Dalton McGuinty's tuition fee hikes push fees to record highs for the third year in a row

TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Statistics Canada released its annual tuition fee report today which shows that under Dalton McGuinty's watch, tuition fees are the highest in Canada for the third year in a row. Undergraduate students pay an average of $6,640 and graduate students pay an average of $7,578. According to the report, graduate student fees increased by 5.5 per cent, exceeding the provincial government's regulations.

"It is unacceptable that the current government has forced Ontario students to pay the highest fees in Canada. As other provinces freeze and reduce tuition fees, the gap between Ontario and the second most expensive province widens," said Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Students and their families are preparing to vote in the provincial election and they want to know which of the parties they can trust to reduce the cost of education."

Since 2006, students in Ontario have faced a cumulative increase in tuition fees of up to 59 per cent. This is a result of government policy that has allowed fees to increase by four to eight per cent each year. Ontario also continues to have the lowest per-student funding in the country, 24 per cent below the national average.

"During this election campaign, the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives have refused to commit to ending tuition fee hikes," said Krisna Saravanamuttu, Ontario Representative of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Students demand that the political parties address the upfront cost of education or we will respond accordingly at the polls."

Students in Ontario collectively owe more than $7 billion in government student loans. The Ontario Liberals raised the debt cap in 2010 and students can now accrue up to $29,200 in public student debt.  When debt accumulated from credit cards and lines of credit is included, students owe $37,000 on average.

"Slamming students with high fees and saddling them with debt reduces their economic mobility and their participation in Ontario's economy," said Hudson.

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. Visit www.take-it-over.ca to find out more about students' priorities for the Ontario election.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Sandy Hudson, Chairperson: 416-925-3825 or 416-722-8842 (cell)
Nora Loreto, Communications Coordinator: 416-925-3825 or 416-846-6672 (cell)


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