The GSA is calling on Carleton University to present accurate information about tuition increases, after senior administration misled students and members of the Board of Governors by falsely claiming that Upper Year graduate tuition rates (MA and PhD) would see increases of 0%.
On March 21, the Board of Governors ignored the voices of students and voted to increase tuition by the maximum legal amount, on average 3-5% (undergraduate and graduate) and 8% (international). Board members were never provided with any specific information about the actual tuition rates, and were only shown percentages.
The presentation by senior administration included the following information about tuition increases for graduate students (domestic):
- MA (Most): Upper Year: 0.0%
- PhD: Upper Years: 0.0%
Based on the tuition information now available using the Fee Estimator on the Carleton website, we can now see the following increases for upper year graduate students (domestic):
- Tuition for MA has increased from $2634 to $2713 (an increase of $79 per semester, or 3%)
- Tuition for PhD has increased from $2550 to $2672 (increase of $122 per semester, or 5%)
Since almost all graduate students are expected to stay registered continuously for three terms a year, this means that tuition rates have gone up by $237 (MA) and $366 (PhD) for graduate students in Upper Years. This will obviously be much higher for international students.
Graduate students may recall that the university made an identical error last year, when many students experienced surprise increases of almost 6%, in violation of provincial policy. Despite the repeated and constructive lobbying efforts of the GSA, senior administration continue to present tuition increases in this dubious manner.
The GSA believes that 0% increases should mean 0% increases. Carleton is being dishonest, not only to students, but also to members of the Board. We do not believe that Board members were provided with accurate information about tuition increases when they voted on them, and likely had no idea that the university would be drawing in this much additional revenue from graduate students over and above previous years.
The GSA will continue to fight for affordable education, transparent processes, and community involvement in decision-making. We encourage all students to carefully review their tuition increases, and to report anything unusual to the GSA President at firstname.lastname@example.org.