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The Financial Importance of International Students at Carleton University

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Changes to the postsecondary education by Doug Ford this coming educational year are probable to have significant consequences for international students studying in Ontario universities.

For example, in response to this coming year's mandatory 10% drop in tuition for Ontario universities, some schools are turning to international students to balance out this expected drop in tuition revenue.

With some major changes about to come into effect for international students, we looked at Carleton University's international student environment over the previous 12 years to help Carleton students be more aware of the changes and trends surrounding international and domestic tuition and enrolment and what to expect from Ford's changes.

The overview of our analysis is that over the years, Carleton University has been progressively dependent on international students with no sign of this reliance slowing down.

This is apparent from the international tuition and enrolment at Carleton significantly outpacing domestic tuition and enrolment almost every year.

See the analysis below.

*When a year is stated, it is the beginning of that academic year. (ie. 2006 refers to the 2006-2007 academic year)

*Data was collected mainly from CUDO (Common University Data Ontario) by the Council of Ontario Universities, school documents such as tuition fee schedules and school-specific CUDO data.

*Tuition fee data was based on the tuition cost for an average undergraduate arts and science full-time degree as this is the metric CUDO uses as a common metric among all Ontario universities.

*The tuition fees stated below refer to the tuition cost for the first-year of studies.

Carleton University Tuition Fees

International Tuition Increased by 3x and 4.1x More Than Domestic Tuition and Inflation, Respectively

Carleton University's international tuition fees increased more than domestic tuition fees and the inflation rate from 2006-2017 by a significant amount.

International tuition significantly outpaced domestic tuition and inflation from 2006-2017.

The average first-year domestic tuition cost of an undergraduate arts and science degree (full-time) at Carleton grew from $5181 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $6546 in 2017, which is an increase of 26.34 per cent.

Whereas the international tuition for the same degree grew from $14,379 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $25,740 in 2017, which is an increase of 79 per cent.

International tuition increased more than domestic tuition and the inflation rate by 3x and 4.1x, respectively, from 2006 to 2017.

Over the years, Carleton University has increased international tuition at a much higher rate than domestic tuition to optimize revenue from international students as foreign demand for a Canadian education continues to rise.

Annual International Tuition Increases Outpaced Domestic Tuition by Eight Times, Each Year

international tuition at carleton university has increased by more than eight times the amount of domestic tuition on average from 2006 to 2017

Each year, international tuition has increased by more than eight times the amount that domestic tuition increased, on average.

From 2006 to 2017, the average annual domestic tuition increase was only $124 compared to international tuition which was $1,033.

This means that international tuition increased by eight times the amount of domestic tuition each year, in terms of dollar values.

international tuition at carleton university has been steadily increasing while domestic tuition has almost flatlined.

Adjusted for inflation: numbers shown are in 2017 dollars.

Looking at international and domestic tuition each year, it can be seen that international tuition has been rising at a rate significantly higher than the slight increase rate of domestic tuition.

This distinct monetary difference in annual tuition increases shows the university's effort to capitalize on incoming international students.

Annual International Tuition Increase Rates Significantly Outpaced Domestic Tuition Each Year

From 2006 to 2017, carleton university's international tuition has outpaced domestic tuition by drastic amounts

Looking at the annual increase rates on a year-to-year basis, Carleton's increasing reliance on international students is evident.

From 2006 to 2011, the increase in international tuition was double the amount of the increase in domestic tuition for most years.

Then, from 2012 and on, annual international tuition increases greatly outpaced domestic tuition increases each year.

For instance, from 2012-2013, international tuition increased by 3.5x more than domestic tuition, and from 2016-2017, it increased by over six times more.

*International Student Fees NOTE:

One important thing to note is that the fees being used to calculate international fees do not include ancillary fees, UHIP, Ontario's International Recovery Fee, etc.

Although ancillary fees are typically equal for both domestic and international students, extra fees such as UHIP and Ontario's International Recovery Fee could add an additional $1000-$2000 to an international student's yearly fees.

