Okanagan College Tuition Up

Tuition will be increasing at Okanagan College in the coming year.

Following provincial policy, the College’s Board of Governors has approved a two per cent increase for domestic students in the coming year. Tuition for international students will increase two per cent for some programs and 5.9 per cent in other programs (arts, business, science, and English as a Second Language).

Adult Basic Education courses and English as a Second Language courses remain tuition free for domestic students.

“The increase in tuition is one of the mechanisms we have to keep pace with the impact of tuition on our budget and support much-needed additional services,” explains Okanagan College Board Chair Chris Derickson.

For a Canadian student taking a full semester of five university arts lectures, the increase will add $33.42, increasing the semester’s tuition to $1,704.73. For an international student taking the same courses, the increase will add $382.91 to a semester’s tuition (totaling $6,872.91). Tuition for international students is higher than for domestic students because they are not supported by taxpayer funding.

Jennifer Meyer represents the Student's Union's Kelowna campus, and she says the college has been receiving enough funding recently and they don't really need the increase, but extra revenue could mean good things for students. It could "potentially provide some of the services that the Student's Union has been advocating for.  Affordable housing either on campus or in the nearby communities, for sure having a nurse on campus...also increasing the number of counsellors on campus right now."  Meyer says there is just one counsellor for 3600 students and "it's proving to be really difficult if someone's having a mental health emergency."

Okanagan College’s budget will be finalized in the coming month. “We have had requests for additional services articulated by the Okanagan College Students’ Association and I know that administration is looking closely at how the College can address those,” says Derickson.