A degree provides lifetime value.
Higher education provides considerable value to the economies where educated individuals work and live, and society in general.
Individual earnings are strongly related to educational attainment. Studies show that people who have completed high school earn more than those who have not; people with a bachelor’s degree earn more than those with a high school diploma; and those with a graduate education earn more than those with an undergraduate education.*
A degree also offers more than earning capacity. It builds critical thinking, research and analytical skills; ensures better health; and encourages more volunteer opportunities within the community.*
At the University of Saskatchewan, we want students to receive lifetime value for their tuition dollars.
Who sets tuition at the U of S?
The University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors is responsible for setting tuition rates. Tuition is considered by the board each year as part of the university’s planning process.
How are tuition rates set?
Our Board of Governors sets tuition based on three principles:
This principle directs the university to compare tuition levels with other U15 medical-doctoral peer institutions with similar programs and, to a lesser extent, with other institutions in close regional proximity.
Our tuition and fees are currently lower than the median rate of U15 medical-doctoral institutions. The median is calculated as the mid-point of the range of tuition and fee levels. The median is a more informative measure than the average calculation because it is less influenced by small numbers of institutions that have extremely high or extremely low fees.
As an example, in comparison to Canadian undergraduate arts and science programs in 2014/15, the U of S rates were below the median, as seen in figure 1.
2. Affordability and accessibility
The joint principle of affordability and accessibility means the university pays careful attention to ensure students with greater financial need are not systematically excluded and that we set tuition with an understanding of the total cost for a student to attend the U of S, including:
- fees, supplementary course materials, living expenses and total student debt load;
- direct financial resources available to students, including financial aid (scholarships, bursaries, grants, loans, research funding) and tax credits;
- program demand; and
- the potential lifetime earnings of graduates.
One indicator of the financial resources available to students is scholarships, bursaries and grants. Scholarships, bursaries and grants available to U of S students, as a percentage of the total tuition and fees, are above the median of our peer institutions, as seen in figure 2.
The principle of enabling quality recognizes the university's commitment to providing high-quality programs and services for students. We work to ensure the overall student experience is properly resourced and meets student expectations. Attracting and retaining outstanding faculty is a priority that is reflected in the quality of education we offer; academics who excel in their fields are highly sought after by the U of S.
Since 2002, 86-94 per cent of U of S students have been "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the quality of their education.**
What is tuition used for?
Tuition revenue comprises 24 per cent of the university’s operating budget (figure 3).*** Tuition and fees, in combination with the provincial operating grant and other revenue, funds academic priorities including recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty, enhancing student services to ensure quality educational experiences, and providing scholarships and bursaries to increase accessibility and affordability for students. Colleges invest tuition revenue for specified purposes that directly benefit students and enhance the student experience.
In addition to tuition, students also pay a variety of student fees (USSU, athletic, recreation, transit, etc.) that are used to fund specific student benefits offered as part of a university education.
Tuition at the U of S is directly related to the experience we are able to offer.
For more information, please contact Lori Auchstaetter in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic at (306) 966-8484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Sources: ASU, AUCC
**Sources: CUSC Survey, 2002-2013
*** Based on 2014 figures