Photo by Shelby Mandin
Companies have been affected by the inflation of the economy and have taken to reducing the volume of products rather than continuously increasing prices. Some products have decreased in quantity but their prices have continued to go up. Hence the term shrinkflation; when a product or service decreases in quantity but is offered at the same price, or an even higher one. MacEwan University students have already seen the shrinkflation impact on a personal level, now that their academics are being affected too.
As of July 2023, Spotify has increased its Individual subscription plan by two dollars, stating that the market has evolved in the way musicians are paid for their work, primarily because of how they were paid from albums or songs purchased to being paid per stream. The Netflix prices currently stand at $16.49 for the Standard plan; no ads, only two users can be watching at a time, and location restriction by IP address. Gone are the days when young adults could piggyback off their parents’ Netflix account.
Unfortunately, MacEwan University has followed in their footsteps. For a four-year degree, you’re looking at an estimated $2,450 per semester for four classes. Back in September of 2019, the same program was estimated to be $2,310 for the whole semester. Students spend nearly $547 per semester for services that are not communicated properly on their student fees, with $202.50 going towards the Student Association of MacEwan (SAMU) for supporting students, access to events and programs, student government, and support services. An institution that prides itself on providing mental health services with the Wellness and Psychological services and MacEwan University Health Center, students are sent on a wild goose chase to find someone who can assist in their journey to self improvement and good mental health. Essentially, MacEwan students are paying for a navigator with no assurance that the services they are utilizing will pay off in the end. Something that MacEwan does offer now is a new app called Headversity, a program that helps you find your purpose, focus on your priorities, and improve your confidence.
Students have seen an increase in their student fees but essential services like Google accounts have taken cuts. Google announced that their Google Workspace for Education Storage would only allocate 100 TB to be shared across all of their emails, allowing MacEwan students to have only 5 GB of storage for their student emails and drives.
Adobe Creative tools have been limited to the use of university computers found in the library and tech centers. Students that rely on these tools, especially those in the design program, have been condemned to purchasing these tools for $71.99 a month to sustain their education.
Paying nearly $3000 per semester to attend the University, students need to be aware of how MacEwan and SAMU utilize their tuition and student fees. Even though students are losing out on some aspects of their tuition, SAMU provides students with events like Fall Fest and Winter Welcome week. They provide a voice for the students through governance and the Griff, and support systems like The Pantry and Safe Walk. On top of all these services, students have access to health and dental insurance, the U-Pass, and legal services to sustain their health and safety while still being able to further their education.