STU no longer promotes low tuition

St. Thomas University is no longer offering low tuition as a selling point for potential recruits, communications director Jeffrey Carleton confirmed. This is after the university raised tuition for Canadian students the maximum amount of $357 to $5,552 for this school year.

“It’s very straight forward. Expenditures in universities generally increase around four per cent per year and those are all the inputs,” he said before naming off academic and administrative salaries, facilities, electricity and a few other costs.

“The vast majority of our costs are academic costs.”

Now in year two of its schedule to rise to the provincial average in tuition cost, the university took full advantage of the deal its administration brokered with the province last academic year.

The deal that came in fall of 2013 allowed a tuition increase of three per cent of the provincial average tuition plus $170 at the liberal arts university, as opposed to the three per cent allowed on every other New Brunswick university’s own tuition. Carleton said that the $225,000 operating grant increase that was part of the deal allowed the school to more slowly increase tuition.

While the administration is making the transition out of the bargain-basement smoother for students, and at the university is still the least expensive in the province, low cost to students seldom appears in advertising materials.

“When people make decisions about what university they want to attend, tuition is one factor, programming is another, quality is another, location is another,” Carleton said.

“If you see it less as a cost, and more as ‘what’s the value of this?’… Then tuition doesn’t become as significant as ‘what’s the programming? What are the professors like? What critical skills will I develop? How will this prepare me for my life and for the workplace?’”

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