Red Deer Polytechnic increased tuition for the 2023-24 academic year by 5.5 per cent, which is consistent with many other post-secondary institutions across Alberta, says RDP.
Tuition and fees vary by program and student depending on their course load.
“It is never an easy decision for us to ask our students to pay more for their education. Tuition helps ensure that Red Deer Polytechnic can continue to provide students with robust education, training and applied research opportunities, setting them up for success to create a positive impact in their chosen careers and in their communities,” said RDP in a statement.
RDP said it is committed to helping learners afford a high-quality education, and provides students with more than $1 million in scholarships and awards each year, thanks to the generosity of donors. RDP also offers learners with flexible payment options such as tuition installment payment plans.
Earlier this year the UCP government announced that post-secondary education tuition increases will be capped at two per cent starting in 2024-25 and into the future, but there was no cap on tuition increases for 2023-24.
Other UPC commitments to students included reducing interest rates on student loans to the prime rate; doubling the student loan interest-free grace period from six months to 12 months; and increasing the thresholds for the Repayment Assistance Plan to $40,000 from $25,000.
The province also announced last month that eligible Alberta Student Grant recipients for the 2023-24 academic year will receive up to $5,100 in non-repayable funding support. Monthly support payments will rise to $425 from $250 per month.
NDP Critic for Advanced Education Rhiannon Hoyle said only the UCP government would announce a tuition freeze and then hit students with another steep tuition hike a few months later.
“Make no mistake, today’s tuition hikes are the direct and deliberate result of the UCP’s campaign to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from our post-secondary schools. This is bad for working people in Red Deer, bad for families in Red Deer, and bad for the entire provincial economy,” said Hoyle in a statement.
“These increases mean people in Central Alberta trying to launch a career, or change their career, will struggle to pay their bills. For some, the ticket to a better job and standard of living will just be too expensive.”