BC university grads pay much more than full cost of education, study finds

January 25, 2012

Challenging conventional wisdom that students are heavily subsidized by taxpayers, a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calculates the full financial contribution university students make toward their degrees in BC, taking into account 2 ways in which student pay: tuition fees upfront, and higher income taxes after graduation. The report compares students' total payments for their degrees to the cost of providing undergraduate education in BC. The analysis observes that, as a group, university graduates pay much more than the full costs of their education under the existing system of taxes and fees. The report notes that over their working lives, university-educated men and women contribute, on average, $159,000 and $106,000 more, respectively, to the public treasury than do men and women with only a secondary school diploma. By contrast, a 4-year undergraduate degree costs $50,630, of which tuition fees make up 40%. The report recommends that public investment in university education be expanded, and that tuition be reduced and education funding instead be recouped through the additional taxes paid by university graduates. CCPA News Release | Read the report