Tuition Talk: Jesse

Pseudonym: Jesse 

Level of study: 5th year PhD  

Why they support a tuition freeze: Living costs are too high. Paired with increasing tution and interest, students are forced to live close to the poverty line. 

Jesse: As a PhD student, I have been at SFU through huge changes in the Vancouver rental market. The cost of living is so high that I decided to work as a distance student while writing my thesis.

The university makes money and is reliant on highly qualified personnel such as TAs/TMs/Sessisonal Instructors, yet we are living under the poverty line. In addition to the tuition freeze, there should be a removal of interest on tuition. Every semester that I am not a TA, I end up paying interest on my tuition because I can’t afford it outright. I’m also faced with a decision about which debt to pay off: my credit card, or tuition?

“Give [professors] the money [TAs/TMs/ Sessionals] get, and see how far it goes.”

Professors live a life of privilege and are generally out of the loop when it comes to our cost of living. Give them the money we get and see how far it goes. Prospective graduate students should know about these negative yet true drawbacks. If I could go back in time I would not choose SFU again.


Tuition Talk: Olan

The cost of education creates a burden and ongoing stress where I must constantly worry about how much money I need to make in order to fund my education.”

Contributer: Olan 

Department: FASS/ Education. An English major with an Education minor. 

Year: Fourth 

Why I support a tuition freeze: Lack of financial assistance from the school while current tuition rates are already unafforable makes education unattainable for a large number of us 

Hi everyone, my name is Olan and I am a fourth year English major and Education minor. I have two volunteer positions, two jobs, and I am taking four courses. My family immigrated to Canada when I was three and my mom still works two jobs that pay minimum wage in order to support our family.

With the tuition increase, I feel discouraged to want to continue my education when scholarships and funds are limited. The cost of education creates a burden and ongoing stress where I must constantly worry about how much money I need to make in order to fund my education. This has taken a toll on my mental health where I am unable to spend time with family and friends due to my schedule and I do not have the luxury to do so.

If education was more affordable, I would be able to have a better school and work life balance and I am able to spend quality time with loved ones. This in turn would improve my grades drastically and make me a well-rounded student where I would not suffer from burn-out. Any additional income that goes towards my tuition could go to helping my mom to lessen her workload as she is also overworked constantly.  I wish I can support my mom more financially, but the increase cost in tuition prevents me from doing so.

I hope by sharing my story, other students may do the same as I am sure many students are in the same boat. Together, let’s advocate for a tuition freeze and make the cost of education more affordable.