Benefits Arising from Education Have a Cost

Generally speaking, the more educated a country’s population, the higher the level of productive output and ultimately the more beneficial the outcome to the country as an economic engine. In Canada, education comes with an ever-increasing price-tag.

The average tuition fee for undergraduate programs in Canada reached $5,772 for the 2013-2014 school year — a 3.3 per cent increase over the previous year. A year earlier, the increase was 4.2 per cent. The most costly undergraduate program, on average, is dentistry ($17,324 on overage) followed by medicine ($12,438) and pharmacy ($10,942).

Graduate programs in Canada experienced a similar rise in the cost of tuition, with the 2013-2014 average increase of 2.3 per cent pushing the average bill to just over $6,000. Students experienced an average increase of 4.5 per cent in the previous year. Ontario’s average cost is the highest at $8,546 — nearly $1,000 more than British Columbia. At $2,473, Newfoundland is the province with the lowest average cost, followed by Quebec at $2,792. Graduate dentistry programs averaged an additional $11,142, and pharmacy cost an additional $5,266 (data for post-graduate medicine programs was not available). Executive master of business administration (MBA) programs are the most expensive, with an average cost of $35,889.

The annual university bill is not limited to tuition fees as all universities have additional compulsory fees that are not insignificant. Additional fees for undergraduates in Canada averaged $817 for 2013-2014 — an increase of 5.3 per cent over the previous year. These fees include items such as athletics, health services and student associations.

These newly released statistics suggest that Canadians planning for their children’s future education need to continually review savings plans in order to ensure they have the financial means to meet the ever-increasing cost of a financially secure future. Education has benefits, but not without a significant up-front cost.

E.O. & E.


This commentary is published by the Institute in consultation with an editorial board comprised of recognized authorities in the fields of law, life insurance and estate administration.

The Institute is the professional organization that administers and promotes the CLU and the CHS designations in Canada.

The articles and comments are not intended to provide legal, accounting or other device in individual circumstances. Seek professional assistance before acting upon information included in this publication.

Advocis*, the Institute for advanced financial education.

(The Institue”), CLU, CHS, FHF.C and APA are trademarks of the financial advisors Association of Canada (TFAAC).

The institute is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Advocis. Copywrite TFAAC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any images or content without permission is prohibited.

Copywrite  ISSN 0382-7038

Contributors to this edition:

James W. Kraft, cpa, ca, mtax, tep, cfp, clu, ch.f.c.
Deborah Kraft, mtax, tep, cfp, clu, ch.f.c.

About The Author

Mark Schneider
Mark Schneider is one of Canada's leading Chartered Financial Planners. For over 30 years he has helped hundreds of regular Canadian families grow small fortunes through consistent planning and wise advice. He holds the following designations: CFP, CLU, CHFC, CFSB

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