Statistics Canada: BC tuition fees creep even higher

VANCOUVER, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - There is no sign of tuition fee relief for cash-strapped BC families as average fees reach $4,800 at BC universities, according to a new study released today by Statistics Canada. For the ninth consecutive year tuition fees in British Columbia will increase.

"Education in BC is a debt sentence for tens of thousands of families," said Nimmi Takkar, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-British Columbia. "This study confirms what we all know: tuition fees have never been higher. It's not coincidence that student debt in BC is also at record levels."

Average student debt in British Columbia is estimated to be $27,000. With compound interest over a ten-year repayment period, that figure balloons to $34,365.

The Globe and Mail reported earlier this week that Canada's household debt to net worth is the highest on record, as new graduates struggle with unprecedented levels of credit card debt and student debt.

A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released earlier this year showed that Canada's tuition fees are among the highest in the world as a share of the national economy.

Tuition fees are the single largest expense for most university and college students, and are increasing more than any other cost faced by students and faster than inflation. Record high tuition fees are an example of the shift in what average families pay out-of-pocket for public services.

"In 2009 the StudentAid BC budget was cut by 28%. In 2010 total tuition fees in BC will surpass what is collected in corporate income tax. Add the HST to the picture and average families are paying more and getting less," said Takkar.

The Canadian Federation of Students is composed of 150,000 students in British Columbia from 17 university and college students' unions. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations since 1927.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - British Columbia

For further information: For further information:

Nimmi Takkar, BC Chairperson at 604.733.1880 or 778.846.5424 (cell)
Ian Boyko, Research and Communications Officer at 604.733.1880 or 778.686.7939 (cell)

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Canadian Federation of Students - British Columbia

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