Concordia Projects $6.3M Deficit For Upcoming Year, Tuition To Increase

The Deficit Trend Is Set To Continue For The Third Year In A Row

Concordia University’s SGW campus in downtown Montreal. Photo Shaun Michaud

Concordia’s new Chief Financial Officer, Denis Cossette, announced at a budget meeting on Thursday that the university is expected to run a deficit, again.

The announcement comes on the heels of last year’s $9.4 million deficit, which was originally projected to be $8.3 million. According to Cossette, the extra $1.1 million was due to an unexpected reduction in students that resulted in a $7.5 million decrease in revenue.

“They were able to recover $6.4 million, roughly, with different measures,” Cossette said, explaining why the 2015-2016 deficit wasn’t closer to $15 million.

The university also experienced a financial shortfall in the 2014-2015 year, though there was a small surplus in 2013-2014.

For the 2016-2017 year, Concordia is expecting its totals revenues to be $393,148,207, while expenses are expected to total $399,482,441. This leaves a projected deficit of $6,334,234.

The university expects to reach its goal with regards to student enrollment — which bodes well for expected revenues — though Cossette won’t be able to confirm this until October, as reimbursements are available to student up until “roughly the third week of September,” he said.

He also warned that both internal and external factors could impact potential expenses.

“We cannot guarantee anything — it’s a budget,” he said.

Tuition fees have also been raised. The hikes are effective for the full academic year—September to April, Cossette said.

For both Quebec and international students, there has been a 1.5 per cent increase in tuition. For non-Quebec student, the increase is set at 3.43 per cent.

“These rates are prescribed by the provincial government,” Cossette explained. “It’s the same for all students across the province.”

Cossette also warned during his presentation that it is possible that the government deregulate—i.e. stop providing grants for—all international students. He does not know whether or not that would cause a further tuition increase in the future.

As for this year’s spending priorities, supporting Strategic Directions projects is at the top of the list, with $2.5 million allocated towards the initiative.