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

City of Port Alberni ponders future of uptown train station

Developer interest in heritage building prompts discussion on uptown revitalization

Join a food asset mapping focus group in Port Alberni

Learn about food mapping heritage in Port Alberni and Clayoquot Sound

Somass River sockeye fishery estimates cut in half

Local fisheries closed; poor ocean survival a prime suspect

‘Lightning’ hits Sproat Lake for annual regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

Port Alberni track and field athletes excel at BC championships

Pair brings home titles in javelin, hammer throw

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read