Read the Full Report (accessible), Executive Summary, Summary of RecommendationsFact Sheet on student Fees and Financial Aid or Fact Sheet on Enrolment.

In 2014, StudentsNS welcomed its first non-university member: the Student Association of the Nova Scotia Community College Kingstec Campus in Kentville. This report explores fees, funding and accountability structures at the College, as well as student financial assistance to college students. We seek to identify opportunities to improve or expand access, affordability, student voice and quality of education, with an emphasis on the first three values in particular. We find that the Nova Scotia Community College has prioritized access and affordability and delivered important outcomes, attracting more students from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education, and notably mature learners. The College also has relatively low cost programs because of their shorter length and lower fees. However, College students’ debt levels remain higher than the national average, are leading to elevated default rates and have been neglected by the Province as compared with university students’ debt. In terms of student voice and accountability, the College and the Province need to work harder to ensure transparency to the public and meaningful student participation in decision-making. We identify a number of modest policy changes that the College and the Province could pursue to address these challenges and help the College better serve Nova Scotians and deliver on its mandate.