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.

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 2020/21 to 2021/22

       
         

Institutions

2020/21 Tuition Fees

2021/22 Tuition Fees

2021/22 Percent Over 2020/21

 

 
 

Colleges

 

Camosun College

$3,553

$3,624

2.0%

 

Coast Mountain College

$2,907

$2,965

2.0%

 

College of New Caledonia

$2,831

$2,887

2.0%

 

College of the Rockies

$2,860

$2,917

2.0%

 

Douglas College

$3,234

$3,299

2.0%

 

Langara College

$3,042

$3,103

2.0%

 

North Island College

$3,082

$3,144

2.0%

 

Northern Lights College

$3,375

$3,443

2.0%

 

Okanagan College

$3,547

$3,618

2.0%

 

Selkirk College

$2,960

$3,019

2.0%

 

Vancouver Community College

$2,789

$2,845

2.0%

 

Simple Average1

$3,107

$3,169

2.0%

 

Weighted Average2

$3,200

$3,216

2.0%

 

Institutes

 

British Columbia Institute of Technology3

$5,901

$5,570

N/A

 

Justice Institute of British Columbia4

$5,308

$5,414

2.0%

 

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

$2,675

$2,729

2.0%

 

Simple Average1

$4,628

$4,571

2.0%

 

Weighted Average2

$5,676

$5,424

2.0%

 

C & I Simple Average1

$3,433

$3,470

2.0%

 

C & I Weighted Average2

$3,971

$3,765

2.0%

 

Teaching-Intensive Universities

 

Capilano University

$4,066

$4,147

2.0%

 

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

$4,267

$4,267

0.0%

 

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

$4,425

$4,514

2.0%

 

Royal Roads University5

$7,487

$7,637

2.0%

 

Thompson Rivers University

$4,399

$4,487

2.0%

 

University of the Fraser Valley

$4,527

$4,618

2.0%

 

Vancouver Island University

$4,612

$4,704

2.0%

 

Simple Average1

$4,826

$4,910

1.7%

 

Weighted Average2

$4,600

$4,653

1.9%

 

Research-Intensive Universities

 

Simon Fraser University

$5,876

$5,994

2.0%

 

University of British Columbia

$5,507

$5,617

2.0%

 

University of Northern British Columbia

$5,533

$5,644

2.0%

 

University of Victoria

$5,810

$5,926

2.0%

 

Simple Average1

$5,682

$5,795

2.0%

 

Weighted Average2

$5,652

$5,770

2.0%

 

TU & RU Simple Average1

$5,137

$5,232

1.8%

 

TU & RU Weighted Average2

$5,356

$5,410

2.0%

 

System Simple Average1

$4,183

$4,245

1.9%

 

System Weighted Average2

$4,957

$4,850

2.0%

 

Source: BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions, Fall 2021 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 prior years are restated annually using Actual FTEs.
  3. Tuition for British Columbia Institute of Technology is derived from the full-time Technology program. In 2021/22, BCIT revised the methodology for full-time Technology from a simple average to a weighted average using average headcount of sampled programs in three technology tuition bands. The amount for 2021/22 is $5570, which is a 2% year-over-year increase from 2020/21.
  4. Tuition for the Justice Institute of British Columbia is derived from a Bachelor’s of Emergency and Security Management Studies. The amount for 2020/21 has been restated to reflect first-year tuition costs.
  5. Tuition for Royal Roads University is derived from a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions

       

Academic Year 2021/22

       
         

Institutions

Fees Payable to the Institution1

Fees Payable to the Student Society2

Total Fees

 
 

Colleges

 

Camosun College

$93

$672

$765

 

Coast Mountain College

$227

$345

$571

 

College of New Caledonia

$233

$519

$752

 

College of the Rockies

$683

$387

$1,071

 

Douglas College

$72

$746

$818

 

Langara College

$181

$871

$1,052

 

North Island College

$265

$426

$691

 

Northern Lights College

$183

$39

$222

 

Okanagan College

$392

$398

$790

 

Selkirk College

$520

$429

$949

 

Vancouver Community College

$196

$636

$832

 

Average

$277

$497

$774

 

Institutes

 

British Columbia Institute of Technology

$212

$924

$1,135

 

Justice Institute of British Columbia

$182

$380

$562

 

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

$60

$742

$802

 

Average

$151

$682

$833

 

Teaching-Intensive Universities

 

Capilano University

$535

$1,165

$1,701

 

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

$299

$799

$1,098

 

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

$316

$955

$1,271

 

Royal Roads University

$494

$755

$1,249

 

Thompson Rivers University

$752

$1,353

$2,105

 

University of the Fraser Valley

$554

$519

$1,073

 

Vancouver Island University

$396

$442

$838

 

Average

$478

$855

$1,333

 

Research-Intensive Universities

 

Simon Fraser University

$261

$910

$1,172

 

University of British Columbia

$235

$880

$1,116

 

University of Northern British Columbia

$493

$596

$1,089

 

University of Victoria

$185

$670

$855

 

Average

$294

$764

$1,058

 

System Average

$321

$662

$983

 

Source: BC Public Post-Secondary Institutions, Fall 2021 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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