Why has NSCAD increased tuition by 3%?

The decision was necessary to ensure operational effectiveness, a balanced budget and to continue to provide a valuable and competitive educational experience. NSCAD’s tuition increase does not stand alone, universities across the Maritimes have made similar adjustments.

How much money will tuition increase by?

The increase will amount to an additional $265 per 15-credit course load for domestic undergraduate students, and $270 for domestic graduate students. For international students, the annual increase is $570 per 15-credit course load.

Was the NSCAD community consulted about the tuition increase?

Several consultation sessions were held with the Budget Advisory Committee (which includes members of the administration, faculty and students). The Committee provides broad input to, and assists in, the coordination of the budget process. The Committee recommended the 2019-20 budget including the tuition increase.

What has NSCAD done to help mitigate costs?

NSCAD has:

  • Increased total student assistance funding by $100,000;
  • Kept student fees steady, including the technology renewal fee and facility renewal fee;
  • Invested in onsite counselling and software enhancements for student advising, support and wellbeing;
  • Explored additional cost saving measures, including renegotiating supplier contracts;
  • Estimated over $600,000 in scholarships and bursaries, including the Creative Innovators of Tomorrow bursaries, which covers full tuition for five entering students;
  • Maintained the ability to provide 24/7 studio access for students, which is a unique benefit of the NSCAD experience.

What is the cost of attending NSCAD as compared to the other schools of fine art and design in Canada?

When comparing NSCAD to other schools of fine art and design in Canada, many variables come into play. Mainly:

  • NSCAD’s tuition is higher due in part to the different government funding structures in British Columbia and Ontario.
  • We maintain small class sizes to ensure specialized and quality education, therefore our pool of tuition income is smaller.
  • When examining the total cost to attend university, one must also consider living costs and other fees. For students who don’t live at home, tuition is about 30% of the cost of attending university in any given year. Living expenses are greater in cities like Vancouver and Toronto.
  • Other schools of fine art and design charge ancillary fees for learning resources, health and wellness, academic equipment and new technology, career services, student union space and more, as well as other miscellaneous fees which are not charged to NSCAD students.

Further facts regarding tuition:

  • The Nova Scotia Bursary is available for all Nova Scotia residents amounting to a $1,283 benefit for undergraduate and graduate students taking 12 credits or more;
  • Additional financial support from the Province is available in the form of student loans;
  • The Province introduced a Student Loan Forgiveness Program for graduates in 2015-2016.

What kind of support does NSCAD offer students?

NSCAD offers a wide range of scholarships, awards and bursaries. For the Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 semesters, NSCAD University awarded students more than 262 scholarships and bursaries, totaling over $435,000. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit. Bursaries are awarded based on financial need. The Board of Governors is committed to concentrating more of its fundraising for bursaries and scholarships to mitigate the effect of the tuition increase. With the various NSCAD and provincial bursaries, scholarships and awards, less than 40% of NSCAD students pay the posted tuition rates.

NSCAD University has financial services available to provide guidance and support to students. These services include helping students access scholarships and understand their tuition payment options. We encourage students to utilize these services. Contact Christina Warren cwarren@nscad.ca for more information.

Office of Financial Services

4th Floor
5163 Duke Street
NSCAD University
Halifax, NS  B3J 3J6
9:30 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday

Contact us:

Phone: (902) 494-8117
Fax: (902) 429-4925