Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs (TLAC)

Detailed information for 2024/2025





Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to collect tuition fees and living accommodation costs for all publicly funded universities and degree-granting colleges in Canada.


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

The TLAC survey data are used to
- provide stakeholders, the public and students with annual tuition costs and changes in tuition fees from the previous year
- contribute to a better understanding of the costs to obtain a degree
- contribute to education policy development
- contribute to the Consumer Price Index
- facilitate interprovincial comparisons
- facilitate comparisons between institutions.

Reference period: Academic year (September 1 to April 30)


  • Education, training and learning

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is all public degree-granting institutions (universities and colleges) in Canada; that is, those who offer programs leading to degrees as defined by the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC). These are: Bachelor's degrees, Applied (Bachelor's) degrees, Applied Master's degrees, Master's degrees, and Doctoral degrees. Such degrees are more commonly offered by universities.

Instrument design

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

In 2007/2008, the TLAC questionnaire was restructured to correspond with the changes to Statistics Canada's Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). As a result, the fields of study for which the TLAC survey collects and disseminates data became subject to the CIP. The CIP is developed jointly by Statistics Canada and the National Center for Education Statistics. It is based on work undertaken as part of the creation of the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) by Canada, the United States and Mexico.

For the 2008/2009 TLAC data collection, changes were made to the TLAC questionnaire CIP groupings to increase data quality and comparability. The new fields of study presented for both undergraduate and graduate programs were adapted from the CIP.

The TLAC field of study "Medicine" was subdivided into the following: Medicine (MD), Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary medicine.

At the graduate level, "Business Management and Public Administration" was subdivided into Executive MBA and Regular MBA.

As of 2008/2009, the undergraduate fields of study used for TLAC are:

- Education
- Visual and Performing Arts, and Communications Technologies
- Humanities
- Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Legal Studies
- Law
- Business, Management and Public Administration
- Physical and Life Sciences and Technologies
- Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences
- Engineering
- Architecture
- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation
- Dentistry
- Medicine
- Nursing
- Pharmacy
- Veterinary medicine
- Optometry
- Other Health, Parks, Recreation and Fitness
- Personal, Protective and Transportation Services
- Other

As of 2008/2009, the fields of study for undergraduates and graduates are virtually the same, but the graduate fields of study also include:

- Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
- Regular MBA.

As of 2016/2017, the data provided by degree-granting colleges will be included in the weighted average calculations, and the detailed breakdown of Additional Compulsory Fees by field of study was eliminated.

As of 2017/2018, Social and Behavioural Sciences and Law, Legal Professions and Studies were renamed:

- Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Legal Studies
- Law

As of 2018/2019, Architecture and Related Technologies was renamed Architecture.

As of 2019/2020, the TLAC field of study "Other Health, Parks, Recreation and Fitness" was subdivided into:

- Other Health, Parks, Recreation and Fitness
- Optometry

Each year TLAC collects data for the previous and current academic year. The previous academic year data are revised and finalized; the current academic year data are preliminary and will be revised and finalized in the next collection cycle.


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

Data collection for this reference period: 2024-04-01 to 2024-06-07

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

As of 2011/2012, all universities and degree-granting colleges began reporting their fees using an Excel file distributed through the Electronic File Transfer Service (EFTS). Formerly, a paper questionnaire was used for data collection.

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

Date modified: