A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows that B.C. has the fourth-lowest undergraduate university tuition in Canada.
However, fees are far higher than those charged in Newfoundland, Quebec, and Manitoba.
CCPA researchers Erika Shaker and David Macdonald's report is called Degrees in Uncertainty: Navigating the Changing Terrain of University Finance.
They reveal that in 2013–14, the estimated undergraduate tuition and compulsory fees in B.C. will be $5,719.
That's up from $1,808 in 1990–91.
In Newfoundland, students are expected to pay only $2,872 in 2013–14. In Quebec, fees and tuition will be $3,656, and in Manitoba, students will pay $4,243.
The most expensive province is Ontario at $8,403, followed by Alberta at $7,093. The national average is $6,610.
The report notes that some provincial governments are taking steps to respond to concerns over high student debtloads and the challenges faced by students and their families.
However, it points out that many of these government responses are piecemeal in the form of targeted programs rather than across-the-board fee reductions.
That can include two-tiered fee structures, targeted grants and bursaries, loan forgiveness, and debt caps.
"While this does impact in-province affordability, it undermines any commitment to universality because it creates a situation where only students who leave the province to pursue a degree are the ones who can afford to," Shaker and Macdonald write in the report's summary.