Comparative Costs of College/University in Alberta

COMPARING THE COST OF
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IN ALBERTA


Download – Post-Secondary Cost Comparison

During meetings with Mr. Bruce MacDonald from Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, he agreed that in 2007/2008 the cost to deliver one year of academic education at an Alberta university was approximately $24,000 per full-time student. While students paid a smaller portion of this amount via their tuition and fees (about 25%), most of this cost was paid via gifts, donations, and the bulk of it came from the Department of Advanced Education. During the same period the cost to deliver one year of college/technical institute education was approximately $17,000 per full-time student.

The following charts compare the above costs with Columbia College (a private college) for the same period. These figures indicate that it generally cost 70% more money to educate an adult in a public college that year than a specific private college. These figures further indicate that it generally costs 140% more money to educate an adult in a public university that year than a specific private college offering the first two years of university level courses.

Comparison of the Cost of One Year of Academic Education at a
Public College in Alberta with Columbia College

Public College Costs = $17,000

Columbia College Costs = $10,000

Note: 1.These costs include student tuition and fees but exclude textbook and learning materials.



Comparison of the Cost of One Year of Academic Education at a
Public University in Alberta with Columbia College

Public University Costs = $24,000

Columbia College Costs = $10,000

Note: 1.These costs include student tuition and fees but exclude textbook and learning materials.

It is important to point out that two programs at Columbia College are nationally accredited programs. Students in these programs must write national exams. In both cases Columbia College students generally performed as well as, or better than, students from public colleges across Canada. In fact, in one of Columbia’s programs, over the past five years, students have consistently achieved final exam scores at least 20% higher than the national average.

Budget Savings:


Based on these figures the Department of Advanced Education would save 7 million dollars annually for each group of 1000 college students that attend a private institution like Columbia College. The government would save 14 million dollars annually for each group of 1000 first and second year university students that attend a private institution like Columbia College.

Recommendation:


It is recommended that the Department of Advanced Education consider having selected private institutions deliver public post-secondary education.