Posts tagged "student aid"

advanced education should be bracing for impacts – and getting ready to say no to budget cuts

The following appeared on the Stop BC Library Cuts website today, after an communiqué from the provincial government:

On August 20, 2009 the Province of British Columbia announced that the provincial dollars to support public libraries would be $13,700,000, which is about 78% of previous years. While this represents a reduction, the libraries of BC are pleased to see that the provincial government recognizes the integral role public libraries play in community development and literacy.1

While I disagree with the ‘pleased sentiment’ (being happy with a cut in funding to important services isn’t the best approach, in my humble opinion), I think that what’s happening to the public libraries in the province should be making us in advanced education start to brace for impacts.

CBC reported today that the Finance Minister of the province is telling BC voters to get ready for a “very, very difficult budget.”  According to CBC,

“We are desperately trying to maintain the critical services in health care and education and the social services. So it’s definitely been a challenging summer,” the finance minister said Wednesday.

I would not be surprised to hear that provincial funding transfers to universities were to be impacted in much the same way that the libraries have been.  This will be an incredibly difficult budget for universities to cope with, especially since they’re already five months into a fiscal year.

In short, I think we should be bracing for the impact – and getting ready to say no.

sorry, i can’t afford it / the sfu budget and student aid

Foggy crowOn Thursday, March 26, the SFU Board of Governors reviewed and approved the proposed university budget. [n.b.: you can view a PDF of the budget here and you can read a quick analysis of the impacts here.]

I am currently a member of the Board of Governors, elected by and from the students, and I voted against the budget for a number of reasons, some of which I will detail over the next couple of days. Importantly, you will note that I said that the budget was approved — while I voted against it, this was my action, and the views I express here are my own, shared as they might be by members of the SFU community.

In this update, I will focus on the issues of student aid, as they are affected by the budget. First, the budget document (in an appendix to the main document) raised most tuition fees by 2.0%, which is the most that the Board can raise tuition in any one year.

This quite simply means that education is again more expensive for students.  Assuming a 30-credit year, a domestic undergrad student’s tuition will be $4,719.1  That breaks down to about $589 a month, assuming an 8 month year, but tuition needs to be paid in full at the beginning of each semester.  Likely kind of difficult.

It’s made even more difficult by the cuts to student aid that were passed in the budget for 2009/10.  I apologize in advance for the amount of numbers coming up, but this story is best expressed in numbers.  And the cuts are in big numbers.  More after the jump.

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  1. Tuition per credit-hour will be $154.90.