The Cost and Return Investment of Post-secondary Education

See how much it costs to complete a post-secondary program, consider how much debt is left after graduation and see the long-term payoff in lifetime earnings.

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.

Affordable higher education for both students and taxpayers.

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

Annual Academic Arts Tuition Fees1 for Full-Time Students by Institution Type

BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions

Academic Years 2019/20 to 2020/21

Institutions

2019/20 Tuition Fees

2020/21 Tuition Fees

2020/21 Percent Over 2019/20

Colleges

Camosun College

$3,484

$3,553

2.0%

Coast Mountain College

$2,850

$2,907

2.0%

College of New Caledonia

$2,776

$2,831

2.0%

College of the Rockies

$2,804

$2,860

2.0%

Douglas College

$3,171

$3,234

2.0%

Langara College

$2,983

$3,042

2.0%

North Island College

$3,022

$3,082

2.0%

Northern Lights College

$3,309

$3,375

2.0%

Okanagan College

$3,478

$3,547

2.0%

Selkirk College

$2,907

$2,960

1.8%

Vancouver Community College

$2,735

$2,789

2.0%

Simple Average1

$3,047

$3,107

2.0%

Weighted Average2

$3,132

$3,152

2.0%

Institutes

British Columbia Institute of Technology3

$5,787

$5,901

2.0%

Justice Institute of British Columbia4

$5,026

$5,127

2.0%

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

$2,623

$2,675

2.0%

Simple Average1

$4,479

$4,568

2.0%

Weighted Average2

$5,499

$5,664

2.0%

C & I Simple Average1

$3,354

$3,420

2.0%

C & I Weighted Average2

$3,857

$3,780

2.0%

Teaching-Intensive Universities

Capilano University

$3,986

$4,066

2.0%

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

$4,183

$4,267

2.0%

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

$4,339

$4,425

2.0%

Royal Roads University5

$7,340

$7,487

2.0%

Thompson Rivers University

$4,313

$4,399

2.0%

University of the Fraser Valley

$4,438

$4,527

2.0%

Vancouver Island University

$4,521

$4,612

2.0%

Simple Average1

$4,731

$4,826

2.0%

Weighted Average2

$4,504

$4,566

2.0%

Research-Intensive Universities

Simon Fraser University

$5,761

$5,876

2.0%

University of British Columbia

$5,399

$5,507

2.0%

University of Northern British Columbia

$5,424

$5,533

2.0%

University of Victoria

$5,696

$5,810

2.0%

Simple Average1

$5,570

$5,682

2.0%

Weighted Average2

$5,544

$5,657

2.0%

TU & RU Simple Average1

$5,036

$5,137

2.0%

TU & RU Weighted Average2

$5,241

$5,306

2.0%

System Simple Average1

$4,094

$4,176

2.0%

System Weighted Average2

$4,829

$4,789

2.0%

Source: BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions, Fall 2020 tuition data submission

Notes:

  1. Simple average for the year-over-year and the cumulative percent change columns are calculated by averaging the percent change of each institution within a sector or sector grouping (i.e. the college sector, TU & RU).
  2. Weighted averages for tuition are derived by using institution size (i.e. student Full-Time Equivalents, or FTEs) to provide an average that more accurately reflects the average amounts paid. The current year uses the Funded FTEs; all years prior are restated annually using Actual FTEs.
  3. Tuition for British Columbia Institute of Technology is derived from the full-time Technology program.
  4. Tuition for the Justice Institute of British Columbia is derived from a Bachelor’s of Emergency and Security Management Studies.
  5. Tuition for Royal Roads University is derived from a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science.

BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions

Academic Year 2020/21

Institutions

Fees Payable to the Institution1

Fees Payable to the Student Society2

Total Fees

Colleges

Camosun College3

$91

$662

$753

Coast Mountain College

$222

$94

$316

College of New Caledonia

$229

$533

$762

College of the Rockies

$670

$387

$1,057

Douglas College

$71

$751

$822

Langara College

$179

$864

$1,043

North Island College

$260

$425

$685

Northern Lights College

$180

$38

$218

Okanagan College

$385

$398

$783

Selkirk College

$510

$432

$942

Vancouver Community College

$192

$636

$828

Average

$272

$475

$746

Institutes

British Columbia Institute of Technology

$208

$914

$1,122

Justice Institute of British Columbia

$178

$119

$297

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

$60

$735

$795

Average

$149

$589

$738

Teaching-Intensive Universities

Capilano University

$269

$1,120

$1,389

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

$299

$791

$1,090

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

$310

$942

$1,252

Royal Roads University

$484

$770

$1,254

Thompson Rivers University

$738

$1,338

$2,076

University of the Fraser Valley

$543

$509

$1,052

Vancouver Island University

$388

$441

$829

Average

$433

$844

$1,277

Research-Intensive Universities

Simon Fraser University

$256

$884

$1,140

University of British Columbia

$231

$851

$1,082

University of Northern British Columbia

$483

$594

$1,077

University of Victoria

$181

$676

$857

Average

$288

$751

$1,039

System Average

$305

$636

$941

Source: BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions, Fall 2020 tuition data submission

Notes:

  1. Fees payable to the institution include registration fees, technology and laboratory fees, library fees, learning resource fees, ancillary fees, athletic and recreation fees, etc. Fees payable to the institution have been subject to the 2% tuition limit policy since 2007.
  2. Fees payable to the student society include Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) fees, U-Pass fees, student union building fees, optional health and dental fees, etc. Student fee amounts must be approved by a majority of the student society. Any rate changes must be approved by student society referendum. Fees payable to the student society are not subject to the 2% tuition limit policy.
  3. Camosun College did not collect mandatory fees payable to the institution up until 2020/21. In 2020/21, a new mandatory Student Service fee was introduced.

Find out how much debt students have once they graduate. Information is based on students who were surveyed after graduation.

Note: Percentages listed reflect the number of respondents who incurred government student loan debt and answered finance questions. Dollar amounts reflect the median debt of respondents who reported government student loan debt. Prior to 2018, the funding questions were asked of a 50% sample; starting in 2018, they were asked of all respondents.

Bachelor Degree Graduates

Diploma, Associate Degree & Certificate Graduates

 

2017

2018

2019

2017

2018

2019

 

Debt Overview

35%

35%

32%

26%

24%

23%

 

$25,000

$25,000

$27,000

$12,000

$14,000

$13,000

 

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