Which would further widen the gap between total international and domestic fees.

*Enrolment data is based on both full time and part time students for all levels of degrees including Bachelor’s and 1st Professional Degrees, Master’s Degrees, and Doctoral Degrees.

Carleton University Enrolment

International Enrolment Increased 3.5x More Than Domestic Enrolment From 2006-2017

carleton university international enrolment has skyrocketed relative to domestic enrolment from 2006 to 2017

The international enrolment increase from 2006-2017 significantly outpaced domestic enrolment.

From 2092 international students in 2006 to 4061 in 2017, Carleton University's international student population grew by almost 94 per cent.

However, from 19,972 domestic students in 2006 to 25,300 in 2017, Carleton University's domestic student population only grew less than 27 per cent.

Which effectively means that international student enrolment from 2006 to 2017 grew 3.5x more than domestic student enrolment.

Carleton University Student Enrolment Breakdown

carleton university international student enrolment has been steadily increasing each year

A steady increase in international student enrolment each year.
carleton university domestic student enrolment has been on a steady increase as well

Domestic student enrolment also had a steady increase year over year.

When separated into international and domestic enrolment over the years, both student groups have been increasing in enrolments.

However, the rates at which they've been increasing is where they differ.

On Average, International Enrolment Increased 3x More Than Domestic Enrolment on an Annual Basis

carleton university international enrolment increased at a significant rate each year on average compared to domestic enrolment

On average, international enrolment has increased almost 3x more than domestic enrolment each year.

As international student enrolment grew 6.28 per cent each year on average, domestic enrolment grew by only 2.18 per cent.

Which means that international enrolment grew 2.9x more than domestic enrolment each year, on average.

carleton university international enrolment grew at much higher rates than domestic enrolment from 2006 to 2017

International enrolment grew at rates significantly higher than domestic enrolment almost every year.

When looking at enrolment on a yearly basis, it's clear that Carleton University has focused more on growing its international student population more than their domestic population.

From 2007 and on, the number of international students has surpassed the number of domestic students by more than double for most years, with the exception of the years 2006-2007, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

The Proportion of International Students at Carleton University has Increased by more than 65 per cent from 2006 to 2017

proportion of international students at carleton university has significantly increased in 12 years.

In 2006, international students made up much more of the student population at Carleton University than in 2017

Carleton University's student population was comprised much more of international students in 2017 than in 2006.

From 10.47 per cent in 2006 to 16.05 per cent in 2017, Carleton University's increasing dependence on international students has resulted in the proportion of international students at the school increasing by more than 65 per cent in 12 years.

It is clearly evident that Carleton University has turned more to international students as a significant source of revenue through considerably greater tuition increases and enrolment levels compared to domestic students over the previous 12 years.

Due to the quality and accessibility of Ontario universities and a relatively cheap Canadian dollar, the demand for Ontario education continues to rise.

Seeing this increase in foreign demand, Ontario universities are more heavily relying on international students by increasing international tuition and enrolment at rates far greater than domestic rates.

With Ford's changes to education set to be imposed this coming academic year, namely the 10% drop in education, a further increase in international tuition and enrolment appears to be expected and is, therefore, something that international students should take note of.


*Ancillary fees, Incidental fees, UHIP, Ontario’s International Recovery fee, and any other fees were excluded from calculations; only tuition fees were included.

*Enrolment data was collected from CUDO by the Council of Ontario Universities.

*See here for a similar analysis but on Ontario as a whole:
Ontario Universities' Increasing Reliance on International Students


Carleton University CUDO Data

CUDO Tool by the Council of Ontario Universities

CUDO Archives


Ontario Universities' Increasing Reliance on International Students

Students Say Ford's Performance-Based Funding is Misguided

Queen’s University by the Numbers: An Intuitive Financial Analysis For Students

Should Higher-Ed Admissions Be Federally Regulated?

Author: daniel @ oneclass . com


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