Students paying more, graduating poorer

OTTAWA, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - This fall, tuition and related fees increased at public universities and colleges everywhere in Canada, except Newfoundland and Labrador, according to a report released by Statistics Canada today.

"Students and their families need protection from fee increases that leave them saddled with heavy debt loads," said Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "The absence of a national vision for post-secondary education has left Canada with a patchwork of different policies and huge variations in fees from province to province. This is no way to deliver higher education in the 21st century."

According to the report, tuition fee rates increased by 3.3% on average to $5,959. Tuition fees are currently the single largest expense for most college and university students and are increasing more rapidly than any other cost faced by students and far faster than inflation. While tuition fees vary widely from province to province, in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador students will take on more educated-related debt than any previous year to cover the cost of rising tuition fees.

"The debt loads carried by this generation of students are a drag on the economy," said McCormick. "Students graduating with large debt delay buying homes, starting families, and making investments, undermining Canada's economic prosperity."

A report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives projects that tuition fees will rise almost 13% over the next four years. By 2017-18 tuition fees in Ontario are projected to increase to an estimated $9,483 while Newfoundland and Labrador will remain the province with the lowest tuition fees, rising to an estimated $2,888. The Canadian Federation of Students has been calling on the federal government to establish guidelines for funds transferred to the provinces for post-secondary education, ensure accountability, and create national standards for the quality and accessibility of universities and colleges across the country.

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation. It is composed of over 75 university and college students' associations with a combined membership of over one half million students in all ten provinces.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson at 613-232-7394


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