Ontario falls further behind as students face record high tuition fees
TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Statistics Canada released its annual tuition fee report today showing that Ontario remains the most expensive province in Canada to study. Despite the Liberal Party's promise to reduce tuition fees by 30 per cent in the last election, university tuition fees increased by 5.4 per cent this year. Undergraduate students in Ontario pay an average of $7,180 and graduate students pay an average of $8,041.
"The McGuinty government promised students and their families a 30 per cent tuition fee reduction, but instead students are starting the school year with another tuition fee hike," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The government continues to be more interested in political rhetoric instead of providing serious relief for students and their families from the highest tuition fees in the country."
The tuition fee data comes a day after the release of a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, showing that tuition fees have risen faster than incomes and inflation, making post-secondary education less and less affordable for Ontarians. An undergraduate student entering their first year of studies this fall can expect to be paying over $9,000 in tuition and compulsory fees by the time they reach their fourth year of studies.
Since 2006, students in Ontario have faced a cumulative increase in tuition fees of up to 71 per cent. As a result, students in Ontario collectively owe roughly $9 billion in loan debt to the provincial and federal governments. Undergraduate students with both public and private debt finish their degrees with an average debt of $37,000.
"Students are accumulating debt through government loans, lines of credit and credit cards, while families are taking out second mortgages and delaying retirement to help their kids through school," said King. "With new graduates carrying a five-figure debt and having more difficulty finding stable employment, the government is abandoning students and their families by ignoring the high upfront cost of post-secondary education."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of StudentsFor further information:
Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson: 647-339-4070
Toby Whitfield, National Executive Representative: 647-531-2417