Dear MSVU students, faculty, and staff,

On Thursday, June 25, the Mount Saint Vincent University Board of Directors approved tuition fees for the 2020/2021 academic year.

The process to determine 2020/21 tuition fees included consultation with students, faculty and staff via the University Budget Committee and Finance Committee of the Board, a town hall for students, and engagement with the MSVU Students’ Union.

The University strives to keep tuition fees as low as possible while maintaining its commitment to academic excellence and an exceptional student experience.

The Board deliberated carefully about 2020/21 tuition fees, listening thoughtfully to the perspectives of its representative members. As a University, we take any increase to tuition very seriously. The bottom line: as operational costs increase, including inflationary pressures, the increase to our provincial government funding at 1% (or $207,000) is not sufficient to keep up.

A tuition increase is required to ensure the continued delivery of excellent academic programs (including a rapid shift to more online delivery) and support services, including meeting the increasing need for certain student supports.


  • Domestic undergraduate tuition will increase by $24 per half credit (generally equal to one course), or 3%.
  • Graduate tuition will, on average, increase by $30 per half credit (generally equal to one course), or 3%.
  • International student tuition will increase by $48 per half credit (generally equal to one course), or 3%.
  • The University will not be charging the athletics and recreation fee for the fall term saving a full-time student $25. As well, it is unlikely that the bus pass program will go ahead at the Mount for at least the fall term (a savings of approximately $80 for full-time students in the fall term).
  • MSVU will provide $350,000 more in student financial aid this year, with a focus on bursaries to help those who need it most. This investment brings the total student financial aid for 2020/21 to just over $3 million.
  • MSVU will invest an additional $300,000 in technology and online learning supports for students and faculty this year.
  • The University will invest in enhanced student mental health supports, including a full-time intake worker to triage student requests and ensure students are provided with timely support and access to the necessary services.
  • The University will further invest in Black student support by making the Black Student Advisor position full-time from the previous part-time status.
  • MSVU continues to offer an extensive suite of important student services (all of which have shifted to online delivery), including a top-notch Centre for Academic Advising and Student Success, Accessibility Services, online learning supports, health and counselling services, Aboriginal student supports and more. A complete list of student services is available here.

The development of the University’s full 2020/21 budget has been delayed due to the pandemic. A full 2020/2021 budget will be presented to the Board in September, with an interim operating plan to be presented to the Finance Committee and then Board in July.

In the meantime, the University will continue to look to contain costs and manage revenues to the greatest extent possible as the fiscal impacts of the pandemic become clearer. To date, the university has restricted discretionary spending and sought to reduce personnel costs (which make up 77% of MSVU’s operating budget) while maintaining a focus on quality program delivery and student supports. As well, we continue to advocate to the provincial government for additional funding and are committed to working with our students and students’ union to reinforce these messages.

I assure all members of the MSVU community that our commitment to a quality educational experience is unwavering, as is our commitment to ensuring MSVU’s sustainability in the longer term.

Mustansar Nadeem
Vice-President, Administration
Mount Saint Vincent University