Report Indicates Shocking Lack of Financial Aid Literacy among Students

OTTAWA, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - A report released today by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, reveals a massive gap in financial aid comprehension among Canadian students. The report, entitled "The Illiteracy of the Literate: The Lack of Financial Aid Knowledge among Canadian University Students," examines the financial aid literacy of students (both borrowers and non-borrowers). Results indicate that 75% of the respondents, including 54% of upper-year government loan recipients failed the financial aid literacy test posed in the survey.

"The number of students who are very poorly informed about the details of the government financial aid system is simply staggering. These numbers are far too high for a system that is intended to provide support and aid for students pursuing a post-secondary education in Canada," said Tina Robichaud, Chairperson of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. "This lack of knowledge and understanding results in students missing out on resources that they need or winding up with loans they don't understand, interest they didn't expect, and a poor grasp of what sort of relief might be available."

Canada's student financial aid system is one of the most complicated and complex financial tools available, aimed at helping one of the least financially savvy demographics in Canada. This report supports CASA's previous claim that the system is far too complex, and demonstrates a severe lack of financial aid literacy that needs to be addressed.

"The government needs to come to terms with the fact that current outreach strategies are simply not enough and changes to the system are necessary. It is only in making enhancements, such as increasing exposure to the most effective sources of financial aid information and improving the quality of resources, that the potential of Canada's financial aid system can be reached," said Robichaud.

This is the third and final report stemming from a nationwide survey conducted in fall term of the 2009-10 academic year. The "Canadian Student Survey" was a bilingual, multi-institutional survey conducted on university campuses across the country. It was commissioned by the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations (ANSSA), the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), and the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS).

"The Illiteracy of the Literate: The Lack of Financial Aid Knowledge among Canadian University Students" report can be found in full here: http://www.casa-acae.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Canadian-Student-Survey-The-Illiteracy-of-the-Literate-June-2010.pdf

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 25 student associations, representing over 300,000 students from coast to coast.

SOURCE Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jillian Flake, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Tel.: (613) 236-3457 ext. 224, (c) (613) 868-6605, Email: casacomm@casa.ca

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