Amid significant budget cuts across the province, 21 Alberta post-secondary institutions are being reprimanded for overspending. Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta's advanced education minister, has begun to receive year-end financial statements from schools and he is not happy with the numbers he’s seeing. Nicolaides explained to CBC News that the institutions were supposed to be watching their spending but that the results are much higher than anticipated. As such, action will be taken immediately to crack down on Alberta's post-secondary budget and spending.

According to CBC News, the first order of action in place has been to place a freeze on hiring, travel, and hosting.

Though Nicolaides acknowledged to CBC News that it won’t be easy to reduce post-secondary spending, he says it needs to happen right away to “improve the financial state of our province before it’s too late.”

The post-secondary budget year will end on April 1, and schools have been asked to hold all spending where possible until then. Therefore, post-secondary students and staff will begin to see budget shifts immediately.

According to Global News, the province spends more on students than most of the other provinces in Canada.

Even after funding cuts earlier this school year, Alberta’s per-student spending apparently stands out from the rest.

CBC News explains that Demetrios Nicolaides and other officials will be putting schools under a serious microscope in March to ensure no one is spending before that April 1 cutoff.

The month is being referred to as “March Madness.”

Part of the initiative to save money within colleges and universities will be to cut spending within departments and cut some of the grants going to the schools.

Just two months ago, it was announced that the Government of Alberta’s new budget would significantly impact tuition costs.

In fact, Alberta post-secondary tuition can increase by up to 21% over the next three years. Therefore, tuition is subject to an increase of 7% per year.

While 21 of the province's largest post-secondary institutions are in hot water for overspending, there are five independent institutions that are free of government scrutiny because their spending doesn’t impact the province, says CBC News.

The independent schools include Ambrose University, The King's University, St. Mary's University, Concordia University of Edmonton and Burman University.

If you’re enrolled in any Alberta school apart from the five mentioned above, you will be seeing changes to your school’s spending right away.

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