Year will experience no increase in their tuition. However, graduate students going from one Upper Year into another—for example, students going into their Third Year—have seen significant tuition increases:

  • Tuition for most upper year Masters students (after their second year) has increased by just under 5%.
  • Tuition for most upper year PhD students (after their second year) has increased by just under 6%.

Violating Provincial Policy

Domestic Tuition Fees are regulated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). According to the Tuition Fee Framework, the maximum allowable increase of tuition fees for any graduate program is “5.0% for students who start in or after 2013-14; or 4.0% for students who were enrolled in 2012-13.”

It is the position of the GSA that any increase in excess of these amounts is in violation of provincial policy.

Moving Forward

Senior Administration have verbally committed to correcting this error and bringing tuition increases under the 5% limit, in line with provincial policy. We are waiting to see the final proposal and method for implementation, but we look forward to seeing this issue resolved in the near future.

Unfortunately, the increase to graduate student tuition will still be much higher than had been reported. The GSA calls on Senior Administration to increase transparency by presenting accurate and comprehensive information regarding tuition increases to the Board of Governors.

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