Tuition rising again at North Island College

North Island College students will pay two per cent more for their domestic tuition again next year.

North Island College students will pay two per cent more for their domestic tuition again next year.

As it did last year, the college’s Board of Governors approved a two-per-cent hike for domestic tuition and fees at its Wednesday meeting.

The increase goes into effect Aug. 15, and is the maximum allowable increase amount for 2013/14 as per the Ministry of Advanced Education.

“It was difficult for the board,” Susan Auchterlonie, NIC director of college and community relations said Thursday. “It is very much with a heavy heart, and as the board chair (Bruce Calder) said, the college is really in between a rock and a hard place on this; they understand the students’ objections (to raising tuition and fees) and are sympathetic, very, very sympathetic, you know, but it’s just the fiscal reality that the college faces.”

According to a report in the meeting agenda, the college faces more cost pressures each year due to inflation, but does not receive more money in its base operating grant from government.

“Based on the provincial budget tabled on Feb. 19, it is likely there will be a decrease in our base operating grant for F13/14,” the report goes on to say. “An increase of two per cent in tuition would result in an estimated $70,000 more tuition revenue for programs covered by the Domestic Tuition and Fee Bylaw.”

According to Auchterlonie, two board members opposed the increase; the two student representatives on the board, Jacelyn Lobay and Savannah McKenzie.

McKenzie said Thursday she is “very disappointed” the board approved the increase.

“Every time they raise the tuitions they are putting more and more of the costs on the backs of students, which is really disappointing,” she said.

McKenzie outlined her struggles to pay tuition in a written version of the verbal statement she made to the board Wednesday.

“The debt that I am accumulating from being in school is coming to the point that I almost regret starting,” wrote McKenzie. “This year my tuition was paid for by the life insurance of my grandmother Helen, I have to say, this is not the way I want to avoid student debt. I should not have to rely on the insurance policies of my loved ones to pay for my education.

“The money I received  was only enough to pay for my tuition. It didn’t eliminate my $16,000 student loan, my need to work, my living pay cheque to pay cheque. Having to choose between nutritious food, or paying my rent is an awful choice to make.”

Auchterlonie said Lobay and McKenzie spoke “very eloquently” against the increase, noting their statements were “heartfelt.”

“But as our board chair noted, the college is in a real difficult position,” continued Auchterlonie. “Funding is not being increased, we have to provide a balanced budget and we’re not get any additional funding for inflationary costs, etc., so this is really one of the only ways that we have revenue available to the college to meet those additional costs.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

Air quality statement in effect for Comox Valley

Smokey skies could mean a high risk on the air quality health index

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Comox resident part of famed basketball team

Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for Edmonton Grads

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read