Ryerson Canada’s priciest university

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By Liam Eagle 

Students pay roughly $12,929 to attend Ryerson—the highest price tag of any university in the country, according to a recently released consultant report.

But Ryerson administration wants to know how the organization that completed the survey came up with its numbers.

“We’re absolutely not happy with the results,” said Carole Scrase, Ryerson’s manager of student financial assistance, who added she’s asked the organization fo the breakdown it uses to assess universities.

University Scholarships of Canada (USC), a non-profit organization specializing in registered education savings plans, collects informations from universities every year about tuition, books and living expenses.

This year’s findings were released last month.

Ryerson president Clause Lajeunesse said he expected the school’s ranking to be high because of the cost of living in downtown Toronto, but he was surprised to see such an expensive tuition listing, considering the numbers his staff provided to the survey group were between $4,020 and $4,659—not the $4,828 mentioned in the final report.

“With Ryerson being in Toronto you would expect that Ryerson would be one of the most expensive,” Lajeunesse said. “But if you look at tuition, I mean we are certainly not among the most expensive, even on basic tuition.”

Kevin Connolly, the executive vice-president of USC, didn’t return repeated phone calls yesterday.

Despite the potential discrepancies with the survey’s numbers, Ryerson students are feeling the burden of extra university costs, which continue to rise every year in Ontario, the most expensive province in which to earn a degree.

According to the survey, Ryerson has the fourth-most expensive tuition fees at $4,800, the second most expensive room and board at $7,101, and is the most expensive place to buy books and supplies, at $1,000.

Makael Kakakhel, a first-year civil engineering student, received $9,000 in OSAP this year.

He pays $5,500 for tuition and $800 each month to rent his Toronto apartment, and his heavy course load prevents him from working while he attends school.

“In first year it’s difficult,” Kakakhel said. “It’s starting period. You have to study a lot and you can’t work. And if you go to the bank you need a guarantee [that you will not default on your loan.] My parents live in the United Arab Emirates. They can’t give me a guarantee.”

According to the report, Ryerson cost $670 more per year than the University of Toronto.

Laurentian University was rated the least expensive, with an average yearly cost of $9,834—$3,095 less than Ryerson.

Where the money goes 

Ryerson’s total cost: $12,929

Room and board: $7,101

Tuition and fees: $4,828

Books and supplies: $1,000

Top five most expensive Ontario universities 

  1. Ryerson—$12,929
  2. Queen’s—$12,607
  3. Toronto—$12,242
  4. Carleton—$12,026
  5. McMaster—$11,777

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