Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs (TLAC)

Detailed information for 2004/2005





Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to collect tuition fees and living accommodation costs concerning all universities and degree-granting colleges across the country.

Data release - September 2, 2004


The Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs (TLAC) survey collects data for full-time students at Canadian degree-granting institutions that are publicly funded. The survey was developed to provide an overview of tuition and additional compulsory fees, and living accommodation costs that students can expect to pay for an academic year.

This information:
- gives stakeholders, the public and students an annual guide to tuition costs as well as providing information on trends in tuition fees;
- contribute to a better understanding of the student financial position for that level of education;
- helps in the development of policies in this sector;
- is used to calculate the Consumer Price Index;
- facilitates interprovincial comparisons;
- facilitates comparisons across institutions.

Each year data are collected for the previous and current academic year. The previous academic year data become revised and final while the current academic year data are preliminary and will be revised and become final in the next collection cycle.

Reference period: Academic year.

Collection period: Between April and July before the reference period.


  • Education finance
  • Education, training and learning
  • Students

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is all public degree-granting institutions (universities and colleges) in Canada.

Instrument design

The questionnaire for this survey has remained stable over the years, although the format and wording has been modified to maintain its relevance based on feedback from survey respondents and data users.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

All universities and degree-granting colleges report via questionnaire.

All material is mailed out by Operations and Integration Division (OID) at Statistics Canada who also conducts telephone follow-up.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

A Statistical Analysis System (SAS) program is run on the completed file, comparing each institution to the previous year's results. Any significant changes are investigated with the respondents.


This methodology does not apply.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Each year a data comparison is done (percentage increases for major cells) for each university and college. Any major discrepancies are investigated with the respondent, resulting in changes, if any.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

A presentation letter is prepared including authorization to release data publicly at the institution level.

Data are released publicly at the institutional level.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

All surveys are subject to errors. Only non-sampling errors apply to this survey given that there was no sampling process used to produce the final results. While considerable effort is made to ensure that universities and colleges are preparing information in accordance with the General Instructions to ensure comparability of the information at the aggregate level and ensure consistency and comparability over time in institutional reporting, major differences in operations and/or policies and/or differences in institutional interpretation/implementation of the General Instructions affect the comparability of the information over time and with other institutions.

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