Okanagan College tuitions on the rise

Okanagan College's 2013-14 budget includes a two per cent increase in tuition fees

It’s going to cost more to attend Okanagan College.

The 2013-14 budget includes a two per cent increase in tuition fees.

“This is only the third time in eight years that we have implemented an across-the-board fee increase,” said Tom Styffe, board chairperson.

“Our goal this year was to avoid program and service cuts and we have achieved this. We want to ensure that we continue to provide access to the quality education that our students and communities deserve.”

For a full-time student in university arts with a typical course load, the two per cent increase in 2013-14 will amount to $62.79 per year, while a level one automotive painter apprentice will see tuition increase by $7.96.

While tuition has gone up by 6.1 per cent at Okanagan College since 2005, officials say the consumer price index has risen more than 15 per cent.

Besides higher tuition, the $95.5 million budget addresses a $1.6 million shortfall through reduced expenditures and expected increases in enrolment.

“We must produce a balanced budget for the institution,” said Styffe.

“That balance extends to what we’ve asked our staff to do and what we are expecting of students. Our departments have found ways to reduce expenditures and increase revenues through contract training and through enhanced enrolment.”

As part of the budget, the college had to manage $952,000 in inflationary costs, as well as an anticipated $120,000 reduction in funding from the province.

The increase in tuition is expected to yield about $302,500, while an increase in enrolment is projected to raise another $92,000. Reductions in departmental expenses and increases in revenue are estimated at $240,000, while increased revenue from contract and custom training is projected to yield $670,000.