$2,000 tuition hikes on the horizon

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By Wojetek Dabrowski and Caitlin Martella

Rye prez says higher fees for three programs will put them on par with other schools.

Ryerson may have to hike tuition for information-technology management, computer science and engineering students by as much as $2,000 next year to keep up with what other schools in Ontario charge, Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse said Monday.

“If we want to remain competitive with these institutions, that’s what we’d be looking at,” Lajeunesse said. The three programs being targeted are deregulated, which means there are no limits on how high tuition can be raised from year to year. Lajeunesse said fees at Ryerson are between $1,000 and $2.000 less than what other schools charge for comparable programs.

He said the Board of Governors will have the final word on the move and a decision is expected towards the end of the school year.

RyeSAC president Odelia Bay said that raising tuition just to keep up with other Ontario universities isn’t a strong enough reason. “This is not a race to be the most expensive university,” Bay said. Bay also said that ITM and computer science area among the programs that cost Ryerson the least to deliver to students.

According to a list of actual cost of programs per student offered at Ryerson in 1999-2000, ITM costs $7,457, and Computer Science costs $8,099. Engineering programs cost between $11,741 (aerospace engineering) and $15,131 (civil engineering). Civil engineering is the most expensive program the university offers. “The risk we have at Ryerson is that too many of our programs fall under the definition of what can be deregulated,” Bay said referring to professionally related programs such as journalism and graphic communication management.

Although the decision on the possible tuition hike is still months away, students are already worried that they will have to make sacrifices at Ryerson. Some, like third-year ITM student Francis Contiga, are already anticipating the worst. “I knew (tuition) was going to go up, but not by this much,” Contiga said. “I’m going to have to put in more hours at work to raise the money.”

For first-year ITM student Ryan Fitzsimmons, a tuition hike of $1,000 or $2,000 could mean he will have to give up his car and switch to GO Transit to get to school from Oakville, Ont.

Kaveh Moallemi, a third-year computer science student, said he might have to switch to part-time studies, or drop out all together. “For me, it might mean that I won’t be able to come back…next year,” Moallemi said.

He added he isn’t interested in taking on a large student loan, either. “Personally, I’d like to pay my way as I go so I’d probably have to maybe go (to school) part time and get a full-time job on the side.”

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