Austin Ristau, an electrical engineering student, is empathetic towards those who may be affected by the increasing fees. "The college could do a lot better," he said. Photo credit: William Bailey

Students who are coming back to Algonquin College in the 2023-2024 academic year and planning to stay in residence will find their bank accounts lighter than they were this year as their fees are going up.

This spike in fees will range from $250 to $370 more than what students were charged for the 2022-2023 academic year, according to the residence section of the Algonquin College website.

Each resident has two options on how they want to pay their fees. The first is the full payment option, where the resident can pay the entire fee for the academic year. The second is the split payment option, where the resident can pay the fee in smaller portions.

Those who choose the latter must pay a portion within the first two weeks of each semester.

Students returning for a two-term academic year will have to pay $8,520 if they select the full payment option and $8,670 if they choose the split payment option. For those who decide to live in residence for a three-term academic year, including the spring 2024 semester, they would have to pay $11,520 or $11,670 respectively.

These fees do not include the residence meal plan, which is mandatory for all first-year students. Those fees are also to increase between $50 and $181, depending on whether residents pay for the light, regular or premium meal plan.

“Historically, our residence rates have increased year to year to address annual increases in operating costs,” says Brent Brownlee, director of Campus Services. “For 2023-24, our residence room rates are set to increase by about 3 per cent. The revenue from these increases is allocated to address facility requirements and to continuously improve the value we deliver to the residence community. Specifically, we allocate funds to programming, staffing, maintenance, supplies, and services to ensure the greatest impact on the residence experience.”

Some residents don’t view the increase in fees to be that big of a deal.

“I’m not too bothered by it,” said Austin Ristau, an electrical engineering student. “I get supported financially by the college, so it doesn’t affect me much. Having said that, I definitely understand how that may affect other residents. I think the fees as it is are somewhat reasonable, but the college could do better, especially when these fees don’t include food.”

Despite his praise of Algonquin College having a good residence, Ristau believes that there’s more to be desired when it comes to the quality of living that residents are paying for.

“The rooms could be of better quality,” he said. “The college should focus on the lighting in our rooms. They can also do something about the parking lots, which they don’t plow.”

Thomas Armstrong in study lounge at residence
Thomas Armstrong, an electrical engineering student, does not feel the fees are worth what residents are receiving. "It's ridiculous," he said. Photo credit: William Bailey

Thomas Armstrong, another electrical engineering student, feels that living in residence is already pricey and doesn’t approve of the rising fees.

“The fact that they are going up is ridiculous,” he said. “I find what we pay currently for what we get is a bit too much, to be honest.”

Ryan Yasawy in his room at residence
Ryan Yasawy, a computer programming student, does not like the sound of increasing fees. "It's kind of unfair," he said. Photo credit: William Bailey

Upon hearing the news of the increasing fees, Ryan Yasawy, a computer programming student, is left with more questions than answers.

“It’s kind of unfair,” he said. “Every year, residents are getting charged more and more. For what exactly? What is being solved by charging us more? Is the extra money going into upgrading our living conditions? More reliable services from maintenance? What’s changing?”

Students who apply to live in residence between Feb. 1 and May 1 will have an opportunity to win their room for the 2023-2024 academic year.